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Music of the Eastern Church
St Sophia's Cathedral
London United Kingdom
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Music of the Eastern Church
Canticum, the highly-regarded London chamber choir, returns to the magnificent setting of St Sophia's cathedral with a concert of works by leading composers of the Eastern Church.

The varied programme ranges from a first performance of a new edition of Rachmaninov's Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, to the deeply moving and atmospheric Gorecki's Totus Tuus and Tavener's Song for Athene.

Chesnokov   - Blazhen Muzh
Grechaninov - Khvalitye Imya Ghosodnye
           - Dostoyno Yest'
Rachmaninov - Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis
Gorecki     - Totus Tuus
Prokofiev   - Mnogaya Lyeta
Pärt        - Nunc Dimittis
Sviridov    - Lyubov Svyataya
Christov    - Tyebye Poyem
Kastalsky   - Slavosloviye Vyelikoye
Tavener     - Song for Athene

Canticum is one of the most musically versatile chamber choirs in the country. Now in its 24th season, it is known for its accomplished performances of major works and for exploring contemporary repertoire.

The choir commissions new writing and gives regular first performances.

Recent concerts include a celebration of Benjamin Britten's 100th anniversary at St Lawrence Jewry in the City of London, Tchaikovsky's Sacred Pieces and Gretchaninov's Vespers at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral and a performance of Mozart's C Minor Mass to a packed audience at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Other highlights have been BBC Radio 4's Christmas Morning Service, providing choral voices for Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother alongside soloist David Gilmour at the opening of the Chelsea festival, and the première of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's Step by Circle, dedicated to music director Mark Forkgen.

Canticum will be returning to St Martin-in-the-Fields twice in the coming months with the Brahms Requiem on March 18 in the piano duet version, and Bach's Magnificat on June 6, accompanied by period instrument ensemble, Counterpoint.

The choir stages regular trips abroad, most recently to Bulgaria at the invitation of the British Embassy in Sofia. Italy has been a favourite destination, where the choir has taken repertoire including Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, and Handel's Messiah and Israel in Egypt, which opened the Viterbo Early Music Festival.

Recording, too, has an important place in Canticum's schedule. The existing catalogue includes 'A Hymn to the Virgin', with works by Victoria, Poulenc and Panufnik, and 'A Christmas Carol', recorded in aid of the Samaritans. Both are on the Meridian label. 'In the Gloom of Whiteness' with Craft Music features work by Colin Riley, Fraser Trainer and Keith Roberts. The live recording of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's 'Step by Circle' and 'Two Latin Motets' is available on MaxOpus. Canticum's most recent recording, 'The Christmas Story', was released in December 2010 by the Classical Recording Company.

Music Director: Mark Forkgen

Mark Forkgen has been Music Director of Canticum since 1995. He is also Music Director of London Concert Choir and Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of Kokoro (the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's contemporary music group).

He has worked with many leading orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia, the English Chamber Orchestra, the English Northern Philharmonia and the Composers' Ensemble, appearing at all the major venues including the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall.

A specialist in the field of choral and contemporary music, he has given first performances of over one hundred works. These include stage works with the Trestle Theatre Company and Britten Sinfonia, and contemporary opera with the Unicorn Theatre Company and an ensemble from the Philharmonia, at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Covent Garden.

Mark has been Conductor and Artistic Advisor for highly acclaimed festivals including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's 70th Birthday, Stravinsky, the Composers of the South-West, A Festival of Britten, Music of the Americas, Britain after Britten and most recently East meets West. His wide range of conducting also includes performances with Deep Purple leading a project for the Chelsea Festival based on Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother".

Mark's recordings with Canticum and Kokoro have been highly recommended by BBC Radio 3 and in both musical and national press. Outside the UK he has given performances of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in Denmark, Handel's Messiah in Siena and Handel's Israel in Egypt at the Viterbo Early Music Festival in Italy. Other recent highlights include Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice at the Cadogan Hall, and concerts linking contemporary music and visual arts with Kokoro.

Mark is a champion of Youth Music. He was the Conductor of the Scottish Schools' Orchestra for ten years and Music Director of the Ealing Youth Orchestra for eight years. He is currently Conductor of Dorset Youth Orchestra and Director of Music at Tonbridge School.

Canticum is a registered charity, number 1014780


St Sophia's Cathedral (View)
Moscow Road, Bayswater
London W2 4LQ
United Kingdom


Music > Choral
Music > Classical

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!


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