History

“Why are you The King’s Singers?” We are often asked this question, and the answer is simple. We take our name from King’s College, Cambridge, where the group’s original six singers were all choral scholars in the College’s world-renowned Chapel Choir. In 1965, these six singers made an album calling themselves Schola Cantorum Pro Musica Profana in Cantabridgiense! Despite the catchy name, it wasn’t a bestseller, but it was heard by the conductor, Sir Neville Marriner, who, in August 1966, invited them to perform in concert.

A handful of other engagements followed, with the singers billed as Six Choral Scholars of King’s College, Cambridge, before the group was invited to perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 1st May 1968. This London debut forced the singers to think up a proper name for the group; and so The King’s Singers were born. After the success of the London concert, other engagements began to appear in the diary, and, in their own words, they “put themselves about a bit”, forming relationships with promoters, the BBC, record companies, as well as working with contemporary composers and arrangers to expand and enhance their repertoire. The early 1970s saw many UK engagements, along with the occasional concert in mainland Europe. The break-through occurred in 1972, when they were offered a 35-concert tour of Australia and New Zealand. Trips to South Africa, Canada and the USA soon followed.

Over the last 48 years The King’s Singers have performed thousands of concerts around the world, in many of the world’s most famous venues. We have commissioned music from many of the world’s most distinguished contemporary composers. We have made over 150 recordings. We have over two million copies of our published sheet music in circulation. We have won two Grammys and one Emmy. We have performed with many amazing musicians. But the current King’s Singers are aware that none this would have happened without those original six choral scholars, and we’re proud to continue their work as The King’s Singers today.

The Eyes Have It: An Appreciation

David Hurley

Countertenor 1990 – 2016

Paul Phoenix

Tenor 1997-2014

Philip Lawson

Baritone 1 1993-2012

Stephen Connolly

Bass 1987-2010

Robin Tyson

Countertenor 2 2001-2009

Gabriel Crouch

Baritone 2 1996-2004

Nigel Short

Countertenor 2 1994-2000

Bob Chilcott

Tenor 1986-1997

Bruce Russell

Baritone 1 1987-1996

Simon Carrington

Baritone 2 1968-1993

Alastair Hume

Countertenor 2 1968-1993

Anthony Holt

Baritone 1 1970-1987

Colin Mason

Bass 1982-1987

Jeremy Jackman

Countertenor 1 1980-1990

Bill Ives

Tenor 1978-1985

Brian Kay

Bass 1968-1982

Nigel Perrin

Countertenor 1 1970-1980

Alastair Thompson

Tenor 1968-1978

Martin Lane

Countertenor 1 1968-1968

Richard Salter

Baritone 1 1968-1968

 
 

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