An Exciting New Choral Competition for London

An Exciting New Choral Competition for London
An exciting new choral competition is to be held in London. The inaugural London International A Cappella Choir Competition is being held at St. John’s Smith Square from 21 to 26 April, 2014. Of particular significance is the fact that the competition will be given in association with one of the world’s leading a cappella ensembles, The Tallis Scholars and their director, Peter Phillips. He will chair the distinguished jury.

Peter Phillips and The Tallis Scholars will get the competition off to an inspiring start with a special concert on 21 April. They’ll perform a number of  English renaissance masterpieces – including Tye’s opulent Peccavimus – before going on to explore music inspired by mysticism, interspersing  a number of Tavener’s best-loved works with heady, luscious motets by Victoria and Vivanco.

The competition will involve eleven acclaimed choirs from Europe, the UK and the USA. The ensembles are:

The Byrd Ensemble from Seattle, USA
Constanzo Porta from Cremona, Italy
Coro ‘El León de Oro’ from Luanco, Spain
Dysonans Chamber Choir from Poznań, Poland
The Erebus Ensemble from Bristol, UK
New Dublin Voices from Dublin, Ireland
Renaissance from Durham, UK
Reverie from London, UK
The Victoria Consort from Oxford, UK
Voces Musicales from Tallinn, Estonia
Vox Lundensis from Lund, Sweden


These groups will be competing against each other in three evening concerts (23-25 April) with the best going through to a grand final on 26 April. In addition to competing, the choirs will give further concerts at venues across London including St. Mary at Hill and St. George’s Bloomsbury 


Originally planned as a celebration of Sir John Tavener’s 70th birthday, the competition is now being held in his memory, with each of the competing choirs performing a selection of his work alongside a wealth of renaissance polyphony (Byrd, Lhéritier, Gibbons…) and an eclectic mix of recent pieces  from composers including Jonathan Harvey and Howard Skempton. Joining Peter Phillips on the judging panel will be a line-up of internationally-renowned figures, including James O’ Donnell, Mark Williams, Dame Emma Kirkby, John Rutter and founder member of the King’s Singer’s Alastair Hume, will be on hand to offer expert advice, with Lady Tavener presenting the prizes in the final.

Introducing the new competition, Peter Phillips said: “It has long been a dream of mine to host an international choir competition in London. When some of the Trustees of St John’s Smith Square asked me for ideas to headline their 300th anniversary celebrations, I realised that this was the perfect venue and occasion with which to realise my ideas. We have already been immensely lucky to have attracted choirs from all over the world. We set them difficult repertoire and they have all taken up the challenge magnificently.

 What with the opportunity to give a further concert in one of London’s many historic Wren and Hawksmoor churches, the chance to perform for, and receive feedback from, some of this country’s most experienced choral experts, and to compete in the inspiring surroundings of St John’s, these choirs will surely be taken to new levels. Do join us. We think we are in for a unique and fascinating week.”

 Further information and ticketing details are available here  or by calling 0207 222 1061. The competition schedule is given below.


John Quinn



LIAC 2014 Schedule


Monday 21st April 7.30pm St John’s Smith Square
Opening concert from the Tallis Scholars
Tuesday 22nd April – Workshops with Peter Phillips 3pm
Wednesday 23rd April 7.30pm St John’s Smith Square
Round 1
Choirs:    Constanzo Porta (Cremona, Italy)
Erebus Ensemble (Bristol, UK)
Victoria Consort (Oxford, UK)
Judges:   Peter Phillips, Mark Williams and Al Hume


Thursday 24th April 7.30pm St John’s Smith Square
Round 2
Choirs:   Renaissance (Durham, UK)
Voces Musicales (Tallinn, Estonia)
Dysonans Chamber Choir (Poznań, Poland)
Reverie (London UK)
Judges:   Peter Phillips, Mark Williams and Al Hume


Friday 25th April 7.30pm St John’s Smith Square
Round 3
Choirs:   Vox Lundensis (Lund, Sweden)
New Dublin Voices (Dublin, Ireland)
Coro ‘El León de Oro’ (Luanco, Spain)
Byrd Ensemble (Seattle, USA)
Judges:   Peter Phillips, Mark Williams and John Rutter


Saturday 26th April               Final
Judges:   Peter Phillips, James O’Donnell, Dame Emma Kirkby and Mark Williams
With Lady Tavener presenting prizes
Other Concerts in London

Tuesday 22nd
St George’s Bloomsbury
1.15pm                                                                  Erebus Ensemble (Bristol, UK)

Wednesday 23rd

St Bride’s Fleet Street
1.15pm                                                                  Vox Lundensis (Lund, Sweden)

Thursday 24th
St Mary At Hill 1.15pm                                       Byrd Ensemble (Seattle, USA)
St George’s Bloomsbury  1.15pm                    Constanzo Porta (Cremona, Italy)
St Mary At Hill   7pm                                          El Leon d’Oro (Luanco, Spain)

Friday 25th
St Mary at Hill  6pm                                           Voces Musicales (Tallinn, Estonia)



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