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Theatre of Voices

ensemble
© Lars Bjarnøe

Theatre of Voices was founded in 1990, when its very first appearances included the world premiere of Arvo Pärt’s ‘Berliner Messe’ in Berlin and a recital of John Cage’s music in London’s Almeida Festival. That same year, the group moved, with its director Paul Hillier, to reside in California—where for five years it presented its own festival with the support of an enlightened U.C. Davis Music Department. During its American years the group presented new works by several American composers, including Steve Reich (his ‘Proverb’ was commissioned for them), John Adams and Ingram Marshall. A fruitful recording partnership developed with Harmonia Mundi USA, and produced a bountiful crop of CDs: medieval lyrics & Renaissance polyphony, Xmas carols and contemporary music (Berio, Stockhausen, Cage.) Since Hillier’s return to Europe in 2003, the group has been based in Copenhagen. In 2010 the group celebrated its 20th anniversary by winning a Grammy Award for David Lang’s ‘The Little Match Girl Passion’. Its work in Europe has included valuable collaborations with prestigious instrumental ensembles, among them Kronos Quartet, London Sinfonietta, & Amadinda Percussion Ensemble. Most of their recordings are now made with the Danish label Dacapo Records and include an ongoing series devoted to Buxtehude and his circle of trust. In 2013 Theatre of Voices was nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize. In 2014 ‘My Heart’s in the Highlands’ from Theatre of Voices’ Pärt CD ‘Creator Spiritus’ was used in the Oscar-winning Italian movie ‘La grande bellezza’ and featured in Mojo Magazine by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. In 2016 the group was featured in Jóhann Jóhannsson’s score for the sci-fi movie ‘Arrival’ and on his debut album ‘Orphée’ on Deutsche Grammophon.