Since the founding of a mixed voice choir in 1971, the Choir of Clare College has gained an international reputation as one of the leading university choral groups in the world. In addition to its primary function of leading services three times a week in the College Chapel in Cambridge, the choir keeps an active schedule recording, broadcasting, and performing throughout the UK and the world.
The choir has toured widely, including in the United States of America, Japan, China, Australia, Russia, the Middle East and throughout Europe. In 2000 it became the first Oxbridge mixed voice choir to perform at the BBC Proms, singing Bach’s St John Passion. The choir has collaborated with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in performances of Handel’s Jephtha under the direction of René Jacobs, with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius under Edward Gardner, and with the Israel Camerata in Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium. Other collaborations have included the Academy of Ancient Music, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, and the Schubert Ensemble. The choir gives frequent performances at many international festivals, including the Potsdam Sanssouci Music, Munich Opera, and Spitalfields Festivals and the Early Music Weekend at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.
In addition to live performances, the choir has produced an impressive catalogue of recordings. In 2003, the choir’s recording of Rutter’s Requiem, produced by the composer, was awarded Editor’s Choice by The Gramophone, CD of the week on Classic FM, became Number 1 in the classical charts, and in 2005 was nominated for a Classical BRIT Award. In 2008, the choir recorded Ex Maria Virgine, a new Christmas sequence commissioned for the choir from John Tavener, which quickly became a best-selling CD. Recent releases include Sacred Choral Music, a recording of music by Vaughan Williams, which was hailed as ‘exceptional’ by BBC Music Magazine and acclaimed for its ‘sweeping energy and rich detail’ by Classic FM.