St John’s Cambridge imprint will feature all forthcoming recordings by the Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, as well as young talent from the College and prominent alumni
First release on St John’s Cambridge in May 2016: “Deo” choral and organ works by Jonathan Harvey
St John’s College Cambridge and its Director of Music Andrew Nethsingha launch St John’s Cambridge, a new record imprint with Signum Classics marking an important milestone in the College’s distinguished musical history. The label will release all forthcoming recordings by the choir as well as young, exciting talent from members of the college and alumni in recital and chamber music recordings.
The new label allows Nethsingha and the choir to expand their already impressive discography, broadening the range of repertoire across the centuries. For the first release on the label, the choir presents a varied recording of sacred works by Jonathan Harvey – a composer with close associations with St John’s, having studied there and awarded an Honorary Fellowship – alongside Toccata for organ and tape and the organ solo Laus Deo. The recording also features the popular anthems Come, Holy Ghost, I love the Lord and two works, The Annunciation and The Royal Banners, written especially for the choir. Some of these works receive their first recording.
St John’s Cambridge releases will all follow a striking design, based on a circular image and vertical running text. The new label logo features a stylised image of the famous Bridge of Sighs and the traditional red associated with St John’s College, Cambridge.
The second release, due out in autumn 2016, will feature music for Advent and Christmas, including both traditional and contemporary works, including Michael Finnissy’s John the Baptist, composed for the College Choir and winner of a 2015 British Composer Award.
Building on an already impressive discography with the Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, Nethsingha will also be offering recordings of world-class artists from the college community on the new label. This broadens the artistic scope and also reflects the wide range of contemporary music making throughout the college. Future St John’s Cambridge releases will include a collection of violin works performed by Julia Hwang – a former category finalist in BBC Young Musician of the Year – who is currently an undergraduate at the college.
Andrew Nethsingha, Director of Music at St John’s College, said:
“This is an exciting time for both the Choir and the College of St John’s Cambridge. With the creation of the St John’s Cambridge imprint with Signum, we are able to showcase both the repertoire of the choir and also the astounding musical talent of the college, through our commitment to recording young artists such as Julia Hwang. We are thrilled to be releasing around three recordings per year on St John’s Cambridge label, and I’m looking forward to presenting a diverse range of ambitious choral and recital repertoire on the label”
In 2008 the College introduced free weekly webcasts on the sjcchoir.co.uk website offering some of the best sacred music from one of the greatest choral foundations worldwide. SJC Live (a collection of past webcasts) will continue to offer a rich selection of canticles, hymns, anthems, psalms, responses and more from live services.
Iestyn Davies, alumnus of St John’s College and choir, said:
“St John’s College Choir has an unrivalled and prestigious recording history that is finally being brought home with the launch of its own label. In a time when the business of recording and consuming recorded music is rapidly evolving the Choir has, as always, taken the decision to be at the very heart of what it does so well, to communicate with people through music with a passion, commitment and conviction in the St John’s sound that is the choir’s own; everything about this new label will encapsulate this inimitable quality.”
For more information please contact George Chambers at Albion Media I I
St John’s Cambridge, under the direction of Andrew Nethsingha, will be in charge of the artistic direction of their imprint while benefitting from the marketing, distribution and product management expertise already in place at Signum Classics.
The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge is one of the finest collegiate choirs in the world – known and loved by millions from its broadcasts, concert tours and over 90 recordings. Founded in the 1670s, the Choir is known for its rich, warm and distinctive sound, its expressive interpretations and its ability to sing in a variety of styles. Alongside this discipline, the Choir is particularly proud of its happy, relaxed and mutually supportive atmosphere. The Choir is directed by Andrew Nethsingha following in a long line of eminent Directors of Music, recently George Guest, Christopher Robinson and David Hill. Prominent alumni from the music world include Simon Keenlyside, Allan Clayton and Iestyn Davies.
St John’s College, University of Cambridge, was founded by Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of King Henry VII. Established by charter in 1511, it is one of the oldest and largest of the 31 Colleges that make up the University of Cambridge. The aims of the College are the promotion of education, religion, learning and research.
Former students include nine Nobel Prize winners and famous business and political leaders, as well as renowned scientists and artists. The College community is formed of staff, Fellows (the term used for the teachers, researchers and top administrators in the College) and 850 students. The Fellows at St John’s include world-class names in the study of the arts, humanities and the sciences and many of the young people they teach go on to become leaders in their chosen disciplines and fields.
Performing as a conductor and organist in North America, South Africa, the Far East, and throughout Europe, Andrew Nethsingha has been Director of Music at St John’s College, Cambridge since 2007. His innovations at St John’s have included weekly webcasts and a termly Bach cantata series. His recordings for Chandos have been enthusiastically reviewed. His latest St John’s CD to be released, “The Call”, was Editor’s Choice in the Gramophone Magazine.
Andrew Nethsingha received his early musical training as a chorister at Exeter Cathedral, where his father was organist for over a quarter of a century. He later studied at the Royal College of Music, where he won seven prizes, and at St John’s College, Cambridge. He held Organ Scholarships under Christopher Robinson, at St George’s Windsor, and George Guest, at St John’s, before becoming Assistant Organist at Wells Cathedral. He was subsequently Director of Music at Truro and Gloucester Cathedrals. Other recent positions have included Artistic Director of the Gloucester Three Choirs Festival and Musical Director of the Gloucester Choral Society.
He has served as President of the Cathedral Organists’ Association. He has worked with some of the UK’s leading orchestras. Andrew’s concerts with the Philharmonia Orchestra have included many of the major choral works: Mahler’s 8th Symphony, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Britten War Requiem, Brahms Requiem, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius and The Kingdom, Walton Belshazzar’s Feast, Poulenc Gloria and Duruflé Requiem. He has also worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, Britten Sinfonia, the Aarhus Symfoniorkester and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Recent conducting engagements have included the BBC Proms, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Tokyo Suntory Hall. He regularly runs choral courses in various countries.
His concerts during 2014 and 2015 have included Verbier Festival Switzerland, Hong Kong City Hall, Mexico City, St Blasien Germany, Royal Festival Hall London, University of Velacruz, Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys USA, Symphony Hall Birmgingham, The Esplanade Singapore, Liesse Boys Choir France, Royal Albert Hall London. In November 2015 he conducted Mozart Requiem and Haydn Nelson Mass with St Thomas Choir and Orchestra of St Luke’s in New York City.
Releases for 2016:
May 2016: “Deo” works by Jonathan Harvey including Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis; I love the Lord; Come, Holy Ghost; The Annunciation; Missa Brevis; The Royal Banners; Praise ye the Lord; Toccata for organ and tape and Laus Deo
October 2016: “Cambridge Christmas”
Releases for 2017 (dates tbc):
For more information please contact George Chambers at Albion Media I I