The Temple Church Choir of eighteen boy-choristers and twelve choirmen has in recent years regained the prestige it enjoyed when Sir George Thalben-Ball and Ernest Lough made (in 1926) their world-famous recording of Mendelssohn’s Hear my prayer/O, for the wings of a Dove. The present choir shot back to prominence with the commission and – at the Temple Church itself – the premiere of John Tavener’s all-night musical vigil The Veil of the Temple, ‘Tavener’s masterpiece’ (The Daily Telegraph). The Choir took The Veil to the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, and then to the Proms in a shortened version which was released on a double-CD by Sony. This recording has been followed by three further discs from the choir, all of them critically acclaimed.
In recent years, the choristers have appeared on Hyperion’s new release of Britten’s St Nicholas, performed The Ceremony of Carols at the opening concert of the Britten Centenary celebrations at the Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh, joined forces with the BBC Singers in Britten’s A Babe was Born at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, and broadcast a memorial concert to Sir John Tavener on Classic FM. Last year, they also joined the BBC Singers in a recording of music by Judith Weir, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. The Choir is proud to commission new music, including works from Thomas Adès and Gabriel Jackson. In November 2014 the Choir gave the première of A Safe Stronghold, a collaboration between two young composers to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War – the German Lars Schwarze and the British Gareth Treseder. Nico Muhly’s Our Present Charter was commissioned to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, and as part of events to celebrate the same anniversary, the choir performed at both the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. Our Present Charter features on the choir’s CD, A Knight’s Progress, with additional music by Haydn, Parry, Walton and Vaughan Williams.
On the morning of Monday 15 June 2015 at Runnymede Meadow, the Temple Church Choir performed Give the king thy judgements, O God, a new anthem by John Rutter, in the presence of HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, to mark the 800th Anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. The last eighteen months have seen the Choir tour Holland to great acclaim as well as broadcasting regularly for Classic FM and BBC Radio 3. In April last year, as part of the Menuhin Violin Competition at the Temple Church, the choristers performed the première of John Rutter’s new work Visions for solo violin, string orchestra and choir. They subsequently performed the same piece in Brisbane as part of their first-ever solo tour of Singapore and Australia as The Temple Church Boys’ Choir. Last September, the Choir completed a successful tour of Germany in commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation and the Boys looks forward to their forthcoming tour of Washington DC, New York and New Hampshire in October. Their new CD, Treblesome, has been released on Orchid Classics, with a new CD The Temple Tradition, is due for release later this year.