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The Chanticleer Singers

The Chanticleer Singers was formed in 1980 by Richard Cock and is regarded as South Africa’s leading chamber choir. Over the years their reputation and renown have grown as they have become known through radio and television broadcasts as well as public performances.

Though based in Johannesburg, the Choir has appeared at other venues throughout South Africa, including  the Grahamstown National Festival of the Arts, the Cape Town International Organ Festival, the Knysna Nederberg Arts Festival, the Sowetan’s “Nation Building” Massed Choir Festival, Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Pietersburg, Upington and many smaller towns, as well as in Botswana, Swaziland the United Kingdom, Namibia, the USA and Israel. Their tour of the UK was the subject of an hour-long TV-documentary, “Lands End and Beyond”.

Their repertoire is wide and extremely varied, and includes both serious and light music ranging from Renaissance to contemporary.

Although generally concentrating on “a capella” music, the Choir has also appeared with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Transvaal Chamber Orchestra, the CAPAB Orchestra and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra. A number of South African composers have written works specifically for them and for their 10th anniversary they commissioned works from leading South African composers. In 1989 they gave the first ever live TV music broadcast in South Africa: Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, performed on Good Friday.   Before and since then, they have been involved in many other TV productions and more recently in a programme for Radio Netherland and with the French Choir Musicatreize when they performed the 40-part motet by Thomas Tallis. 

Since then they have had a number of very successful concerts including Duruflé’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle as part of the Rossini Festival as well as Messiah to a packed house at the Linder Auditorium all of which were recorded for broadcast on SAfm. Recently they have worked with leading SA saxophonist Sannon Mowday.

For nearly 30 years the Chanticleer Singers have delighted audiences throughout Southern Africa and further afield with their varied and unusual programmes

The Chanticleer Singers pride themselves on the quality of their work and on their commitment to the music scene in South Africa.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 




The Symphony Choir ofJohannesburg
The Symphony Choir of Johannesburg

In 1980, Richard Cock reformed the SABC choir into the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, which he still directs.

The choir normally sings three major choral works each year. In the last few years, it has sung all kinds of music both alone and with other choirs and conductors, though no one is really in any doubt that this is Richard’s choir and will always be so while he is around. Other conductors who have worked with the choir include Sir David Willcocks, Simon Preston, John Rutter, Louis Lane, Victor Yampolsky, Yoshimi Takeda and Jun Markel.

2001 started excitingly with Rachmaninov's atmospheric unaccompanied Vespers and was rounded off by Mendelssohn’s Elijah in November. For 2002, the program included Mozart's Requiem and Beethoven's Mass in C. In August, John Rutter once again travelled to South Africa to lead the Symphony Choir in the African premiere of his compilation of American spirituals, Feel the Spirit. The choir also went on tour to Botswana, to sing Orff’s Carmina Burana in Gaborone. During 2003, the first highlight was Bach’s St John Passion on Good Friday, under the baton of the distinguished English conductor Simon Preston, with a packed auditorium and people even sitting in the aisles. The next highlight was Beethoven’s monumental Missa Solemnis performed in July. On a lighter note, the choir broke new ground by presenting a concert performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, given a South African flavour by narrator Alan Swerdlow.
Handel’s Messiah has become an annual event and with Richard’s love of choral music, the choir has extended their repertoire to also include African Sanctus by David Fanshawe and accompanied by the Ballet Theatre Afrikan, Gounod’s St Cecelia Mass, Brahm’s Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, John Rutter’s Feel the Spirit, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Durufle's Requiem, Rutter's Requiem, Magnificat and Gloria and many more choral works. The choir has featured in Songs of Praise, Starlight Classics, Last Night of the Proms and Pavarotti’s Farewell Concert.

In recent years the choir has toured Spain and future tours are planned.

For further information and event information please phone Debbie 082 853 9709 or to book for an event, go to www.computicket.com


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