Cantabile (group)

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Cantabile - The London Quartet
Origin London, England
Genres A Cappella, Musical Theatre, Classical Music, Film, Television
Labels Signum Records,Spare Parts
Website www.cantabile.com

Cantabile - The London Quartet is a British a cappella vocal quartet.

Biography[edit]

They were formed as a student group whilst studying at Cambridge University in 1977. Initially their influences were The King’s Singers and The Songs of Yale, but they soon developed their own unique style of musical comedy. They turned professional in 1982 shortly before appearing in Blondel, which ran for 399 performances in London’s West End.

Even at their outset, they were more associated with the Cambridge Footlights than the chapel choirs, and theatricality and humour have always been a great part of their appeal. They won a Wavendon Allmusic Award from John Dankworth and Cleo Laine for breaking down the barriers between musical genres.[1][2]

Career[edit]

Their touring schedule continues to take them to Europe, North America & the Far East and sometimes further afield.

When Cantabile first visited Austria in the late 1970s, they were compared to German vocal group from the 1930s, The Comedian Harmonists.

In the UK, they have appeared in many theatres and concert halls, on BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, S4C and Channel 5 and on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7, as well as Classic FM.

They had a BBC Radio 2 series accompanied by the BBC Big Band, conducted by Barry Forgie, entitled ‘Cantabile sing, The Big Band Swing’ in the 1990s featuring music by George Gershwin, Harry Warren, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and Rodgers and Hart.

They underlined their long association with Tim Rice by appearing as the Consuls in Embassy Lament in Chess in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall May 12 and 13 2008, alongside Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, Kerry Ellis, Adam Pascal and Marti Pellow.

On May 9 2010 they celebrated - together with Simon Callow - the life and music of their friend Stephen Oliver, who would have been 60 that year. This specially devised programme included excerpts from the RSC's production of Nicholas Nickleby (for which Oliver composed the original music) performed by Simon Callow, the London Mozart Players conducted by Nicholas Cleobury, and Cantabile.

The evening also featured songs from the Tim Rice musical Blondel, settings of Shakespearian lyrics, and Stephen's mini-opera 'A Man of Feeling' and culminated in the entire audience and the Festival Choir, led by Simon Callow and Nicholas Cleobury, singing the rousing Patriotic Song from Nicholas Nickleby.

Present membership[edit]

  • Richard Bryan (countertenor): 1977-91, 1996-
  • Steven Brooks (tenor): 2005-
  • Mark Fleming (tenor): 1991-
  • Michael Steffan (baritone): 1977-

References[edit]

External links[edit]