University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers
|The Philippine Madrigal Singers|
|Also known as||Madz, UP Madrigal Singers|
|Origin||Quezon City, Philippines|
|Labels||Sony Music Philippines (present)|
|Members||Mark Anthony Carpio
(Choirmaster, 2001 - present);Various singers
|Past members||Andrea Veneracion
Founder;(Choirmaster, 1963-2001) (deceased)
The University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers (UPMS), also known as the Philippine Madrigal Singers or simply Madz, is one of the major cultural groups based in the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Its current conductor and musical director is Mark Anthony Carpio. They are the first choir in the world to win the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing twice (in 1997 and in 2007).
The Philippine Madrigal Singers (affectionately known as the "Madz") was founded in 1963 by National Artist for Music, Professor Andrea O. Veneracion. The Madz is mostly composed of students, faculty and alumni from the University of the Philippines. The group's trademark performance stance, singing in a semicircle without a conductor, is instantly recognizable. A standard Madz performance clearly exhibits the seamless fusion of their musical virtuosity, technical proficiency and soulful singing. Their highly eclectic repertoire spans the breadth and length of vocal music: from Renaissance madrigals to the avant-garde, from Filipino and international folksongs to the latest pop hits, even from the most cerebral choral masterpieces to the most humorous of novelty numbers. This world-class choir can honestly sing anything with authenticity and professionalism while keeping their audience thoroughly entertained.
The group performs a variety of styles and forms but it specializes in the Madrigal, a polyphonic and challenging musical style popular during the Renaissance period where singers and guests would gather around the table during a banquet to sight-sing and make music together. This served as the inspiration for their unique style of singing - singing seated in a semicircle without a conductor. As Philippine ambassador of culture and goodwill, the Madz has had the pleasure and privilege of giving command performances for royalty and heads of state. These include Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon, Queen Sofia of Spain, King Juan Carlos I of Spain and Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
This choral institution has produced more than 200 choral and vocal pedagogues from its ranks, actively and constantly shaping the local and international choral landscape. Madz alumni are much sought-after as singers, conductors, arrangers and music educators. Its corps of composers and musical arrangers continue to produce new compositions and choral settings of Philippine music, thus contributing to the global growth of choral literature.
As resident artists of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, outreach concerts have taken the Madz to far-flung areas seldom reached by most performing artists. Averaging two international concert tours per year, the Madz relentlessly engages in the promotion of Philippine music and the Filipino Artist globally.
Presently under the masterful leadership of Madz alumnus Mark Anthony A. Carpio, the Philippine Madrigal Singers continues to set new standards of excellence at a global level. Since their humble beginnings as a university-based chamber ensemble throughout their legendary rise as international choral champions, this 47-year old cultural icon known as the Philippine Madrigal Singers has irreversibly cemented its stature as one of world's best choirs of all time. On 17 April 2011, the Singers were honored to be featured with the historic and Grammy winning Mormon Tabernacle Choir on their weekly broadcast - Music and the Spoken Word.
The Madrigal Singers first earned critical acclaim during their performance in the First Choruses of the World Festival at the Lincoln Center in New York in 1969. This concert welcomed them to the international choral community, eventually paving their way to joining the most distinguished international choral competitions - Spittal, Austria; Arezzo and Gorizia, Italy; Neuchâtel, Switzerland; Debrecen, Hungary; Varna, Bulgaria; Tolosa, Spain; and Marktoberdorf in Germany, and winning all the top prizes.
In June 1997, the Philippine Madrigal Singers came home from their ninth world concert tour, winning the grand prize in the Grand Prix European de Chant Choral Competition in Tours, France, besting five other grand prize winners of the most prestigious choral competition in Europe: Guido d'Arezzo, Italy; Debrecen, Hungary; Varna, Bulgaria; Gorizia, Italy; and Tolosa, Spain. The Madz displayed a virtuoso performance so moving one juror had to describe the group's music as the "most beautiful sound on earth".
In July 2006, the Madz won the grand prize (Grand Prix de la Ville de Tours) at the Florilege de Tours choral competition in France, making them eligible for the 2007 European Choral Grand Prix (to be held in Arezzo, Italy). In the same competition, the Madz were also awarded the first prize for Category III (mixed vocal ensemble), first prize for Category IV (free program) and the Prix University François Rabelais for best interpretation of a Renaissance number.
On August 26, 2007, the Philippine Madrigal Singers won, for the second time, the grand prize in the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Arezzo, Italy. This victory makes them the first of the only two choirs in the world to win the grand prize twice. (The other is A.P.Z. Tone Tomšič, which won its second European Grand Prix the succeeding year.) The European Grand Prix is widely understood to be the Olympics of the choral circuit.
On July 27, 2009, UNESCO honored the Madz and designated the group as UNESCO Artist for Peace. This title is given to celebrity advocates charged with the mission of embodying and raising awareness in the UNESCO ideals, which include peace, security, fundamental human rights and freedom.
On September 19, 2010, the Philippine Madrigal Singers was conferred the prestigious Guidoneum Award 2010 by the Fondazione Guido d’Arezzo in Italy. Foundation President Francesco Lusi, said during the awarding that the foundation "followed attentively and with great pleasure the fruitful activities of the Madrigal Singers and are grateful for all that the Philippine Madrigal Singers have done for the choral world”. He further stressed that "the foundation honored the Madrigal Singers “for the artistic and choral promotion activity that they carried out after they won the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in 2007.”
- Joy: A Choral Celebration of Christmas (1997)
- Bayan Ko, Aawitan Kita (1998)
- Madz in Love (1999)
- Madz Around the World (2000)
- Acclamation (2006)
- Love, Joy and Inspiration (2006) - a special edition compilation containing the CDs Joy, Madz in Love and Acclamation
- Maior Caritas Op. 5 (2008)
- Madz in Love Continues... (2009)
- Founding Choirmaster - Andrea Veneracion (1963–2001, retired, deceased)
- Current Choirmaster - Mark Anthony Carpio (2001–present)
- Madrigal Singers win European Grand Prix for the second time - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos
- List of winners at the 2007 Arezzo competition, including the GPE
- GMA NEWS.TV, UP Madrigals home after choral grand prix win
- Madrigal Singers win European Grand Prix for the second time. The Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 27, 2007.
- The Philippine Madrigal Singers - photo and video site
- The Philippine Madrigal Singers - official website