The Tallis Scholars
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The Tallis Scholars are a British vocal ensemble normally consisting of two singers per part, with a core group of ten singers.
Formed in 1973 by their director Peter Phillips, they specialise in performing a cappella sacred vocal music. From the start Phillips aimed to produce a distinctive sound, influenced by choirs he admired such as the Clerkes of Oxenford. Since winning a Gramophone Award in 1987, they have been recognised as one of the world's leading ensembles in Renaissance music.
They tour widely, including to America at least twice a year and Japan at least once every two years. They have paved the way for many younger groups such as The Sixteen, The Cardinall's Musick, The Clerks, The Binchois Consort, Trinity Baroque, the Gabrieli Consort, and Octarium.
Various members of the group have scholarly interests in addition to their activities as professional musicians. Phillips has published a scholarly text (English Sacred Music 1549–1649, London: Gimell Records, 1991). Sally Dunkley, Francis Steele, and Deborah Roberts are all active as music editors and publishers with interests spanning the Renaissance and early Baroque. Andrew Gant is also organist at the Chapel Royal.
In 2000 the group established the Tallis Scholars Summer Schools, a program providing amateur singers and promising young professionals the opportunity to be coached by Phillips and other members of the ensemble in their specialist repertoire. The program now includes three courses which take place in Oakham in the United Kingdom, Seattle in the United States, and Sydney in Australia.
Since 1980 the Tallis Scholars have recorded on their own label, Gimell Records, named after the composional technique gymel. Recordings cover a repertoire from over 150 years of music history (approximately the years 1450–1600). Notable releases include their Gramophone Award winning disc of Josquin.