The Choir’s history starts in 1964 when twenty Aberystwyth graduates who had sung together in university met up in Cardiff to form a choir. 55 years later Cardiff Polyphonic Choir now numbers some 65 singers. It has been directed since 2015 by David Young, and has a proud history and a continuing strong reputation.
Over the years the choir has worked with many of the great orchestras – including the Philharmonia, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and the Hallé. It has sung under the baton of conductors like Sir Colin Davis, Richard Hickox, Sir Roger Norrington, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Andrew Davis, Tadaaki Otaka, Paavo Berglund, and Eric Whitacre. And it has performed in all the major London musical venues. The choir performs internationally, with tours to the USA and many European countries. We also we sang the anthems before the France-Ireland match at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium during the 2015 Rugby World Cup!
A look back at the last two years shows the range and variety of music that the choir performs. 2017 included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, performed with Cardiff’s Ardwyn Singers and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Sanderling in London’s Cadogan Hall, and again the following night in Cardiff’s St David’s Hall. We were then thrilled to perform under the baton of Eric Whitacre with Côrdydd and the Ardwyn and with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert in St David’s Hall. Then, in Lichfield Cathedral, we joined Stafford Choral Society to sing Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius under David Young’s direction. October 2017 saw us visiting Lund in Sweden, joining forces with Lund Chamber Choir. The year ended in great style in a packed St David’s Hall with the Choir giving an acclaimed performance of Handel’s Messiah with baroque instrument ensemble Réjouissance and with soloists Sarah Tynan, William Towers, Joshua Ellicott and Matthew Brook, conducted by David Young.
A major highlight of 2018 was a performance last November of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in Llandaff Cathedral. We were accompanied by leading baroque and period instrumentalists including renaissance brass group His Majesty’s Sagbutts & Cornetts. Earlier in the year we performed Sir Karl Jenkins’ mass The Armed Man at the first night of the Welsh Proms in St David’s Hall, again in cooperation with the Ardwyn and Llandaff Choral Society. The previous month we sang the BBC Radio 4 Sunday Worship programme, broadcast live from Cardiff, with an audience of 2 million. Two further concerts in 2018 demonstrate the wide range of the choir’s repertoire. A concert of Lenten Motets featured renaissance polyphony by Byrd, and Thomas Tallis’s Lamentations of Jeremiah, together with J S Bach’s motet Komm, Jesu, Komm. Then, in a totally different musical style, we sang a programme of jazz favourites by 20th century greats like Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington. We rounded off 2018 with a charity concert of Christmas music in St John the Baptist church in the heart of Cardiff.
The choir’s 2019 programme starts in March with the two beautiful Requiem masses by French composers Maurice Duruflé and Gabriel Fauré. The performances are in St Augustine’s church, Penarth, and then in St Katharine Cree church in the City of London, as part of the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London.
More information about the Choir’s history can be found HERE.
As a choir we pride ourselves on maintaining high musical standards, and, as such, entry to the choir is by audition. However, the social side of the choir is equally important and new members will always receive a warm and friendly welcome. If you are interested in trying us out, you’ll find everything you need to know HERE.