•  Music 2014
 UK
  Cantabile – The London Quartet
SACRED AND SECULAR
Members: Michael Steffan, Steven Brooks, Richard Bryan, Mark Fleming
The London Quartet – still known to many as Cantabile – have long been recognised to be one of Britain’s great vocal groups. Founded in Cambridge as a purely a cappella student ensemble, they first came to prominence in the Tim Rice / Stephen Oliver musical Blondel in London’s West End. Since then, they have pursued a policy of constant and dynamic renewal, pushing back musical frontiers, exploring ever-new territories and attracting a substantial following right across the musical spectrum, both in Europe and further afield.
Over the past year the group’s schedule has been characteristically full and varied: they performed frequently in Germany and Belgium as well as giving concerts in France and Luxembourg, and also in Italy, where they created a new programme with the Orchestra Camerata Ducale in Vercelli featuring a number of settings of William Shakespeare. They sang aboard the MV Balmoral on a voyage which took them up the Suez Canal to Alexandria and on to Gibraltar. They prepared a new programme at London’s Royal Albert Hall and, amongst no fewer than eighteen concerts in December alone, appeared with the Chicoutimi Symphony Orchestra in Canada and in their own annual winter show in Vienna. 2014 has seen their first visit to Minsk, Belarus, and a programme to launch in Germany the celebrations to mark the tercentenary of the Personal Union between Britain and the House of Hannover. Highlights later in 2014 include a major tour of Canada.
“Sacred and Secular” is a wonderfully varied programme featuring some of the finest vocal music from Renaissance and Baroque composers including Byrd and Bach, all the way to jazz and pop songs by Ellington, Gershwin and Paul McCartney.

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