TOVBio

About Theatre of Voices

Widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost vocal groups, Theatre of Voices was founded by Paul Hillier in 1990. The group presents a wide range of contemporary music, often juxtaposed with elements of early music. Their programs feature many of today’s most eminent composers - Berio, Pärt, Reich, Cage, Gudmundsen-Holmgreen, Stockhausen - while among their current favourite ‘early’ composers are Perotin, Dowland, and Buxtehude. Amongst the group’s early successes were the presentation of several new works by Arvo Pärt and the premiere of Steve Reich’s Proverb – written for them – which they recorded for Nonesuch with a quartet of musicians from the composer’s own ensemble. The group then collaborated with the theatre director Peter Sellars in a staged production of Stravinsky’s Biblical Pieces at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam. They also performed with John Adams: Grand Pianola Music in Los Angeles, conducted by the composer, and the world-premiere in Paris of his Christmas oratorio El Niño, followed by a DVD recording and performances worldwide.

Theatre of Voices now regularly appears at international venues such as the Edinburgh Festival, Barbican Centre and Carnegie Hall. In 2007 they premiered David Lang’s The Little Match Girl Passion at Carnegie Hall. This piece was commissioned for TOV and won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize; their CD of the work then received a Grammy Award in 2010 – on the group’s 20th anniversary. In 2008 the group opened the Berliner Festspiele with Stockhausen’s Stimmung - at the composer’s own request – also performing it at the BBC Proms and at venues across Europe and from Mexico to Australia. 

The past few years have included tours to Australia, Sweden, UK, Mexico, Denmark, the US, Italy, France, Poland, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Luxemburg and Holland. Presently, the group is preparing projects with composers Jóhann Jóhannsson (film project), David Lang, Bent Sørensen, Sunleif Rasmussen and Bryce Dessner (of The National). The group’s most recent CDs are Stockhausen’s Stimmung (the Copenhagen version), David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion, Stories (Berio, Cage, Berberian), ‘The Christmas Story’, and Creator Spiritus (Arvo Pärt) - all on Harmonia Mundi USA. On Dacapo-Records TOV has released Buxtehude’s Scandinavian Cantatas – the first in a series of five CDs.