The Carice Singers is emerging as one of the most distinctive vocal ensembles in the UK, defined by its unique sound and imaginative choice of repertoire.
Founded in 2011, the ensemble began life focusing on Elgar’s part-songs, naming themselves after the composer’s daughter and only child.
Just as Carice showed a quiet but resolute sense of duty in securing her father's legacy, so is the group committed to promoting curiosity and appreciation for its ever widening repertoire amongst people of all ages.
As a young enthusiast of Elgar's music, George Parris (b. 1993), was awarded the Elgar Society's Certificate of Merit in 2011 for his commitment to the research and performance of Elgar works. He then studied for a BA in Music at the University of Cambridge, followed by an MSt in Musicology at the University of Oxford.
He founded The Carice Singers in 2011, and conducted the ensemble's first concert only a few days after his eighteenth birthday. Since then he has been the choir's Conductor and Artistic Director, making his first recording with them for the Naxos label aged 20.
His recent studies at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, have seen him assist his main teacher, Nils Schweckendiek, in a project with the Croatian Radio and TV Choir, work under such visiting conductors as Sir Roger Norrington, Justin Doyle, and Paul Hillier, and observe professional choirs in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, and Estonia.
Meet the Singers
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Canadian-Finnish composer Matthew Whittall is a hugely exciting addition to the team. Inspired by natural phenomena, poetry, and landscape art, his music combines the Old and New World, Western and non-Western, sacred and secular, classical and folk.
I’m thrilled to begin this relationship with The Carice Singers. Their fresh, pure, youthful sound is hugely inspiring for a composer, and their varied and sensitive programming takes listeners on journeys that forge poetic links across nations and centuries.
The Carice Singers has commissioned a new multi-movement work from Matthew for which he has chosen to set verses from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Songs of Travel. The piece will receive its world premiere at the Cheltenham Music Festival in July 2021.
CARICE ELGAR BLAKE
An unsung hero of British music, Carice Elgar Blake (1890-1970) was responsible for founding the Elgar Birthplace Museum in Lower Broadheath, near Worcester. She curated the first exhibitions of her father's life and music, and made essential documents available to his early biographers.
These may sound like customary actions for the daughter of a world-famous composer, however Carice is striking in her quiet sense of duty and unpretentious facilitating of her father’s legacy, especially as Elgar’s music began to be overlooked in the years following the Second World War.
From a young age, Carice's hard-lined mother instilled on her the importance of not disturbing her father, albeit with Victorian motherly affection. Correspondence between Carice and her father show endless puns, cartoons and references to wildlife. Elgar even dedicated the part-song Owls: An Epitaph to Carice's pet rabbit, Peter.