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.
The Carice Singers work regularly with living composers, including:
The Carice Singers co-commissioned "Songs of Travel", a new multi-movement work, for its tenth anniversary in 2021. Since then, the work has been performed three times in the UK, once in Finland, and will be repeated at this year's Three Choirs Festival.
Described as ‘Classical Star of the Future’ by BBC Introducing, Electra Perivolaris (b. 1996) is a composer and pianist from Scotland. Over the course of the next few years, she will be writing a choral song-cycle for The Carice Singers to the texts of Hebridean writer Donald S. Murray and influenced by the landscapes and traditions of her home in the Western Isles.
The first in the cycle, called ‘If this Island…’, will be premiered at this year’s Three Choirs Festival.
Galina Grigorjeva writes her luminous music as a strong declaration of peace and faith. Born in Simferopol, Crimea, in 1962, she has spent most of her career in Estonia where she was awarded The Order of the White Star in 2014.
We will give the UK Premiere of her powerful Vespers in Oxford this November, and plan to commission a new piece from her in the near future.
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.
I'm so grateful to be able to develop my love of choral composition with this wonderful vocal ensemble who share my fascination in the connections between music and natural landscapes.
The Carice Singers are proud to have given the following world premieres:
Lillie Harris - The dusk of thee
Matthew Whittall - Songs of Travel
Aileen Sweeney - Canntaireachd
Electra Perivolaris - If this island... (original version)
Will Harmer - Loneliness
Claire Victoria Roberts - Interlude 3
James Batty - Waneth the watch, the weaker ones dwell
Michele Deiana - A new center
Derek Smith - Requiem
Ina Boyle - Caedmon's Hymn
Bo Holten - The Delian Madrigal
Thomas Hyde - From Silence (40-part work)
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.