With a progressive approach and a reputation forged under Professor William Brooks for performing lesser-known repertoire, the choir is now conducted by Robert Hollingworth, founder/director of I Fagiolini, one of the UK’s top professional vocal groups.
In 2013-14 The 24 sings at the music department’s Gesualdo conference (in the composer’s 400th anniversary year) and in the spring will trip its way through a mixture of English 16th, 17th , 19th and 20th century music. Plans for a trip to Hong Kong (with the choir’s director emeritus, Prof. William Brooks), are also underway, alongside a fourth tour of China under eminent conductor Zhu Bu Xi. The summer term will see a focus on France, with ravishing and rarely-performed music by Poulenc, Daniel-Lesur and Jean Francaix – and also a minimalist take on Machaut.
In recent years, as well as performing many works written specifically for them by up-and-coming student composers, the group has worked closely with Estonian composer, Veljo Tormis, culminating in a concert of his music given on Estonian independence day, with the composer in attendance. The 24 have also performed at King's College Cambridge and the Music at Paxton festival in Scotland, as well as taking a leading role in the Music Department’s international John Cage centenary festival, Getting Nowhere in November 2012.
In June 2013, the group took part in choral collaboration with singers from the University of Niš, Serbia with performances in Niš as part of international celebrations for the 1700th anniversary of the unification of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine. July 2013 saw a full exchange with the German ensemble EXtraCHORd. It also recently made the world premiere recording of Gesualdo’s earliest motet which you can hear here.
The 24 concerts
The 24 recently completed their fourth tour of China – find out all about it here.