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A magnificent choir, an ensemble of 8 of Scotland’s finest cellists, and 1 of the world’s great bassists. Deploying the large spaces of The Bowhouse to full effect, these musicians weave a thread of atmospheric, moving music, culminating in Allegri’s Miserere. The Tallis Scholars made their name with it over 40 years ago and it remains their signature piece. More recently they have released an acclaimed CD of Arvo Pärt, and it is to him that the lion’s share of this evening belongs. Drawing on his orthodox choral traditions, his music is bell-like in its purity and power – a joy to the ear and spirit.
Renaud Garcia-Fons was born in 1962 near Paris to Catalan parents, and was introduced to music at age 5, taking up piano and classical guitar. As a young man, he studied double bass at Paris Conservatory of Music. He became the private student of François Rabbath, and as a member of “le Big Band Roger Guerin” he performed side-by-side with some of the most renowned of jazz drummers, including Kenny Clarke and Sam Woodyard.
Once he was awarded his Professorship at age 21 he started working independently, allowing his adventurous spirit to liberate him from the technical limitations of his instrument in favour of greater freedom to improvise, and to explore music at the crossroads of jazz, traditional, and contemporary music.
10 years into this journey, he decided to add a 5th string to his bass, enabling possibilities well beyond the idea of the double bass as an accompanying instrument. Combining this innovation with his exceptional technique, he reached an unprecedented level of performance, and the art of improvisation became a central element in his artistic vision.
He has collaborated with artists from all over the world and continues to record and tour prolifically. A fruitful relationship with Matthias Winckelmann, producer and founder of the German label Enja Records, has resulted in ten albums.
The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through their recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which The Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned.
The Tallis Scholars perform in both sacred and secular venues, usually giving around 70 concerts each year across the globe. In 2013, the group celebrated their 40th anniversary with a World Tour performing 99 events in 80 venues in 16 countries and travelling sufficient air-miles to circumnavigate the globe 4 times. On 21st September 2015, the group gave their 2,000th concert at St John’s Smith Square in London.
Highlights in the 2017/18 season include performances at: White Light Festival at the Lincoln Centre in New York; Amsterdam Musikgebouw; Klara Festival Brussels; Brugge Concertgebouw, as well as touring around USA, Europe and the UK.