Now established for more than 40 years, Vasari Singers performs a wide range of repertoire with passion and sensitivity to exacting standards and considerable press acclaim.
Recent reviews of the choir’s most recent CD, Five Mystical Songs, included “the Vasari Singers offer smooth, full vocal lines and expertly balanced textures” – MusicWeb International, “voices immaculately blended and tuned, with conductor Jeremy Backhouse drawing sophisticated shadings of dynamic from his singers” – BBC Music Magazine and “The choir sounds full, rich and suffused with warmth” – Roxanna Panufnik.
Gramophone’s review of their CD, Heaven Full of Stars, described Vasari as “One of the UK’s best amateur chamber choirs”, whilst Classical Music Sentinel noted “their blend is exceptional and their dynamic control is flawless (the end of Stars for example is spellbinding), thanks to the experienced leadership of Jeremy Backhouse who, since 1980 has been a strong advocate for new choral music.”
Vasari sings regularly at major concert venues and other locations in London and elsewhere, including abroad, having enjoyed tours to Spain, the Baltic states and Italy in recent years. The choir is acclaimed for its versatility, performing choral music from a wide range of styles and eras, from the Renaissance to contemporary.
As well as concerts, taking part in choral evensong is a major feature of Vasari’s schedule. The choir sings regularly in Canterbury Cathedral other main English cathedrals, with recent visits to Lichfield, Southwell, and Coventry.
New music is central to the choir’s activities, and since 2000 has commissioned over 20 works from British composers. In 2005 Vasari celebrated its 25th anniversary with 10 new commissions, a recording of these and other 21st-century anthems and a world première concert at St John’s, Smith Square. In November 2008, the group commissioned and premièred a new a capella Requiem by the British Composer Gabriel Jackson.
Vasari’s extensive discography reflects the choir’s versatility, passion and quality.
The highly acclaimed Cloud of Unknowing was MusicWeb International’s CD of the Year in 2007. The two CDs of works by the French composer Marcel Dupré, both received Gramophone’s ‘Editor’s Choice’. The Howells Requiem and Frank Martin Mass CD was Gramophone Award-nominated, and the 2007 disc Noel Nouvelet was MusicWeb International’s Recording of the Month. A new recording of Maurice Durufle’s Requiem, with soloists Sarah Connolly Christopher Maltman, Robert Cohen, and Jeremy Filsell at the organ, was released on Signum in 2009.