7.30pm, Saturday 18 May
Pre-concert talk by Jonathan Dove at 7pm
St Pancras Parish Church, NW1 2BA
The Epiphoni Consort
Tim Reader Director
Benjamin Frost Organ and Piano
This year’s gala concert celebrates Jonathan Dove’s 60th birthday with a programme of recent choral works, many of which are yet to be recorded.
The programme takes its title from Dove’s motet Vast Ocean of Light, a rich and resplendent work that features his signature glistening organ writing. Also featured are several of Dove’s secular works: a setting of Thomas Hardy’s The Darkling Thrush, two delightful sonnets by William Shakespeare and Samuel Daniel, and The Passing of the Year, a large-scale song cycle for double choir and piano in seven movements of seasonally themed texts by poets including William Blake, Alfred Tennyson, and Emily Dickinson.
The Epiphoni Consort
The Epiphoni Consort was founded in 2014 by Tim Reader to fill a gap between the amateur and professional tiers of London’s choral circuit. Its membership is made up of singers who perform to a professional standard but have other fulltime careers. The group has won awards in Tenebrae’s prestigious Locus Iste Competition and in the London A Cappella Choir Competition, and has appeared on television on the BBC 4 documentary The Joy of Rachmaninov and the BBC 2 documentary Terry Pratchett: Back In Black, singing Tallis’s forty-part motet Spem in alium.
The choir’s debut CD, Sudden Light, was released on Delphian Records in 2017 to critical acclaim from Gramophone, Choir and Organ Magazine, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Music Magazine. Recent performances have included Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Singet dem Herrn with City of London Sinfonia, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Southbank Sinfonia, and a concert performance of Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloé with Kensington Symphony Orchestra.
Tim Reader is The Epiphoni Consort’s Artistic Director. Tim studied singing, accompanying and conducting at the University of Exeter. He juggles dual careers: one in digital consultancy for charities, heritage and arts organisations, and the other as a singer and choral director in London and the surrounding areas.
Tim has conducted The Epiphoni Consort in performances at Westminster Abbey, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St Paul’s Cathedral, St John’s Smith Square, and for the BBC. He has deputised for the professional choirs of St John’s Wood Church and St Paul’s Knightsbridge, along with numerous choral societies in the region.
He is a member of the Sunday morning choir, comprising eight professional singers, at St John’s Wood Church.
Benjamin Frost studied music at Exeter University, graduating with Distinction in performance. He was Organ Scholar at Exeter Cathedral and became an associate of the Royal College of Organists. After University he studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where his tutors included Gordon Back and Graham Johnson, and he trained as a repetiteur at the National Opera Studio. He has worked with the BBC, Lesley Garrett, Nelly Miricioiu, Marianne Cornetti, Sally Matthews, English National Opera and The Opera Group on several productions including Die Fledermaus, Carmen, Madame Butterfly, Cosi fan tutte, The Magic Flute, La Boheme, La Cenerentola, and Eugene Onegin.
In 2015 he accompanied Rebecca Front on Radio 4 for With Great Pleasure. In 2017 he was appointed Chorus Accompanist of the London Symphony Chorus. He worked with The BBC Singers on Moth Requiem by Birtwhistle, and worked on the premiere of Belongings with Glyndebourne Youth Opera. Other recent keyboard performances include the UK premiere of Simon Johnson’s Gloria with the Waverley Singers, Stravinsky’s Les Noces at Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of a quartet of pianists, and Carmina Burana with The London Symphony Chorus at the Barbican.