Choir launches own imprint with Signum Classics

Posted on: 22 January 2016

St John’s Cambridge imprint will feature all forthcoming recordings by the Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, as well as young talent from the College and prominent alumni

First release on St John’s Cambridge in May 2016: “Deo” choral and organ works by Jonathan Harvey 

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The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge and its Director of Music Andrew Nethsingha launch St John’s Cambridge, a new record imprint with Signum Classics marking an important milestone in the College’s distinguished musical history. The label will release all forthcoming recordings by the choir as well as young, exciting talent from members of the college and alumni in recital and chamber music recordings.

The new label allows Andrew Nethsingha and the choir to expand their already impressive discography, broadening the range of repertoire across the centuries. For the first release on the label, the choir presents a varied recording of sacred works by Jonathan Harvey – a composer with close associations with St John’s, having studied there and been awarded an Honorary Fellowship - alongside Toccata for organ and tape and the organ solo Laus Deo. The recording also features the popular anthems Come, Holy Ghost, I love the Lord and two works, The Annunciation and The Royal Banners, written especially for the choir. Some of these works receive their first recording.

St John’s Cambridge releases will all follow a striking design, based on a circular image and vertical running text. The new label logo features a stylised image of the famous Bridge of Sighs and the traditional red associated with St John’s College, Cambridge.

The second release, due out in autumn 2016, will feature music for Advent and Christmas, including both traditional and contemporary works, including Michael Finnissy’s John the Baptist, composed for the College Choir and winner of a 2015 British Composer Award.

Building on an already impressive discography with the Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, Andrew Nethsingha will also be offering recordings of world-class artists from the college community on the new label. This broadens the artistic scope and also reflects the wide range of contemporary music making throughout the college. Future St John’s Cambridge releases will include a collection of violin works performed by Julia Hwang – a former category finalist in BBC Young Musician of the Year – who is currently an undergraduate at the college. 

Andrew Nethsingha, Director of Music at St John’s College, said:

“This is an exciting time for both the Choir and the College of St John’s Cambridge. With the creation of the St John’s Cambridge imprint with Signum, we are able to showcase both the repertoire of the choir and also the astounding musical talent of the college, through our commitment to recording young artists such as Julia Hwang. We are thrilled to be releasing around three recordings per year on St John’s Cambridge label, and I’m looking forward to presenting a diverse range of ambitious choral and recital repertoire on the label”

In 2008 the College introduced free weekly webcasts on the sjcchoir.co.uk website offering some of the best sacred music from one of the greatest choral foundations worldwide. SJC Live (a collection of past webcasts) will continue to offer a rich selection of canticles, hymns, anthems, psalms, responses and more from live services.

Iestyn Davies, alumnus of St John’s College and choir, said:

“St John’s College Choir has an unrivalled and prestigious recording history that is finally being brought home with the launch of its own label. In a time when the business of recording and consuming recorded music is rapidly evolving the Choir has, as always, taken the decision to be at the very heart of what it does so well, to communicate with people through music with a passion, commitment and conviction in the St John’s sound that is the choir's own; everything about this new label will encapsulate this inimitable quality.”

For more information please contact George Chambers at Albion Media I George@albion-media.com I 020 3077 4942

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Psalms 110 (Lloyd), 111 (Smart)
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