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Annual family photograph

Every year since we moved into 22 Gibson Square in August 1994 we have had a photograph taken inĀ August to mark the passing of the years. This is the latest in the series – the 16th. From left to right you see: Caroline Trevor, Edmund Phillips, Peter Phillips, Harriet Pilcher and Lucy Pilcher.

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A bass in Venice

On Sunday February 8th I was able to make my debut as a bass in the choir of St Mark’s, Venice, despite the unusually high water surrounding and entering the building. I am seen here rushing to my first (and last) rehearsal. Alongside me as a fellow initiate on the bass part was Michael Emery, senior producer of the BBC Singers. In fact, because the water kept some of the regular members at home, two-thirds of this bass line was made up of Brits, who were said (by themselves) to have acquitted themselves with distinction. The Maestro di Cappella (and successor to Monteverdi), Marco Gemmani, made no comment. The music on this occasion was entirely by Monteverdi, and was sung from the left-hand of the two cori spezzati choir-lofts over the altar.

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Tessa Bonner

Tessa Bonner

Tessa Bonner

I wrote the following for The Times in recognition of the sad death of a distinguished and long-term colleague:

Tessa Bonner: versatile soprano and soloist

Tessa Bonner was one of the seminal sopranos of the early music movement. With her distinctively bright tone, described by one critic as sounding like a waterfall, she helped to shape what the concert-going public came to expect from non-operatic solo sopranos, at a time when the style was still being formed.

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On Merton

Flickr user flissphil)

Merton College (photo: Flickr user 'flissphil')

For me personally the teaching and masterclassing side of what I (really) do is significantly increasing. In October 08 the choir at Merton College Oxford began to sing services. There has been quite a bit of media interest in this, but I would ask that this choir is not judged on the first year of its existence, let alone the first month. It will take three years to go through the normal cycle of undergraduate coming and going even to establish a base for what may follow – and in reality it will be years more to establish a proper tradition. Still, it is an exciting prospect!

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The 2008/9 season

The 2008/9 season has some big-time anniversaries on display, as well as some new opportunities for us. Purcell was born in 1659 and Handel died in 1759. Vaughan Williams died in 1958. More relevant to renaissance polyphonists perhaps, Jacob Obrecht may have been born in 1458. One notices that none of these anniversaries is a straight hundred; but then many promoters make no distinction between fifties and hundreds anyway. The upshot for the Tallis Scholars has been the invitation to perform in the Promenade Concerts for a second year running: and this time without the paraphernalia of 40 (or 60) voices with instruments, and guest conductors. No, this time it is four-part music: a four-voice mass by Obrecht (‘Malheur me bat’) and a four-voice mass by Josquin (‘Malheur me bat’). We shall even perform the three-voice chanson ‘Malheur me bat’, maybe by Ockeghem, with newly composed words since the original survives only with a title.

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Welcome

Peter, bottle in hand, aboard his boat the Creole in Seattle

Peter, bottle in hand, aboard his boat the Creole in Seattle

This is the place to find information about Peter Phillips’ future projects, concerts, recordings and writings. You will find here my calendar for 2009 (and a small amount of 2010), a description of the organisations I will work for with contact details where relevant, and some publicity material and photographs which may be downloaded.

While I undertake to keep this site as up-to-date as possible, I cannot guarantee that it is completely current. I will always be pleased to hear from anyone who is interested in what they see here. Since this website is intended only to be a basic information service, it may be necessary to find out further details (like box-office or contact phone numbers) via other websites. Your next port of call might well be one of the links on the right of the page, depending on the topic.

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