This acclaimed choral group was founded in London 1951 by the viola player, BBC Music Department member and musicologist, Denis Stevens, and the tenor soloist John McCarthy. Originally it was a small choral group who aimed to give authentic renditions of the complex choral music of the Medieval and Renaissance periods and its first professional engagement was on The History of Western Music BBC series.
Denis Stevens left in 1955 to join Cornell University but in 1956 a group of six from the original choir founded the Ambrosian Consort. This group of six evolved over time and now has around 700 professional singers that perform in all kinds of TV and film, concert, opera and recording work.
The Ambrosian Singers are also known as the John McCarthy Singers and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus among other names, and while John McCarthy worked at the London Symphony Orchestra as choral director, the group was known as the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
They have recorded many types of works including Baroque operas, Renaissance, film scores, Christmas albums and collaborations with popular artists including Van Morrison and Neil Diamond. Their film scores include Chariots of Fire, Krull and Brainstorm, as well as excerpt albums of original scores.
New Philharmonia Orchestra recordings
Angels We Have Heard on High (Traditional French/James Chadwick/Edward Barnes)
London 421-095 (CD: Joy of Christmas)
Conductor – Richard Bonynge
Soprano – Joan Sutherland
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra recordings
Christmas Carol, A – Suite (Richard Addinsell)
Telarc 89408 88012 (CD: It’s A Wonderful Life/A Christmas Carol/Miracle on 34th Street )
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor – David Newman
Here they are performing Panis Angelicus by Cesar Franck…