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44 commissions to date

ORA Singers continues the centuries-long living tradition of choral singing in Britain. The group is recognised for its modern approach and is one of the world’s foremost commissioners of contemporary choral music, which it performs alongside Renaissance masterpieces in its celebrated concerts and recordings.

The group has a primary aim of 100 new commissions by 100 contemporary composers within 10 years, seeking out the world's most talented composers to write 21st Century 'Reflections' on early masterpieces.

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6 album releases and 2 Awards

Since its description as "a musical comet", ORA Singers has continued to blaze a trail as one of the UK's leading vocal ensembles. Directed by Suzi Digby OBE, the group has been named Ensemble of the Year at the 2018 Opus Klassik awards, and has received critical acclaim both for its "unfailingly elegant" performances and its "superb and exciting" recordings. One of its first ever commissions received a British Composer Award in the Choral Category, and the group’s 6 album releases have made them one of the most popular artists on the harmonia mundi label.

We want to promote the composers we commission as far as possible and one of the best ways to do that is by making exceptional recordings of their works. As well as being made up of some of the finest ensemble singers we know, ORA Singers also works with the UK"s finest producers, sound engineers and recording venues. Composers often visit us during our recording process to give feedback to our singers and Director, ensuring that their vision is realised.

 

 
“Truly, this is choral music’s new Golden Age…”
— Claudia Pritchard, Independent on Sunday, February 2016, *****
 

 
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A world-class touring ensemble

ORA Singers performs spell-binding ‘concert experiences’ across the UK and internationally. Recent concert performances have included a sold-out performance at Tage Alter Musik Festival, Regensburg, to an audience of over 1000, and two performances at the 2019 Cheltenham Music Festival.

ORA creates bespoke and unique concert performances, tailored specifically to its chosen concert spaces. Musical programmes are choreographed with singer movement, lighting and specifically commissioned ‘design elements’. These have included works by Linbury Prize Winner Eleanor Bull, world-class theatre designer Nicky Shaw, and creator of the iconic ORA ‘light-boxes’, Anna Bonomelli.

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Educational innovators

In partnership with Signatur

ORA Singers recently launched a mentoring initiative for Young Composers, beginning with the 2019 Young Composer Competition. This programme selected 10 students from non-fee paying schools to receive compositional mentoring and to write a new composition for the ORA Singers, which was performed at King’s College London in July 2019 and judged by Stephen Fry, John Rutter CBE, Katie Tearle MBE and Susanna Eastburn MBE. This scheme also involved a compositional workshop in May 2019, led by Rory Johnston and a quartet of ORA’s prized singers. Young composers had their chance to hear their pieces trialed in a public workshop.

As part of this mentoring initiative, the vocal ensemble also created a new digital website designed to lead an aspiring choral composer through the full compositional process. Composer Create launched in December 2018 and includes video testimonies from many of ORA’s esteemed commissioned composers, as well as industry experts.

 

 
“Nothing else I’ve done this year -including school!- has taught me, inspired me and moulded me as much as this competition. It was a real honour to have been a part of Ora for this time and work alongside such amazing, talented people.
— Emily Pedersen, ORA Singers 2019 Youth Composer Competition
 

 
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Stephen Fry

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Suzi Digby

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Team

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Board

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Singers