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Biography
Called “the world’s reigning male chorus,” by the New Yorker magazine, and named 2008 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America, Chanticleer will perform more than 100 concerts in 2008-09, the GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble’s 31st Season. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for their “tonal luxuriance and crisply etched clarity,” Chanticleer will tour to 27 states across the United States this season, including appearances at Walt Disney Concert Hall under the auspices of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Chicago, for the Chicago Symphony. In July 2008, the ensemble performed at prestigious festivals in France, Germany, Poland and Latvia, and will make its debut in the People’s Republic of China in May, 2009. Highlights of fall 2008 are the release of The Mission Road a CD and DVD set featuring music from California’s vibrant mission period, and Chanticleer’s induction into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in Cincinnati.

Chanticleer - based in San Francisco - has developed a remarkable reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music. With its seamless blend of twelve male voices, ranging from countertenor to bass, the ensemble has earned international renown as “an orchestra of voices.”

Chanticleer’s 28-concert Bay Area Season opened in September with Wondrous Free – an appreciation of the 250th anniversary of the first American song. The program includes the premiere of David Conte’s The Homecoming about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and the premiere of Eric Whitacre’s choral arrangement of his “Sleep My Child.” A series of traditionally sold out Christmas concerts follows in December. New compositions commissioned from three prodigious young composers – Mason Bates, Shawn Crouch and Tarik O’Regan – will be premiered in March throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The Bay Area season will be completed by an all-Orlando di Lasso concert.

Since 1994, Chanticleer’s recordings have been made available worldwide by Warner Classics. Most recently Let it Snow, a new collection of Christmas music, was on the BillBoard charts for twelve weeks. Colors of Love won the GRAMMY® Award in 2000 for Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without Conductor) and the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for Best Classical Album. The world-premiere recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises was released in January 2002 to critical acclaim and garnered two GRAMMY® awards for Classical Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without Conductor) and for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.

With the help of individual contributions and foundation and corporate support, the group brings the gift of singing to young people by conducting an extensive education program including in-school clinics and workshops, Chanticleer Youth Choral Festivals™ in the Bay Area and around the country, master classes for university students nationwide, and the Chanticleer in Sonoma summer workshop for adult choral singers. 2008 saw the release of The Singing Life- a documentary about Chanticleer’s 2007 Youth Choral Festival™.

Chanticleer’s long-standing commitment to commissioning and performing new works was recognized in 2008 by the inaugural Dale Warland Commissioning Award and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming for the 2006-07 Season in which the group premiered ten new works. Among the seventy composers commissioned in the group’s history - past commissions include works by Mark Adamo, Régis Campo, Chen Yi, David Conte, Douglas J. Cuomo, Brent Michael Davids, Anthony Davis, Guido López-Gavilán, William Hawley, Jake Heggie, Jackson Hill, Kamran Ince, Jeeyoung Kim, Tania León, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, Michael McGlynn, John Musto, Shulamit Ran, Bernard Rands, Steven Sametz, Carlos Sanchez-Guttierez, Paul Schoenfield, Steven Stucky, John Tavener, Augusta Read Thomas and Janike Vandervelde.

Named for the “clear-singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer was founded in 1978 by tenor Louis Botto, who sang with the group until 1989 and served as Artistic Director until his death in 1997. In 1999, Christine Bullin joined Chanticleer as President & General Director. Artistic Advisor Joseph Jennings joined the ensemble as a countertenor in 1983, and shortly thereafter assumed the title of Music Director which he held until 2008. A prolific composer and arranger, Mr. Jennings has provided the group with some of its most popular repertoire, most notably spirituals, gospel music, and jazz standards. In 2008, tenor Matthew Oltman was named Music Director.

Chanticleer is the recipient of major grants from The Alexander Gerbode Foundation, The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, The Walter and Elise Haas Fund, The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Meet the Composer, the E. Nakamichi Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Wells Fargo Bank, Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Chanticleer’s activities as a not-for-profit corporation are supported by its administrative staff and Board of Trustees.
This biography was most recently edited by...
holdik12 - 27 Dec 2019
Ioannes - 29 May 2010
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