Siglo de Oro (choir)

St Mary the Virgin, Twickenham Riverside, TW1 3NJ

Photograph by Kaupo Kikkas

The W T Bryant Concert

Palestrina: A Life in Music

Late Renaissance and contemporary choral works celebrating the 500th anniversary of Palestrina’s birth.

Siglo de Oro is one of the leading vocal ensembles of its generation, praised for its golden tone, fresh interpretations, and innovative programming. The group made its professional debut in 2014 at the Spitalfields Festival, of which the Financial Times said: ‘Siglo de Oro, under the assured direction of Patrick Allies, performed with vivacity and poise’. Since then, the group has given concerts across the UK, appeared live on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune, and taken up invitations to sing at festivals in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland and Malta.

The ensemble is best known for its work in early music, with a repertoire stretching from Hildegard of Bingen to Dieterich Buxtehude. In particular, Siglo de Oro specialises in bringing to life repertoire that has been neglected for centuries. This has led to projects based around music by composers such as Matthias Werrecore, Sulpitia Cesis, and Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, bringing their long-forgotten music to new audiences in concerts, videos and recordings.

Siglo de Oro is also dedicated to performing contemporary music. Past projects have included the premiere of Emily Hall’s hotel-based opera, Found and Lost, a performance of Stockhausen’s Stimmung at Birmingham University, and a collaboration with the charity Multitude of Voyces, whose mission is to promote the work of underrepresented composers. So far, the group has recorded eight works from Multitude of Voyces’ volumes of sacred music by women, including new works by Emily Hazrati, Yshani Perinpanayagam and Alison Willis.

Siglo de Oro has made four critically acclaimed recordings with Delphian Records, ranging from music written for Milan Cathedral in around 1500, to new commissions written for the group.

Amongst these was the world premiere recording of a mass by Hieronymus Praetorius, released in 2018, was BBC Music Magazine’s Choral and Song Album of the Month. The disc was placed on the longlist for the 2019 BBC Music Magazine Awards. Siglo de Oro’s most recent recording, The Mysterious Motet Book of 1539, reached number 9 in the UK specialist classical chart, and was one of Music Web International’s Recordings of the Year for 2022.