About the ensemble
Ensemble Pro Victoria were founded in early 2015 at the University of Cambridge for the performance of early music. Largely performing one-to-a-part, the group's main focus is on Iberian polyphony and pre-reformation English music; maintaining the practice of choirbook performance from a replica Eton choirbook lectern using high definition choirbook facsimiles.
Joint-winners of the 2020 London International Early Music Festival Young Ensemble Competition, EPV are building a reputation for visceral historically-informed performances, sung by the best British consort singers under 30.
The group is in partnership with the ARHC-funded Tudor Partbooks research project, led by Professor Magnus Williamson. Current work for the project includes researching the effects of singing in choirbook formation as opposed to modern practice, and road-testing and premiering reconstructions of incomplete works from the pre-reformation period.
As part of this partnership, the group has enjoyed being ensemble-in-residence at the Newcastle Early Music Festival for two years, involving collaborations with Newcastle University’s chamber choir, New Vocal Ensemble and the Choir of Hexham Abbey in 'Early Music, reimagined', 'Continental polychoral music', and 'Music of the Abbey Church', the latter exploring space in liturgical pre-reformation musical practice with the choirbook lectern.
In an effort to emerge from the first 2020 lockdown performing, EPV launched the Arts Council England-aided ‘Live from St. Mary’s, London’, a live-streamed home concert series. The series moves to its 6th concert on January 30th, with EPV's first collaboration with the early (early!) musician, Stef Conner: 'Voice, Choir and Lyre'
Ensemble Pro Victoria are proud to begin recording with Delphian Records from 2021, starting with the a centrepiece recording of Robert Fayrfax for the #Fayrfax500 year.
In 2019 on a chilly January day, EPV recorded a short, live CD of Victoria's motets from the private chapel of Castle Howard, represents their first serious exploration into one-to-a-part singing in a building of similar size to the royal and private chapels in which the repertoire was conceived and performed. Some of these tracks can be listened to and downloaded from our Listen | Watch page.
Since the group’s debut in 2015, they have expanded their forces twice for large-scale performances, including Monteverdi Vespers and Bach Christmas Oratorio 1-3, with guest conductors Adam Hickox and Richard Gowers, and period instrumentalists from the Royal Academy of Music and the RWCMD, led by Professor Margaret Faultless (Cambridge University, RAM, OAE) and Jeremy West (HMSC, RWCMD). Upcoming concerts in 2021 include three such expansions; secular Monteverdi with instruments in Frantry Hall, Carlisle, Bach St John Passion with our ensemble and players in March, and Pärt Passio, welcoming Richard Gowers back as our guest conductor, at his church, St Saviour’s, Pimlico.
The ensemble benefits from a close relationship with artist Gabriella Morris, who has created stunning pieces of art and design since 2015. Each project sees a new commission inspired by the programme and repertoire. Her commissions can be viewed on our previous events page.