Coro Cervantes is the U.K.´s only choir dedicated to the classical music of the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America. It was founded in 1995 by Carlos Fernández Aransay, under the auspices of the Instituto Cervantes in London. Its repertoire spans a wide variety of music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance to the 20th Century, with a special emphasis on Romantic Music. Coro Cervantes often performs with distinguished soloists and instrumentalists and contributes to the international propagation of Hispanic choral music through its performances, recordings and research. Its repertoire includes works sung in Latin, Spanish (Castilian), Quechua (language of the Incas), Nahuatl (language of the Aztecs), Mediaeval Galician, Catalan, Basque and even in English.
Since its presentation concert at the Spanish Embassy in 1996, Coro Cervantes has performed at numerous venues in London – St. James’s Spanish Place, Spanish College, Instituto Cervantes, St. Paul’s Knightsbridge, Shakespeare’s Globe Education Centre, St. James’s Piccadilly, St. John’s Smith Square, St. Etheldreda’s, Bolivar Hall, Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall – and in other British cities – Oxford, Manchester, Leeds, Winchester, Ilkley, Peterborough, etc. Coro Cervantes has also performed abroad, touring in Mexico (Cervantino International Festival Guanajuato), Spain and Russia. They have recorded programmes broadcast by Spanish and Russian National Radios, BBC Radio 3 and the Latin Program of the BBC World Service. Their programmes often focus on historical figures such as writers (Cervantes and García Lorca), kings and queens (Philip II, Charles V, Katherine of Aragon), saints (St James), etc. Because of this, Coro Cervantes has been invited to perform by prestigious institutions such as the National Gallery, the universities of Oxford and Leeds, Shakespeare´s Globe Theatre, the García Lorca Foundation, the State Society for the commemoration of Charles V and Philip II’s centenaries, the Instituto Cervantes, the Foreign Office, the Galician Government, the British Historical Association, the Iberian and Latin American Music Society and the embassies of Spain, Argentina, Venezuela and Mexico in Great Britain. Coro Cervantes has also performed in benefit concerts (for the Save the Children Foundation in Mexico, and in aid of the victims of Hurricane Mitch).
Their recordings have been received with much acclaim both by audiences and critics. Their first CD, O Crux (2000), which includes 12 first world recordings of Spanish Romantic repertoire, was chosen by the critics of Gramophone Magazine as one of the Discs of the Year. Their next disc, Oratio (2002), again with 10 premiere recordings of 20th century repertoire, was awarded 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine. One of Spain’s most respected composers, Antón García Abril, invited Coro Cervantes in 2004 to record his choral output. In this CD they performed with the London Symphony Orchestra Strings and soloists María Orán (soprano) and Asier Polo (cello). In 2005 at the Hackney Empire in London, Coro Cervantes took part in the world premiere of “The Skies are weeping”, a new cantata by Philip Munger, in memory of Rachel Corrie, and in 2006 Coro Cervantes performed with pianist Douglas Riva the British premiere of Enrique Granados’ Song of the Stars at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Sopranos Altos Tenors Basses
Debra Skeen Mary Banks
Nuria Luterbacher Jorge Carrasco
Alan Widdowson Elias Benito