Approaching its 10th anniversary year, Alamire boasts some of the finest consort singers in the world under the charismatic directorship of David Skinner. Inspired by the great choral works of the medieval and early modern periods, the ensemble expands or contracts according to repertoire and often combines with instrumentalists, creating imaginative programmes to illustrate musical or historical themes. The ensemble was formed in 2005 by three friends and early music experts: David Skinner, Rob Macdonald and Steven Harrold.
Performing throughout Europe and the USA, the consort records exclusively for Obsidian Records for whom they have won a number of awards. In March 2011 they received critical acclaim (Gramophone Record of the Month) for their ground-breaking CD of the complete motets of the Cantiones Sacrae (1575) of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd. This was the first in the exciting project entitled Library of English Church Music - a series of 30 recordings exploring the highlights of the repertoire. The latest release in the series is Deo Gracias Anglia, a complete recording of the early 15th-century Trinity Carol Roll, which was also featured on the Early Music Show (BBC Radio 3). New for 2014-15 is ‘The Spy’s Choirbook’, the first ever recording of one of the most beautiful and historically important choir books in the British Library (Royal 8.g.vii) which was a gift to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon in 1516, and contains the finest French and Franco-Flemish repertory of the time. It was compiled and delivered to by the scribe Petrus Alamire (from whom Alamire takes it name), who was a spy for Henry VIII against Richard de la Pole, pretender to the English throne. The CD won the prestigious Gramophone Award for Early Music in 2015. Their recent CD, the Anne Boleyn Songbook (Royal College of Music, MS 1070), released in September 2015 has already met with great critical acclaim. The next project is centred around exciting new discoveries about Thomas Tallis and his music; 'Songs of Reformation' will appear later in 2016.
Recent collaborations with Andrew Lawrence-King, English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble and highly acclaimed projects including soundtracks for TV and film, sound installations for art galleries, festival appearances and radio broadcasts have been extremely well received. Alamire appeared in David Starkey’s TV series “Music and Monarchy”, broadcast on BBC 2; David Skinner also acted as a music adviser for the series. The 2013-14 season included performances at the Rheinvokal festival in Germany and the York Early Music Christmas Festival, as well as headline performances at the American Choral Directors’ Association 2014 conference in Santa Barbara. The consort is also exploring collaborations with contemporary composers.