“one senses . . . the evident enjoyment they derive from singing together. It brings a kind of twinkle to the performance that it is hard to find in the proliferation of groups of this type that would fare more honestly under the title ‘rent-a-choir’ than ‘ensemble’ . . . barely contained excitement behind the singing . . . the group’s phrasing, melodic sense and harmonic direction all indicate not only how much this music is in the blood of these singers.” —Gramophone
“Refreshingly different . . . An intimacy born of long acquaintance with one another’s voices, and countless man-hours spent singing together, informs these Queen’s Six performances.” —BBC Music Magazine (cover story)
“I can’t recall hearing up to six male voices more perfectly blended than The Queen’s Six . . . Their intonation is immaculate, adjusting intervals within the shifting harmonies to create a warm and focused sound. Their programme is inspired, too . . . a fascinating mix.”
“Rightly celebrated for the supple blend and balance of their voices, The Queen’s Six here extend the bounds of their repertoire from the sacred to the secular . . . the album is packed with little moments of delight . . . The six voices, always impressive together, also prove adept at keeping each part clearly enunciated. A collection of mini-masterpieces.” —classicalear.co.uk
Countertenor: Daniel Brittain, Tim Carleston
Tenor: Nick Madden, Dominic Bland
Baritone/Bass: Andrew Thompson, Simon Whiteley
THE QUEEN'S SIX were established in 2008, the 450th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, from whom they take their name. Elizabeth I was a great patroness of the arts, and often engaged the services of musicians to write and perform for her at court. The notable “six” from this era were Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Thomas Tomkins, Thomas Morley, Orlando Gibbons, and Thomas Weelkes.
Based at Windsor Castle, all the members of the 21st century 'Queen's Six' are also Lay Clerks of St George's Chapel, whose homes lie within the Castle walls. The Chapel Choir performs some eight services a week, as well as at private and state occasions, often before the Royal Family. This rare privilege demands the highest musical standards. Most significantly however, it is the familiarity of living and singing together every day in the Royal Chapel that lends this group its distinctive closeness and blend, as well as an irresistible informality and charm.
Now Dan, Tim, Nick, Dom, Andrew and Simon have come together to bring their unique style of entertainment to a much wider audience. Their repertoire extends far beyond the reach of the choir stalls, from austere early chant, florid Renaissance polyphony, lewd madrigals, and haunting folk songs to upbeat jazz and pop arrangements.
The Queen’s Six have performed to critical acclaim at music festivals and series in the UK, Germany, Austria and Spain. Individually, members of Q6 regularly appear in the most prestigious vocal ensembles on the national and international circuit, including the Tallis Scholars, Tenebrae, Polyphony, the BBC Singers, the Cardinall’s Musick, Collegium Vocale Gent, the Gabrieli Consort, EXAUDI, the King’s Consort, and the Sixteen.
As the group’s reputation continues to grow, they are being presented with ever more exciting performance opportunities. In spring 2015, they released “Music of the Realm,” their first album with the award-winning Resonus Classics label. The follow-up album, “Her Heavenly Harmony,” featuring secular music of the same period, was released in spring 2016, and an album of folk songs was released in 2017. A high point of their 10th anniversary season will be a premiere two-week tour of the USA in April 2018.