vocal ensemble

‘EXAUDI, the extraordinary ensemble of vocal virtuosi’ Sunday Times

Since its debut in 2002, EXAUDI has emerged as one of Britain’s leading young contemporary music ensembles. With a repertoire that encompasses Ockeghem and Ferneyhough, Tallis and Xenakis, EXAUDI has performed to great acclaim throughout the UK and in Europe, and established a ground-breaking and much-praised discography on the British label NMC. This is the ensemble’s first disc for Metier.

Founded by James Weeks (director) and Juliet Fraser (soprano), EXAUDI is based in London and draws its singers from among the UK’s brightest new vocal talents. The ensemble typically works as a consort rather than a choir – usually one voice to a part, ranging from three to eighteen voices – and draws inspiration for its sound from that of early music ensembles, a strong but focused tone that is ideal for the performance of harmonically intricate contemporary music. Many EXAUDI programmes combine the new with the old, and the ensemble is equally in demand for its performances of music of the High Renaissance and early Baroque.

The newest new music is at the heart of EXAUDI’s repertoire, and it has given UK and world premières of Sciarrino, Rihm, Finnissy, Skempton, Richard Ayres, Christopher Fox and James Saunders among many others. Through its new commissioning scheme, EXAUDI is particularly committed to the younger generation of composers currently in their twenties and early thirties, and is proud to champion the work of major emerging voices including Evan Johnson, Amber Priestley, Stephen Chase, John Habron, Chung Shih Hoh, James Weeks and Claudia Molitor.

Collaboration with other leading soloists and ensembles is an increasing feature of EXAUDI’s schedule, including recent appearances with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (Stravinsky Threni ), ASKO Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, Ensemble InterContemporain, Apartment House, Anton Lukoszevieze, Rohan de Saram, Irvine Arditti and Fretwork.

EXAUDI has appeared at many leading UK venues and festivals, including Aldeburgh, Spitalfields, Soundwaves Brighton, City of London, Vale of Glamorgan, FuseLeeds and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals, Dartington International Summer School, King’s Place and London’s South Bank ( Fresh series) and National Portrait Gallery. Recently the ensemble has developed particularly strong links with Aldeburgh Music, resulting in a number of concert appearances, broadcasts and residencies since 2006. EXAUDI broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3, and has released critically acclaimed recordings of Michael Finnissy, Elisabeth Lutyens, Howard Skempton and Christopher Fox on NMC. EXAUDI is in increasing demand throughout Europe: recent engagements include IRCAM (Paris), Festival d’Automne (Paris), Bucharest, CDMC Madrid, Mito Settembre (Milan/Turin), MAfestival (Bruges) and ConTmpo (Girona). The group has twice been shortlisted in the Ensemble category of the RPS Awards, Britain’s leading awards for live classical performance, in 2006 and 2007.

EXAUDI acknowledges support from the PRS Foundation.