The Sixteen, directed by Harry Christophers, will be setting out on The Choral Pilgrimage in February, a tour that takes in cathedrals and churches throughout England, Wales and Scotland. The programme features three leading Tudor composers, William Byrd, Thomas Tallis and John Sheppard. As Christophers says in his introduction to the Pilgrimage "All three composers lived through decades of religious turmoil in sixteenth-century England and expressed in different ways their devotion to the Catholic faith."
Byrd is represented by Haec dies, Infelix ego and Laudibus in sanctis; Tallis by Iam Christus astra ascenderat, Jesu Salvator saeculi, Verbum Patris and Miserere nostri and Sheppard by Media vita in morte sumus and Sacris solemniis iuncta sint gaudia. All these pieces are included on a new CD, "Ceremony and Devotion", from The Sixteen's own label Coro, to be released on February 1.
The Sixteen was named Artist of the Year at the 2009 Classic FM Gramophone Awards, the result of a public vote and huge support from music-lovers all over the world.
Venues and dates for The Choral Pilgrimage are University Great Hall, Leeds (February 13), Guildford Cathedral (February 19), University Church, Oxford (March 12), St John's College Chapel, Cambridge (March 13), The Maltings, Snape (April 2), St Albans Cathedral (April 10), Church of St James the Greater, Leicester (April 15), Winchester Cathedral (April 17), Old Royal Naval Chapel, Greenwich (May 13), Croydon Parish Church (May 14), St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury (June 3), Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral (June 4), Blackburn Cathedral (June 5), Norwoch Cathedral (June 12), City Church, Milton Keynes (July 2), York Minster (July 16), Southwell Minster (September 3), Peterborough Cathedral (September 4), Collegiate & Parish Church of St Mary, Swansea (September 16), Wells Cathedral (September 17), Tewkesbury Abbey (September 18), Durham Cathedral (October 15), Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh (October 16) and Tonbridge School Chapel (October 30).
There are also choral workshops connected with six of the concerts, school matinées and an insight day during the York Early Music Festival (July 17). More details on The Sixteen's website.