Canticum is one of the most musically versatile chamber choirs in the country.
Now in its 26th season, it has been praised for accomplished performances of major works
and for exploring contemporary repertoire.
The choir has also commissioned new writing and gives regular first performances.
Last season's highlights included performances of Poulencís Figure Humaine
and a new work by Hywel Davies with Kokoro at the Cheltenham Music Festival,
and Elijah with the London Concert Choir at the Barbican.
This season will see the choir perform a special concert
of the music of Howard Blake at St Paulís, Knightsbridge,
the semi-chorus in Vaughan Williamsís A Sea Symphony at the Barbican,
a programme at Kings Place,
and Christmas carol concerts in Southwark Cathedral
and the Grosvenor Chapel in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care
and the Esther Benjaminís Trust for the children of Nepal.
Canticum has also performed BBC Radio 4ís Christmas Morning Service,
Bachís Mass in B Minor with the Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment at St Johnís, Smith Square
and the premiŤre of Sir Peter Maxwell Daviesís Step by Circle, dedicated to Mark Forkgen and the choir.
By way of contrast, the choir opened the 2008 Chelsea Festival,
providing choral voices for Pink Floydís Atom Heart Mother alongside soloist David Gilmour.
The choir stages regular trips abroad, with Italy a favourite destination.
Canticum has toured with works including Purcellís Dido and Aeneas,
and Handelís Messiah and Israel in Egypt,
a performance which opened the Viterbo Early Music Festival to a packed audience.
The choir toured Bulgaria in May 2013, performing in Sofia and Plovdiv for Bulgarian TV and radio.
Recording, too, has an important place in Canticum's schedule.
The existing catalogue includes A Hymn to the Virgin,
with works by Victoria, Poulenc and Panufnik,
and two Christmas discs: A Christmas Carol and The Christmas Story.
Another disc In the Gloom of Whiteness with Craft Music
features work by Colin Riley, Fraser Trainer and Keith Roberts.
The live recording of Sir Peter Maxwell Daviesís Step by Circle
and Two Latin Motets is available on MaxOpus.
Canticum is a registered charity, number 1014780.
Mark Forkgen has been Music Director of Canticum since 1995. He is also Music Director of London Concert Choir and Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of Kokoro (the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestraís contemporary music group).
He has worked with many leading orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the City of London Sinfonia, the English Chamber Orchestra, the English Northern Philharmonia and the Composers' Ensemble,
appearing at all the major venues including the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican, the Royal Albert Hall and Covent Garden.
A specialist in the field of choral and contemporary music, he has given first performances of over one hundred works, while also acting as Conductor and Artistic Advisor for highly acclaimed festivals
including Sir Peter Maxwell Davies's 70th Birthday, Stravinsky Rite On, A Festival of Britten, Music of the Americas, Britain after Britten and East meets West.
His wide range of conducting also includes performances with Deep Purple leading a project for the Chelsea Festival based on Pink Floydís ďAtom Heart MotherĒ.
He has also conducted a number of productions in the last few years including Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, The Threepenny Opera, Oh What a Lovely War and The Boyfriend.
Markís recordings with Canticum and Kokoro have been highly recommended by BBC Radio 3 and in both musical and national press.
Outside the UK he has given performances of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in Denmark, Handelís Messiah in Siena and Handelís Israel in Egypt at the Viterbo Early Music Festival in Italy,
Schubert and Bach in Hong Kong and Haydnís The Seasons in Assisi.
Mark is a champion of Youth Music. He is currently Director of Music at Tonbridge School, having been the Conductor of the Scottish Schoolsí Orchestra for ten years and Music Director of the Ealing Youth Orchestra and Dorset Youth Orchestra for eight years.