Harry Christophers


Essential Albums

  • Handel: Messiah, HWV 56

About Harry Christophers

Few have done more to raise the standards and scope of chamber choir singing than Harry Christophers, whose ideal choral sound combines purity and warmth, light and shade, power and precision. Born in 1953, he was initiated into the English choral tradition as a boy treble at Canterbury Cathedral and deepened his experience with the choir of Magdalen College Oxford. Christophers began his career as a tenor at Westminster Abbey and with the BBC Singers. Shortly before graduating from Oxford in 1977, he was invited to organise a concert with former Magdalen choristers, who each received £5 and a pint of beer for their labour. They formed the nucleus of The Sixteen, who made their debut in May 1979, and won a devoted following with historically informed recordings of music including the 15th-century Eton Choirbook, Handel oratorios and works by Monteverdi, Purcell and J.S. Bach. Under Christophers’ enterprising direction, The Sixteen has launched its own record label and commissioned new works from James MacMillan, Roxanna Panufnik, Will Todd and many others. He brought his potent brand of choral singing to the United States, following his appointment in 2009 as artistic director of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society.

Goudhurst, Kent, England
26 December 1953

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