Convivium Singers, Malcolm Archer & Alexander Norman


Biographie Convivium Singers, Malcolm Archer & Alexander Norman


Hugh Benham
is a graduate of the University of Southampton (BA, PhD). He is a writer of academic and educational books and articles. These are chiefly on Tudor church music, as well as subjects relating to A-level Music, including harmony and counterpoint.

He is director of music at St Boniface CofE Church in Chandler’s Ford, Hampshire. In addition, he is Chairman of the Academic Board of The Guild of Church Musicians and a member of Council. He has also served as Chair of the Winchester Area of the RSCM.

Alexander Norman
is Director of Music at Holy Trinity Church, Coventry. He holds a Master of Music degree from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, where he studied Choral Conducting with Paul Spicer. Before this, Alex was an undergraduate student and organ scholar at Royal Holloway College. He accompanied the Chapel Choir for weekly services and Broadcasts on BBC Radio 2 and 3 (Choral Evensong). Alex also accompanied recording of music by Rihards Dubra on the Hyperion label.

He has played the organ for the choir in many prestigious cathedrals and churches. These include Evensongs at St. Paul’s Cathedral (London), St. George’s Chapel (Windsor), Washington National Cathedral and St. John the Divine Cathedral (New York). In addition, Alex has given organ recitals at Birmingham and Coventry Cathedrals as well as in local churches. He studied the organ with Rupert Gough and Alistair Reid.

During his time as Artistic Director of Convivium Singers, Alex was producer on a number of recordings for Convivium Records. These include albums of choral music by Malcolm Archer and Margaret Rizza. Alex also conducted on a CD of music by the late Renaissance composer Peter Philips.

He directed the ensemble at the Tolosa International Choral Contest and at festivals in Italy, Sardinia and the Czech Republic. He subsequently returned to Tolosa in October 2018 to conduct Convivium Singers at the 50th Anniversary of the Choral Contest.

Alexander Norman founded the Charpentier Ensemble in 2015 to explore vocal music of the Baroque Era. This involves some of the rising stars of the early music scene.

Convivium Singers
is an award-winning, critically acclaimed choral ensemble. They provide opportunities for young singers at the early stages of performing careers. In addition, talented musicians who have chosen not to pursue careers in music form part of the ensemble. Above all, the ensemble specialises in performing and recording sacred and secular music by living European and American composers. BBC Radio 3’s ‘CD Review’ recently described them as ‘an extraordinarily good choir to listen to’.

Convivium Singers have released a number of recordings in recent years. For instance, they collaborated with companies including the Baltic Exchange (London), and publishers including the Royal School of Church Music. Composer discs include works by Jonathan Dove, Margaret Rizza, Malcolm Archer, Carson Cooman, Hugh Benham and Michael Higgins. They have also delved into early music, and their CD of motets by Peter Philips (Convivium Records) received a Choir & Organ five-star review. In 2014 the choir was filmed at Portsmouth Cathedral for the BBC’s DDay70 Songs of Praise Special.

The Singers often work with established conductors and composers to introduce contemporary music to wider audiences. They were prize-winners at the Tolosa International Choral Contest (2011, Spain). In addition, they performed at Milan’s La Fabbrica del Canto festival and the Czech choral festival Sborové slavnosti.

Convivium Singers have a diverse repertoire from traditional choral music to folk-songs, partsongs and popular arrangements.

Malcolm Archer
has had a distinguished career in church music. He held the post of Organist and Director of Music at Bristol, Wells and St Paul’s Cathedral. He was subsequently Director of Chapel Music at Winchester College for eleven years.

Malcolm studied as an RCO scholar at the Royal College of Music and was Organ Scholar at Jesus College Cambridge. His organ teachers were Ralph Downes, Gillian Weir and Nicolas Kynaston.

As an organist and harpsichordist he is in frequent demand. He has given solo concerts all over the world, including the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. His performances with orchestra have included Poulenc’s Organ Concerto and Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 and the Bach keyboard concertos. Malcolm has also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra in a classic rock concert in the Royal Albert Hall. Moreover, he has an extensive concert repertoire and has recorded a wide variety of works including J.S. Bach organ works and Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneuras.

Over the years, his BBC Radio 3 broadcasts and commercial recordings have won many plaudits. For instance, his Christmas recording with St Paul’s Cathedral Choir was editor’s choice in The Daily Telegraph. He has recorded with labels such as Warner Classics, Hyperion and Convivium. BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM frequently play his recordings, including his album of Mozart’s Requiem with Winchester College Chapel Choir and the London Mozart Players. He has worked with some of the world’s finest singers including Dame Emma Kirkby, James Bowman CBE, Sarah Fox and John Mark Ainsley.

Malcolm has worked extensively for the BBC, including directing choirs for TV and Radio broadcasts. Similarly, he has been an adjudicator for BBC competitions including the Young Choristers of the Year. In addition, he was a co-adjudicator with Katherine Jenkins and Pete Waterman on the Songs of Praise School Choirs’ competition. He has also been a judge for the liturgical section of the British Composer Awards.

Malcolm Archer’s choral works are performed in many countries. They are respected for their approachable singability, interesting harmonic character and understanding of the singing voice.



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