Literally meaning "rooster song" or "cock crow," Gallicantus was a name used in monastic
antiquity for the office held just before dawn, which celebrated the renewal of life and
offered a sense of gratitude and optimism for the coming day. The members of the group
share a wealth of experience in consort singing, and come together with a belief in the
rhetorical power of great Renaissance music. Under the direction of Gabriel Crouch,
Gallicantus creates performances and recordings that explore narratives and draw out
unifying themes within a seemingly diverse repertoire.
Gallicantus has performed in significant venues and festivals throughout the United
Kingdom, such as Wigmore Hall, Spitalfields Music, and York Early Music Christmas Festival.
The ensemble has also toured to cities across Europe, including Essen and Regensburg
(Germany), Wrocław (Poland), Cremona (Italy), and Antwerp (Belgium). In 2015, Gallicantus
made a second visit to Princeton University, in addition to London's Temple Winter
Festival, Chapel Royal, and Palace of Westminster. Upcoming performances include
appearances in the US, the UK, Germany, and Austria.
Gallicantus regularly releases benchmark programs on CDs for the Signum label; these
albums form the basis of their concert programs. With Hymns, Psalms, and
Lamentations dedicated to the music of Robert White, critics acclaimed an "impressive
debut" of "impassioned, exciting music." Their second recording, Dialogues of Sorrow:
Passions on the Death of Prince Henry (1612), was described as "one of the best choral
releases of the year," possessing "singing of clarity, suppleness, and poignancy."
The Word Unspoken--released in 2012, featuring music by William Byrd and Philippe
de Monte--was equally well received, being named Editor's Choice by Gramophone.
The group's fourth CD--the remarkable Lagrime di San Pietro by Lassus--has
cemented Gallicantus as one of Europe's foremost early music ensembles, earning a second
consecutive Editor's Choice selection from Gramophone, as well as a nomination for
a coveted Gramophone Award in 2014. Its latest CD, Queen Mary's Big
Belly, released this month, presents a musical narrative for the emotionally charged
story of Mary Tudor's pursuit of a Catholic heir for England and her tragic phantom
pregnancy of 1554-1555.
Gabriel Crouch has been the music director of Gallicantus since 2008. He
is also director of choral activities and senior lecturer in music at Princeton University.
He began his musical career as an eight-year-old in the choir of Westminster Abbey, where
he performed a solo at the wedding of HRH Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson. After
completing a choral scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was offered a place in
the renowned a cappella group The King's Singers in 1996. Throughout the following eight
years, he made a dozen recordings on the BMG label (receiving a Grammy nomination), and
gave more than 900 performances in almost every major concert venue in the world. Special
collaborative projects had him working and performing with some of the world's most
respected artists, including percussionist Evelyn Glennie, pianists Emanuel Ax and George
Shearing, singer Barbara Hendricks, and Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys. When the academic
calendar allows, Mr. Crouch maintains parallel careers in singing and record production,
crossing the Atlantic frequently to appear with such ensembles as Tenebrae and The Gabrieli
Choir, and in the US, performing recitals of lute song with such acclaimed lutenists as
Daniel Swenberg and Nigel North. His work as a singer, coach, and musical director earned
him a place on the London Times' list of "Great British Hopes."