Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer — Oct 28, 11
A music teacher once told Timothy Brown that he should give up singing. He eventually would, but not before absorbing enough experience and information to guide choruses to the heights.
The British conductor, who led the admired Choir of Clare College at Cambridge University for 31 years, is about to aim in the same direction with Quire Cleveland, the professional choral ensemble with which he makes his local debut this weekend.
Brown will lead “Musick’s Praier: The Glories of English Choral Music,” which promises to stretch Quire Cleveland beyond its normal purview – the Medieval through Baroque eras. This weekend’s repertoire spans the 16th through 20th centuries.
“This is music that means a lot to me,” said Brown, 64, in an interview the other day. “You don’t hear it in concert very much.”
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Daniel Hathaway, clevelandclassical.com — Oct 25, 11
Timothy Brown spent thirty-one years as music director of Clare College at Cambridge University and conductor of its well-known, mixed-voice chapel choir before deciding to retire early just a year ago to devote himself to other projects including guest conducting. That’s what brings him to Cleveland this week. Brown will lead Quire Cleveland in two performances and an open rehearsal of a program of English church music — something he knows quite a lot about, having been a boy chorister at Westminster Abbey and a choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge under Sir David Willcocks before settling in for his long tenure at Clare. We had a wide-ranging conversation over coffee with Tim Brown and Beverly Simmons, one of Quire’s founders and its executive director — and mother of David Simmons-Dufﬁn, whose experiences in the Clare College Choir directly led to Brown’s invitation to come to Cleveland.
Brown’s choice of repertory for his appearance with Quire Cleveland comes directly out of his day-to-day duties as an Anglican chapel choirmaster and his work with a choir whose job it is to sing the daily services of Matins and Evensong and the Eucharist. That represents a 500-year tradition from the pre-Reformation days of Latin church music through today, and in the case of Quire, who have championed early music, represents a plunge “out of its more accustomed comfort zone” into music of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
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Donald Rosenberg, Cleveland Plain Dealer — Apr 14, 11
The sound of voices wafting radiantly through space must be one of the closest equivalents we have to that elusive realm known as Paradise. Quire Cleveland’s concert Wednesday at St. John’s Cathedral in downtown Cleveland proved just such an experience.
To hear this professional choir singing Renaissance and Baroque music in which it specializes was to know something on the order of bliss. The ensemble’s program, “Lobet den Herrn: German Music for Quire,” was packed with sacred works by some of the greats of the 15th through 18th centuries, including composers that deserve more than footnotes in music history.
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Mike Telin, ClevelandClassical.com — Apr 6, 11
On Wednesday April 13, Quire Cleveland will present “Lobet den Herrn: German Music for Quire” as part of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist’s Helen D. Schubert Concert Series. We spoke to guest conductor Scott Metcalfe, who will be making his debut with Quire at this concert, by telephone.
Mike Telin: Many people in Cleveland know you as a violinist, especially through your performances with Les Délices, but you also have an impressive resumé as a conductor.
Scott Metcalfe: I actually do about half and half in fact. Although conducting came to me much later, because I started playing the violin in third or fourth grade. I certainly wasn’t conducting then. I did a tiny bit toward the end of high school, and then some in college, but I really got started in my later twenties. I had a group for a number of years here in Boston called the Cambridge Bach Ensemble, and that was my first venture into working with professional singers. I also conducted an amateur Renaissance Choir for about a dozen years, and that was actually my entre into Renaissance vocal music, which is what I spend so much of my time on now. That led to Blue Heron, the professional vocal ensemble that I run now.
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