KHORIKOS is one of New York City's most distinguished vocal ensembles. We present unique programming that puts invigorating interpretations of early vocal music in conversation with works by today’s most dynamic composers. We seek to weave together musical languages and themes that span centuries, and to deliver an unprecedented level of artistry and expressive focus.
KHORIKOS offers a fresh take on an age-old art form.
WHO WE ARE
"...shot full with emotion and brave stabs of color."
Kile Smith, Grammy-Nominated Composer
"I got goosebumps, and I don't think I was the only one. It was very magical, powerful."
Gisele Regatao, TheGreeneSpace WNYC/WQXR/NationalPublicRadio
"It's an absolutely beautiful, angelic sound"
Monica Ellis - Bassoonist, The Imani Winds
"Other-worldy, spiritual. Very beautiful and very delicate"
Panelist @TheGreeneSpace WNYC/WQXR/NationalPublicRadio
The Washington Post
"...truly a cut above in a performance that was stunning from start to finish."
Jeffrey Williams for New York Concert Review
"What ecstatic excellence poured out of this small group, which stood in a humble semicircle of two rows, in front of the risers. They sang selections from six centuries of a cappella music, in six different languages, with such purity and passion. I can’t recall the last time I attended a vocal event this good—and I’ve been swimming in a spring season full of choral concerts, all of which have had their “moments.”"
Frank Daykin, for New York Concert Review
Since its inception in 2005, KHORIKOS has quickly gained a reputation for excellent programming and stunning performances, and is now regularly invited to perform world premieres and at prestigious venues in NYC and worldwide. In 2008, the ensemble toured the Czech Republic as a part of the Svatováclavský hudební festival, and on September 23rd, 2009, KHORIKOS performed the NYC premiere of Eric Whitacre's Nox Aurumque. In the Spring of 2010, KHORIKOS released its first professionally-produced CD: a live concert recording called "Modern Masters," which was nominated for Best Classical A Cappella Album for the 2011 CASA Music Awards. During the Summer of 2011, KHORIKOS performed at the Kennedy Center, Avery Fisher Hall and the Wang Theater in Boston as a part of the "Songs of Life Festival" and the World Premiere of A Melancholy Beauty. Collaborators included The National Philharmonic, The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, The Indianapolis Children Choir and the Philip Kutev National Folklore Ensemble, Bulgaria. On April 22nd, 2012 KHORIKOS appeared on a joint program at Avery Fisher Hall in "Over the Stone" with Bryn Terfel, and on April 23rd and 25th, 2012, KHORIKOS performed the acclaimed Yunus Emre oratorio by Ahmed Adnan Saygun under the direction of Turkish conductor Rengim Gökmen with the TURKSOY Symphony Orchestra, at Avery Fisher Hall and the Music Center at Strathmore. In the summer of 2012, KHORIKOS was selected to compete in WQXR/WNYC the Jerome L. Greene Space's "Battle of the Boroughs," and was voted to represent the Borough of Manhattan in competition against rock, funk and indie bands. In the Fall of 2012, KHORIKOS premiered Cantos de Vida Nueva by Chilean composer Javier Farias at the Instituto Cervantes and performed with Mason Jar Music at the Rockwood Music Hall. The remainder of the 2012-2013 season included a world premiere of Robert Carl's The Geography of Loss at Merkin Concert Hall, and the world premiere of Jan Jirasek's King Lavra at the Czech Center Bohemian National Hall and at Roulette.
Since 2016, KHORIKOS has been led by Principal Conductor Alec Galambos. Mr. Galambos took the charge of KHORIKOS's artistic endeavors by jumping in midway through the 2015-2016 season, rapidly developing a vision for a new recurring concert series. “SAROS Cycles" epitomizes the core mission of KHORIKOS by revealing expressive connections between music new and old. In March 2016, “SAROS Cycles: Life, Death, Love” continued in KHORIKOS' tradition of showcasing conducting talent from within the ensemble, as part of Mr. Galambos’s effort to develop musical leadership among singer-members and a shared accountability to artistic quality. Building on the momentum of this first concert, Mr. Galambos made his conducting debut at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in a guest appearance in "Living Colors: The Music of Ivo Antognini" on March 22, 2016. The SAROS Cycles series continues to showcase diverse and unique programming, blend musical traditions from across centuries, languages, and themes, and highlight KHORIKOS’s signature artistic rigor and commitment to emotional and engaging performances.
KHORIKOS kicked off the 2016-2017 season with a collaboration with Chicago's Marion Consort, a small vocal ensemble specializing in Early music, in a series of performances titled "Antiphony," highlighting the call-and-response dynamic featured in double-choir music and in artistic collaborations more generally. This collaboration entailed three performances featuring both ensembles: one in New York on September 17, 2016; one in Chicago on October 15, 2016; and one in Milwaukee on October 16, 2016. Next, KHORIKOS engaged Piffaro, the Renaissance Band, for a performance of Philadelphia-based composer Kile Smith's Vespers at The Church of St. Luke in the Fields in New York City on November 19, 2016. KHORIKOS has had a collaborative relationship with Smith since performing his Where Flames a Word in 2014 and Chambered Nautilus in 2015, which was a winner of the 2015 ORTUS International New Music Competition.
KHORIKOS reiterated the “SAROS Cycles” series with "Lamentations and Light" on March 25th, 2017, at The Shrine Church of St. Anthony of Padua in New York City. This performance featured works from Tallis to Tavener, including the stunning and rarely performed Bendita Sabedoria by Heitor Villa-Lobos. Rounding out the 2016-2017 season, KHORIKOS traveled to Boston to participate in the Boston Early Music Festival's fringe concert series. In a performance entitled "Musica Reservata: 500 Years of Chamber Singing" at The First Lutheran Church of Boston on June 17, 2017, KHORIKOS showcased a variety of dramatic settings of the Lamentations of Jeremiah. KHORIKOS performed the same program the next day at St. Paul's Church in Wallingford, Connecticut—a community church for several of KHORIKOS's singers—and featured a guest performance by New Haven's Saecula Singers, under the direction of Tom Brand.
KHORIKOS began the 2017-2018 season by affirming its commitment to cultivating new music with the third ORTUS International New Music Competition. Inaugurated in 2014 by Founding Director Jesse Peckham, the ORTUS International New Music Competition solicits music for a cappella choir from composers all over the world, aiming to revive works that may have already enjoyed a premiere but are still new to audiences. For the project's third iteration, KHORIKOS presented works by ten living composers, culminating in an unforgettable performance on September 23, 2017. On December 9th and 10th, KHORIKOS performed "Caritas," featuring repertoire from the ensemble's 2015 album of the same name, including such holiday classics as Coventry Carol and In the Bleak Midwinter alongside unique contributions to a new wintry canon in Graham Lack's Four Lullabies and arrangements of German folk songs by Vytautas Miškinis.
The 2017-2018 season featured "SAROS Cycles: A Journey of Days in One Night,” highlighting Joby Talbot’s León and two brand-new scores: Mr. Galambos’s arrangement of composer Sarah Kirkland Snider’s The Song for a cappella choir, and a fresh transcription of Vultum tuum deprecabuntur, a rare motet cycle from Franco-Flemish Renaissance giant Josquin des Prez. Defined by themes of desperation and hope, the set also included music by Francis Poulenc, Guillaume de Machaut, and Bohuslav Martinů, among others. Summer 2018 saw KHORIKOS’s debut at National Sawdust, performing world premieres from Daniel Zlatkin and Gala Flagello to critical acclaim. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, the group collaborated with Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning engineer Dan Dzula to record "Joy and Grief and Rest," KHORIKOS’s first album since 2015, as well as Josquin’s "Vultum tuum deprecabuntur."
The 2018-2019 season saw KHORIKOS embarking on its first ever micro-commissioning project, enlisting four of the group’s seasoned composer-collaborators and virtuoso violinist Leonard Fu for "Four Winds: New Music and Silence," a reflection on spoken and unspoken communication. The commissioning and workshopping process culminated in world premieres from Graham Lack, Kala Pierson, Evelin Seppar, and Kile Smith. During that cycle, KHORIKOS debuted Vespers 360, a pioneering 360-degree video project featuring ambisonic spatial audio produced by Dan Dzula, in which listeners on Facebook, Youtube, or in a VR headset can immerse themselves in the center of a blended choral sound, as KHORIKOS sings the expansive 16-voice movement of Kile Smith’s groundbreaking Vespers. In spring 2019, "SAROS Cycles: Our Nature” highlighted the complicated role of natural imagery in music by juxtaposing Osvaldo Golijov’s double-choir Coral del Arrecife with works by Josquin, Alonso Lobo, Maurice Bourbon, James MacMillan, transcriptions of Ravel, and the world premiere of KHORIKOS singer-member Benjamin Martinson’s Gerard Manley Hopkins Looks at the Sky.
Opening the 2019-2020 season, KHORIKOS released three albums of recorded music, celebrating the past five years of the group's repertoire: "Joy and Grief and Rest," Josquin’s "Vultum tuum deprecabuntur," and a digital collection of bonus material from KHORIKOS’s live discography entitled "Joy and Grief and Rest and Home." From the latter collection, the group's recording of Thomas Tallis's "Sancte Deus" was featured by Spotify's editorial staff in their Classical New Releases playlist, reaching hundreds of thousands of listeners. KHORIKOS celebrated the release with a live performance of Joy and Grief and Rest at the Dimenna Center for Classical Music in New York City.
In summer 2019, KHORIKOS toured to Serbia and Montenegro with the generous support of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade. They performed in the 54th Days of Mokranjac Festival, and won the competition portion with an adventurous repertoire of new music and a fresh interpretation of the works of the beloved Serbian national composer Stevan Mokranjac. They performed in art spaces, galleries, and churches across the country, and in the 5th International Choir Festival in beautiful Herceg Novi, Montenegro, enjoying acclaim in national TV and print media.
During the same season, KHORIKOS was featured on BBC Radio by host Dean Craven, in an airing of the ensemble's 2017 performance of composer Katie Bamford's Ecstacy. KHORIKOS received generous support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
In the remaining 2019-2020 season, KHORIKOS continued to explore the timeless tradition of contrapuntal writing with the world premiere of Andrew Smith’s O Antiphons, performed at venues across Manhattan.
Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we've had to pause the remainder of our concert season. We eagerly await safer conditions for singing together and performing live. In the meantime, we've released Tavener 360, our second foray into spatial audio, and an effort to bring the immersive experience of live performance to audiences at home.
We're looking forward to a brighter public health outlook in 2021, so that we can resume preparing to present our 4th ORTUS International New Music Competition, introducing New York City to another group of inspiring choral composers from around the world.