Now in its 27th season, Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble is one of New York’s most highly regarded volunteer choral ensembles. A chamber group of 24 to 28 mixed voices, Cerddorion is known for its eclectic repertoire, encompassing music from the Renaissance to the contemporary. Audiences have come to appreciate the group’s interpretive depth and technical excellence in many styles.
Cerddorion has also frequently commissioned new works by such composers as Lisa Bielawa, Sidney Boquiren, Robert Dennis, Julie Dolphin, David Lang, Elliot Z. Levine, Paul Moravec, David Schober, David Stern, and Martha Sullivan.
In 2011, Cerddorion launched its annual Emerging Composers Competition, designed to foster the creation and performance of new works for mixed chorus. The competition has led to world premieres by more than a dozen rising composers.
Besides presenting its own varied programs, Cerddorion is frequently invited to perform with other acclaimed artists in unique venues around New York City. Recent appearances include an invited performance at the November 2016 New York State American Choral Directors Association Conference in Garden City, NY; a featured performance on the cable television series American Music In February 2016; and a collaborative concert with Sweden’s highly acclaimed professional choir Voces Nordicae in June of 2015, entitled Our Swedish Muse. In 2013, Cerddorion was invited to present a lecture recital to the Silchester International Investors Client Conference at Manhattan’s Pierre Hotel. The program, presenting masterworks spanning five centuries from Tallis to Cage and centering around themes of time, innovation and homage, received rave reviews from the audience of investors and business leaders.
In 2011, the men of Cerddorion sang with esteemed French organist Francis Chapelet in the second inaugural recital of the Manton Memorial Organ at the Church of the Ascension in New York. The group were invited back to collaborate on M. Chapelet’s farewell recital in the spring of 2014.
Other collaborations have included the North American premiere of Sir John Tavener’s all-night vigil, The Veil of the Temple, performed at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall (with Dessoff Choral Consortium and choristers from London’s Temple Church); several appearances with the Christopher Caines Dance Company; Baroque opera performances with the early music instrumental ensemble Concert Royal; and serving as the resident teaching ensemble for the Dennis Keene Choral Festival in Kent, Connecticut.
In 2006, Cerddorion performed at the Eastern Divisional Convention of the American Choral Directors Association the works they had commissioned from three New York composers for their tenth anniversary season. September 2007 marked the release on the Tzadik label of A Handful of World, Cerddorion’s first commercial recording. The CD is dedicated to vocal works by New York composer Lisa Bielawa and includes Cerddorion’s performance of Bielawa’s Lamentations for a City, which was commissioned and first performed by Cerddorion in 2004.
Cerddorion was founded in 1995 with the aim of becoming New York’s finest amateur ensemble. It was directed until 1999 by Susanne Peck, and from 2000-2010 by Kristina Boerger. In 2010, Cerddorion welcomed James John as the group’s third Artistic Director. Cerddorion has been Artist-in-Residence at the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, since 2008.