Cappella Nova

Cappella Nova

Cappella Nova
Vocal Ensemble

This outstanding Scottish choral group is famous for premiering works by leading contemporary composers, such as John Tavener and James MacMillan, and performing Scotland's unique treasury of early vocal music.


    Founded in 1982 by Alan and Rebecca Tavener, Cappella Nova is Scotland’s only professional vocal ensemble specializing in early and contemporary music. Called by The Times 'Scotland’s outstanding professional choir', the group had a number of early successes including the world-premiere professional recordings of the complete works of the sixteenth-century Scottish polyphonist Robert Carver. The ensemble is also 'famous for its performances of contemporary music' (The Guardian): it has commissioned and premiered more than 90 new works since 1986. They include Sir John Tavener's oratorio Resurrection (1990; broadcast on BBC Radio 3) and Sir James MacMillan's cantata for Holy Week Seven Last Words from the Cross (1994), which was the subject of seven short films for BBC2 TV. Since then the group’s projects have ranged from recording the award-winning soundtrack by William Sweeney for the Tartan Shorts film an iobairst (1996) to providing ensemble vocals for the album Hate by the Delgados (2003). Cappella Nova and Canty have between them made 19 recordings: these include ten of medieval and Renaissance music for the Sanctuary Classics label Gaudeamus, all of world premieres in modern times; and three critically acclaimed albums of the sacred choral music of Sir James MacMillan for Linn.

    Besides appearances at numerous British festivals, Cappella Nova has made several visits to France and Germany and toured Belgium, Hungary, Ireland, Russia and the USA. Among the group’s accolades are several Enterprise Awards from the Performing Right Society and a Glenfiddich ‘Living Scotland’ Award for its ground-breaking performances of Scottish early music.

    The group has shared platforms with a wide range of artists, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Concerto Caledonia, St Petersburg Baroque Brass, Scottish Brass Ensemble, Scottish Ensemble, Theatre Cryptic, Kim Edgar, Tom Fleming, Dame Evelyn Glennie, John Sessions, Sister Sledge and Sheena Wellington. Forthcoming collaborations include a jazz Christmas Mass with Kurt Elling, Tommy Smith and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.