The Marian Consort is a vocal ensemble that presents bold and thrilling performances across the UK, Europe and North America. Led by founder and director, Rory McCleery, the group is composed of the very best singers in a flexible, intimate ensemble, allowing clarity of texture and subtlety of interpretation that illuminates the music for performer and audience alike. TMC features regularly on BBC Radio 3, and has released eleven recordings to critical acclaim, praised for ‘precision and pellucid textures’ (The Times).
The Marian Consort performs music from the fifteenth century to the present day, with a focus on bringing to light and championing lesser-known works by composers such as Vicente Lusitano, Raffaella Aleotti, and Jean Maillard. New music is of vital importance to TMC, and in recent years it has commissioned Dani Howard, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Gabriel Jackson, Donna McKevitt, and Ben Rowarth. TMC regularly collaborates with ensembles, including the Carducci Quartet, Berkeley Ensemble, and Illryia Consort.
The Marian Consort is a pioneer of projects which move beyond the confines of the traditional concert, most notably ‘Breaking the Rules’, a staged concert-drama based on the life and crimes of Carlo Gesualdo called ‘daring and vivid’ by The Guardian. Other highlights include performances in the Bascule Chamber underneath London’s Tower Bridge; the premiere of Dani Howard’s ‘Unbound’ at Three Choirs Festival; and a Wigmore Hall recital presented in partnership with BBC Radio 3. The Marian Consort will make its debut tour of Japan in 2023.
Rory McCleery is the founder and Artistic Director of The Marian Consort and has conducted the ensemble in concert across the UK, Europe and North America. Under his direction, The Marian Consort has recorded extensively and become renowned internationally for its compelling interpretations of a wide range of repertoire, particularly the music of the Renaissance and early Baroque, and works by contemporary British composers, and in 2017 was nominated for a Gramophone Award.
Rory began his musical training as a chorister at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh, subsequently reading music at St Peter’s College, Oxford where he was both Organ and Domus Academic scholar before completing an MSt in Musicology with Distinction at The Queen’s College, Oxford.
He is much in demand as a guest conductor, choral consultant and workshop leader, and has led workshop sessions, study days and singing courses across the UK, Germany, Spain and the USA, working with choirs of all ages and sizes in repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day. A vocal advocate for the music of the Renaissance to all audiences, Rory has written articles for both specialist academic publications and broadsheet newspapers, and appears regularly on BBC Radio 3.
Rory is also active as a countertenor, performing at venues including the NOSPR in Katowice, Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, the Concertgebouw Bruges, and the Royal Chapel of the Palace of Versailles. He has appeared as a soloist for broadcasts on ARTE, Radio France, BBC Radio 3 and German, Italian and Polish national radio, and in concert and recording with The Monteverdi Choir, La Nuova Musica, The Dunedin Consort, The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and The Berkeley Ensemble among others. Rory has a particular affinity for new music: he features on The Night With’s recent award-winning album release, and will shortly premiere a major new work from Graham Fitkin for countertenor soloist, orchestra and chorus.
Rory is a passionate believer in the importance of music education and singing for young people and is co-founder with his wife, harpist Rachel Wick, of Dunster Festival in West Somerset.
James oversees the running of TMC, including planning, fundraising, and communications. He is also active as a programmer, producer and consultant. Prior to entering the arts industry, James took degrees in music and history at Oxford University, and was an organ and academic scholar at Keble College. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
After graduating from the University of Cambridge with a degree in literature, Ed had a short stint in publishing. He has since built a career in the creative industries in the UK and Australia, working with some of the world’s leading orchestras, choirs and vocal ensembles, and opera, ballet and contemporary dance companies. He is a former trustee of The Rodolfus Foundation and a volunteer for SurvivorsUK. A recording of a setting of Psalm 118 by the sixteenth-century composer Robert White was the tipping point for his ambition to become involved with The Marian Consort.
Harry leads the fundraising, marketing and communications team at Wilton's Music Hall. Prior to Wilton's, Harry studied Music at Cambridge, before working at English National Opera in their fundraising department. He also sits on the board of COMMON, an organisation which supports working-class theatre makers in the UK. Harry has written for the Huffington Post, the Independent and The Stage on arts education and culture policy.
bio coming soon
After an initial career as a corporate lawyer, Morgan worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company. He has subsequently worked in a number of senior management roles, first at PRS for Music and more recently at Linklaters LLP where he currently the Global Business Manager for Capital Markets. A keen singer himself, having sung in the Choir of Clare College Cambridge as a student, he has sought to continue his passion for the arts by serving as a trustee for several groups as well as singing with The Epiphoni Consort when time allows.
"Singing one person to a part, the Marian Consort give sublimely refined, spacious and impeccably tuned performances."
"The performances are models of discretion and musical taste, every texture clear, every phrase beautifully shaped."
"'performances are always vibrant and perfectly tuned’"
"There is an alluring, sometimes intoxicating equilibrium about this disc, regulated by the pure-toned intimacy and blend of Rory McCleery’s fine ensemble."
"The singers perform with a yearning intensity which is just exquisite."
"Exemplary one-to-a-part performances ... the singing is as impassioned as it is effortlessly elegant."
"This is no-nonsense musicianship, but for all that thoroughly musical ... The unfussy performance helps the music enormously."
"The Marian Consort’s performances deliver full value in terms of expressive range and sophistication. Pitch-perfect tuning and immaculately clean ensemble … add further to the attractions of this eminently listenable recital."