Acclaimed British vocal ensemble The Tallis Scholars will perform a program of sacred Renaissance music in a Symphony Center Presents Special Concert this spring. The concert takes place 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5 at Fourth Presbyterian Church (126 E. Chestnut Street) in downtown Chicago.  The ensemble’s program will include a cappella selections from composers William Byrd, John Taverner, Richard Davy, Thomas Tallis, and Alfonso Ferrabosco.

The program includes two motets—Laetentur coeli and Vigilate—by English composer William Byrd, a pupil of Thomas Tallis. Also on the program will be Thomas Tallis’ Lamentations I, a multilayered musical work that laments not only the biblical fall of Jerusalem, but reflects the sorrow of a Catholic composer living in Queen Elizabeth’s Protestant England. Completing the program is Lamentations, a setting of the same biblical text as the Tallis work by Italian composer Alfonso Ferrabosco. This Renaissance-focused concert program features music composed during Shakespeare’s lifetime and is presented as part of the citywide Shakespeare 400 Chicago celebration, a city-wide festival commemorating the death of the Bard.

Members of the acclaimed Tallis Scholars vocal ensemble (photo courtesy of the Tallis Scholars).

Tallis Scolars Presenting Sacred Renaissance Works in Fourth Presbyterian Church Concert

The Tallis Scholars, a 12-voice ensemble of distinguished artists, have performed more than two thousand concerts, with acclaimed director and founder Peter Phillips leading nearly all of them. Charged with bringing Renaissance works and composers into wider recognition, The Tallis Scholars have performed across six continents in such venues as the Royal Albert Hall, the Sistine Chapel, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. The ensemble has an impressive discography of more than 60 records to date, breaking ground when their 1987 recording of works by Josquin Desprez was the first Renaissance album to receive Gramophone Magazine’s Record of the Year recognition. With the 2015 release of John Taverner’s Missa Corona spinea, The Tallis Scholars have had three straight albums rank number one on the UK Specialist Classical Chart, with the 2015 release remaining on top for six weeks.

Tickets for all CSOA-presented concerts can be purchased by phone at 800‑223‑7114 or 312-294‑3000; online at, or at the Symphony Center box office: 220 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60604.

Above: The Tallis Scholars vocal ensemble (photo by Eric C. Richmond).