The Philippine Madrigal Singers is the most awarded and acclaimed choir in Asia, having consistently won all the prizes in the most prestigious choral competitions for many years. Because of their impressive track record and musical virtuosity, the Philipppine Madrigal Singers is now regarded as the one of the world’s best choirs.
The group performs a variety of styles and forms but specializes in the madrigal, a polyphonic and challenging musical style popular during the Renaissance where singers and guests would gather around the table during a banquet to sight-sing and make music together. This served as the inspiration for their unique style of singing – singing in a semi-circle without a conductor.
The influence of the Madrigal Singers on the Philippine and Asian choral scene has been far-reaching. It has graduated more than 200 choral and vocal pedagogues from its ranks, actively involved in organizing and conducting choirs. Its corps of composers and choral arrangers continue to produce new compositions and choral settings of Philippine and Asian songs, thus contributing to the growth of choral literature in Asia. The Singers maintain an active concert tour schedule, averaging two concert tours a year. Their outreach concert tours take them to far-flung areas of the Philippines, seldom reached by choral artists.
In June 1997, the Philippine Madrigal Singers came home from their ninth world concert tour, winning the grand prize in the Grand Prix European de Chant Choral Competition in Tours, France, besting the five other grand prize winners of the most prestigious choral competition in Europe: Guido d’Arezzo, Italy; Debrecen, Hungary; Varna, Bulgaria; Gorizia, Italy; and Tolosa, Spain.
The Madrigal Singers first earned critical acclaim during their performance in the First Choruses of the World Festival at the Lincoln Center in New York in 1969. This concert welcomed them to the international choral community, eventually paving the way to joining the most distinguished international choral competitions – Spittal, Austria; Arezzo and Gorizia, Italy; Neuchatel, Switzerland; Debrecen, Hungary; Varna, Bulgaria; Tolosa, Spain; and Marktoberdorf in Germany, and winning all the top prizes.
The Philippine Madrigal Singers was organized as the University of the Philippines Madrigal Singers in 1963 by Prof. Andrea Veneracion, proclaimed National Artist for Music in 1999. The group is composed of students, faculty and alumni from the different colleges of the University of the Philippines. Its present choirmaster since 2001 is Mark Anthony Carpio.
To learn more about the UP Madrigal Singers, please visit their website at http://upms.multiply.com/