Sonoro, Michael Higgins & Neil Ferris


Biography Sonoro, Michael Higgins & Neil Ferris



Sonoro
founded in 2016 by Neil Ferris and Michael Higgins, has attracted attention for its warm tone, rich blend of colours and vibrancy in performance. ‘Sonoro’ in Italian means ‘sonorous, voices that are rich and full’ and Sonoro lives up to that name as a choir with a distinctive and perfectly blended sound.

“A rich, robust texture, abundant in vibrant colour and undoubted excitement.” The Guardian

Sonoro have performed at major national and international festivals and venues including the London Chamber Music Society series at Kings Place, the Wimbledon International Music Festival, the St Magnus International Festival, Orkney and in St Gallen, Switzerland.

“A huge dynamic and expressive range.” Gramophone

Sonoro’s debut album Passion and Polyphony featuring works of James MacMillan and Frank Martin was released in March 2018 to critical acclaim. Their recent album Christmas with Sonoro was named BBC Music Magazine’s 2018 ‘Christmas Choice’.

“Classical concerts seldom feel so downright uplifting.” The Scotsman

Upcoming plans include their Choral Inspirations project, with a major tour of workshops and concerts around the UK. Sonoro has commissioned six composers to each write a new work based on a ‘choral classic’. These pieces, written at a level that choirs everywhere will be able to sing, will be recorded alongside their ‘choral classic’ and released online.

Michael Higgins
is a pianist, composer and arranger, and Artistic Director of the professional chamber choir Sonoro.

With a special interest in choral accompaniment, Michael is in demand with some of the leading choirs in the country and works with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, London Voices, Wimbledon Choral Society and the BBC Singers. In 2012 Michael spent six months travelling across the USA filming a series for American television with popular choir master Gareth Malone, and also appeared on the Queen’s Christmas Message accompanying the Military Wives Choir at Buckingham Palace.

Michael has performed throughout the UK at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, London, Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Usher Hall, Edinburgh, as well as across Europe and further afield in Australia and New Zealand. As a rehearsal pianist, he has worked with conductors Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Jiří Bělohlávek, and Sakari Oramo.

As a composer and arranger he has written for Farnham Youth Choir, the National Children's Choir of Great Britain, as well as music for television, corporate films and commercials. Many of his works are published by the Royal School of Church Music, Novello, and Oxford University Press.

Michael studied piano with Margaret Newman at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Iain Ledingham and Julius Drake. He was awarded the Joseph Weingarten Memorial Trust Scholarship and continued his studies with Kálmán Dráfi at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest.

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