Founded in 2008, The Queen’s Six was established on the 450th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth I, from whom the group takes its name.
Elizabeth I was a great patroness of the arts, and often engaged the services of musicians to write and perform for her at court. Featured on the group’s first album, he notable ‘six’ from this era were Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, Thomas Tomkins, Thomas Morley, Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Weelkes.
Based in Windsor Castle, England, the group consists of two countertenors, two tenors, a baritone and a bass. By day, all the members of the 21st century ‘Queen's Six’ are also half of the Lay Clerks of St George’s Chapel, whose homes lie within the Castle walls.
The Chapel Choir, which consists of boy trebles and twelve professional adult male singers, performs some eight services a week, as well as at private and state occasions, often before the British Royal Family. This rare privilege demands the highest musical standards. Most significantly however, it is the familiarity of living and singing together every day in the Royal Chapel that lends this group its distinctive closeness and blend, as well as an irresistible informality and charm.
The Queen’s Six’s repertoire extends far beyond the reach of the choir stalls: from austere early chant and florid Renaissance polyphony, to lewd madrigals, haunting folk songs and upbeat Jazz and Pop arrangements.
Individually, members of The Queen’s Six appear regularly in all of the most prestigious vocal ensembles both nationally and internationally, including Tenebrae, Polyphony, The BBC Singers, The Cardinall’s Musick, Collegium Vocale Gent, The Gabrieli Consort, EXAUDI, The King’s Consort, The Tallis Scholars and The Sixteen. As an ensemble, The Queen’s Six have performed to critical acclaim at music festivals in the UK and Spain. In the short time since they began, they have also released a commercial EP, and had the privilege of performing at a private function for HM The Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.