The Swan Consort

The Swan Consort

“continuously refreshing and revelatory; … Simply heart-wrenching.”

Professor Alastair Borthwick, Composer

The Swan Consort is an elite chamber choir made up of early career professional singers from around the UK. Their name honours the companion animal of the Goddess Saraswati, Hindu Goddess of Music and Learning.

Founded and Directed by Anita Datta, the Swan Consort explore diverse and elegant repertoire from the Early Renaissance through to the present day. Current projects include a collaborative research, performance and recording project on the Vespers Motets of Francesco Cavalli’s Musiche Sacre (1656), with musicologist Dr. Eric Esparza (De Paul University, Chicago, IL), and a planned tour to India in February 2020.

For information about upcoming concerts and recording projects, or to become a supporter of The Swan Consort, please use the contact form provided.

The Swan Consort singers are as majestic, graceful and beautiful to behold  as the name implies, which also applies to the enormous reserves of strength in their sound. A relatively small group, they span the extremes of dynamics effortlessly. This impressive range is even more striking in their repertoire. Their recent performances at Burton Agnes Hall comprised a sacred programme of more than an hour, taking us from the Middle Ages to the 18thcentury, followed by a  lovely selection of English madrigals (something we don’t hear that often these days). To say that they were helped by the setting in that wonderful Elizabethan house would be obvious but director Anita Datta, in her learned yet informal introductions, showed how the music had been carefully chosen to suit the surroundings.  She is  remarkable—an accomplished organist, singer and choral director—and she guided her Oxbridge and Durham colleagues with no more than was required to let the music speak and the singers to express themselves. Beyond the thrilling performances, what I got from the occasion was a first hearing of quite a lot of music. Apart from the famous masters such as Tallis, Byrd and Lassus, somewhat lesser-known composers were included and they were a revelation.  The music of Nicolas Gombert and William Croft is a great favourite of this group and it became obvious why, as their works have an inventiveness and passionate intensity that more than comfortably sat alongside the more famous pieces. The Swan Consort is therefore a group to watch (quite literally) as they both delight and educate.

Dr. Neil Sorrell, Ethnomusicologist