Tenebrae Unlocked

by Tenebrae Choir in London, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 18th August 2020 we successfully raised £21,846 ( + est. £797.50 Gift Aid ) with 100 supporters in 28 days

We need your help to raise £30k to create our next generation of world-class films, making the Tenebrae concert experience available at home

by Tenebrae Choir in London, England, United Kingdom

“Choral music doesn’t get more magnificent than this.” Classic FM

Since March, lock-down has meant we’ve not been able to create live music together. With no sign that concert halls will re-open to full capacity this year, it’s time for us to bring these stunning performances to you.

We need your help to raise £30,000 to create our next generation of world-class films - making the Tenebrae concert experience available to as many people as possible, and to you at home. We are very grateful that a generous donor has pledged matched funds for the project. The first £15,000 of donations will be matched pound for pound at no extra cost to you!

Working with a team of expert sound and film producers, we will create a series of specially designed short concerts, brought to you from All Hallows' Gospel Oak in London and featuring choral masterworks from across the ages

credit: Yaya Stempler


“A concert by Tenebrae is more than a performance. It’s an experience that envelops the audience. This is one of the best choirs in the world” St. Louis Post-Dispatch

During 2020, Tenebrae would have performed for audiences across the globe, including Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, the UK, and the USA. Sadly, almost all our concerts this year are now cancelled.

We have been missing our audiences, and we know from your comments that you have been missing us too! Until we can perform regular concerts again, we plan to bring you a series of short recitals, each specially curated and featuring some of Tenebrae’s greatest hits combined with brand new discoveries. Each concert will include around 20 minutes of music as well as back-stage content. 

Thousands of you have told us how much you love our 2018 YouTube films of works by Allegri, Lobo, and Bruckner, which have been viewed a staggering 14 million times! We will work closely with expert film and sound producers to achieve that same beauty and quality again. In addition to amazing music, Tenebrae Unlocked will include backstage footage, insights from the performers and free-to-download programme notes. In short, we’ll do everything we can to bring the Tenebrae concert experience to you at home.

The number of recitals we create will be dependent on the funds we raise:

£30,000 – 3 concerts

  • Repertoire from Tenebrae’s award-winning recording of Brahms and Bruckner motets.
  • Much-loved treasures of the Russian choral repertoire, including music by Rachmaninov, Chesnokov and Kedrov. 
  • Judith Bingham’s haunting setting of The Drowned Lovers, set alongside two of Philip Moore’s Prayers Of Dietrich Bonhoeffer

£45,000 – 4 concerts

  • All the above, plus a programme of Renaissance gems by Byrd, Victoria and Tallis.

£55,000 – 5 concerts

  • All the above, plus a further performance of stunning vocal music re-imagined for voices and saxophone, performed by Tenebrae's consort group and saxophonist Christian Forshaw.


We aim to hold filming sessions in September this year, provided social distancing guidelines are sufficiently relaxed that we can gather the choir together safely. 

The first concert will be made available in October, with a new programme to follow each week. They will remain on our website thereafter, available to stream at any time. 

Guidance for the UK live music industry continues to evolve. We may have to adjust our plans to adhere to regulations in place at the UK come September.

Why We Need Your Help


We know that many people have been impacted financially by COVID-19, and we want to make these concerts available to as many people as possible. All films will be available to watch for 30 days for a small fee  (your donation may entitle you to free access). We will also provide free access to hundreds of young people through our education partners, Music Centre London and London Youth Choir. 

The amount we can expect to raise through streaming is vastly less than we would make through ticket sales for a live concert, yet our fixed costs are the same:

  • We must pay our brilliant freelance singers, all of whom have had their income decimated since lock-down began in March, and many of whom have not benefited from government support. 
  • In order to bring you the highest quality film and audio, we’re investing in expert film and sound producers, and hiring the kit they need.
  • We must pay hire fees to All Hallows’ Gospel Oak for use of their time and space.
  • We will pay other music creators, such as composers, for their indirect input into this project.

We need your support to generate the initial investment required to get this project off the ground, enabling us to bring world-class choral music to our audiences in a sustainable way during this difficult time. 

About Tenebrae


Described as “phenomenal” (The Times) and “devastatingly beautiful” (Gramophone Magazine), award-winning choir Tenebrae is one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, renowned for its passion and precision. Under the direction of Nigel Short, Tenebrae has twice secured the award for Best Choral Performance in the BBC Music Magazine Awards (2012 and 2016), and its recording of Fauré Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra was nominated for the Gramophone Awards (2013). In 2018 Music of the Spheres, Tenebrae’s album of part songs from the British Isles, received a Grammy nomination. 

Tenebrae is renowned for its highly-acclaimed interpretations of choral music ranging from the Renaissance through to contemporary choral masterpieces, and has appeared at major festivals and venues including the BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Leipzig Gewandhaus (Germany) and Melbourne Festival (Australia). 

Support us

Please make a pledge now and help us spread the word by sharing this campaign on social media using the hashtag #TenebraeUnlocked and mentioning @TenebraeChoir


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

Thank You

A thank-you message from the Tenebrae team and online access to the launch concert for 30 days

£25 or more

Your name in the credits

The above benefits, plus 30 days access to the entire series and the option to be named in the credits of each film

£50 or more

An exclusive track

The above benefits, plus an exclusive bonus track

£100 or more

Tenebrae Friends and unlimited access

The above benefits, plus membership of our Friends Scheme and unlimited access to the entire series

£500 or more

Tenebrae Benefactor and concert tickets

The above benefits, plus membership of our Benefactor Scheme, and a pair of tickets to a Tenebrae concert when conditions allow

£1,000 or more

Principal Benefactor and invitation to the filming

The above benefits, plus membership of our Principal Benefactor Scheme, and an invitation to see the filming sessions in person, and meet Nigel Short and the singers

£5,000 or more

Invitation to the Conductor's Circle

The above benefits, plus copies of the CD collection featuring the music in the series and an invitation to Tenebrae's Conductor's Circle, including an exclusive meeting with Nigel Short.

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