The Tallis Scholars were founded in 1973 by their director, Peter Phillips. Through their recordings and concert performances, they have established themselves as the leading exponents of Renaissance sacred music throughout the world. Peter Phillips has worked with the ensemble to create, through good tuning and blend, the purity and clarity of sound which he feels best serve the Renaissance repertoire, allowing every detail of the musical lines to be heard. It is the resulting beauty of sound for which the Tallis Scholars have become so widely renowned.The Tallis Scholars < perform in both sacred and secular venues, usually giving around 70 concerts each year across the globe. In 2013, the group celebrated their 40th anniversary with a world tour performing 99 events in 80 venues in 16 countries and traveling sufficient air-miles to circumnavigate the globe four times. They kicked off the year with a spectacular concert in St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, including a performance of Thomas Tallis’ 40-part motet Spem in alium and the world premieres of works written especially for them by Gabriel Jackson and Eric Whitacre. Their recording of the Missa Gloria tibi Trinitas by John Taverner was released on the exact anniversary of their first concert in 1973 and enjoyed six weeks at number one in the U.K. Specialist Classical Album Chart. On September 21, 2015, the group gave their 2000th concert at St. John’s Smith Square in London.
Recordings by the Tallis Scholars have attracted many awards throughout the world. In 1987, their recording of Josquin’s Missa La sol fa re mi and Missa Pange lingua received Gramophone magazine’s Record of the Year award, the first recording of early music ever to win this coveted award. In 1989, the French magazine Diapason gave two of its Diapason d’Or de l’Année awards for the recordings of a mass and motets by Lassus and Josquin’s two masses based on the chanson L’Homme armé. Their recording of Palestrina’s Missa Assumpta est Maria and Missa Sicut lilium was awarded Gramophone‘s Early Music Award in 1991; they received the 1994 Early Music Award for their recording of music by Cipriano de Rore; and the same distinction again in 2005 for their disc of music by John Browne.
The Tallis Scholars were nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001, 2009, and 2010. In 2012, their recording of Josquin’s Missa De beata virgine and Missa Ave maris stella received a Diapason d’Or de l’Année and in their 40th anniversary year, they were welcomed into the Gramophone ‘Hall of Fame’ by public vote. In a departure for the group, The Tallis Scholars released, in spring 2015, a disc of music by Arvo Pärt called Tintinnabuli which has received praise across the board. The latest recording of Josquin masses Missa Di dadi and Missa Une mousse de Biscaye was released in 2016.