The “engaging” (New Yorker) men’s vocal ensemble Cantus is widely known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming and engaging performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The Washington Post has hailed the Cantus sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to the “spontaneous grace” of its music making. The Philadelphia Inquirer called the group nothing short of “exquisite.” As one of the nation’s few full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has grown in prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process.
Cantus performs more than 60 concerts each year both in national and international touring, and in its home of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. The ensemble is heard frequently on both classical public radio nationwide and on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Cantus has released 18 recordings on the group’s self-titled label. Committed to the expansion of the vocal music repertoire, Cantus actively commissions new music each season and seeks to unearth rarely performed repertoire for men’s voices. Integral to the Cantus mission is its commitment to preserve and deepen music education in the schools. Cantus works with more than 5,000 students each year in master class and workshop settings across the country.
In their 2018-19 touring program Alone Together, Cantus explores what it means to connect in a modern world where our ability to communicate has never been easier or more advanced, but where the rifts between nations, among communities, and in individual relationships only seem to widen. The program is anchored by three works written for Cantus by Steven Sametz, David Lang and a new, multi-movement work by Libby Larsen, commissioned by Music Accord and written specifically around themes of technology and connection in our modern world. The program – also weaving in music by Jennifer Higdon, Laura Mvula, McCartney and Lennon, Saint-Saëns, Beethoven, Dave Matthews, Arcade Fire, and Sydney Guillaume – will be presented in 36 cities and 21 states and provinces.