Since its founding in 2001, Pegasus choir has built up a reputation as one of London’s most versatile and exciting chamber choirs. Under its director, Matthew Altham, the ensemble has developed an extensive repertoire embracing sacred and secular music from the Renaissance to the present day.
Matthew Altham has been artistic director of Pegasus Choir since 2001. He began conducting choirs while at New College, Oxford, and became hooked on the thrill of leading groups of talented singers to deliver life-affirming performances. Since moving to London in the late 1990s he has maintained an active musical life, conducting several amateur choirs and singing for over a decade with the choir of St Mary’s, Bourne Street. As well as conducting Pegasus, he has a long-standing relationship with the London Bach Players, with whom he has performed on numerous occasions in Pau, France. By day he has a full-time job advising companies on corporate strategy and acquisitions, but by night he is a keen and accomplished choral director, with a passion for exploring the rich sound world of choral music.
The Choir members are experienced singers who pursue their passion for choral music alongside careers in other fields. Rather than rehearsing weekly, the choir meets for intensive rehearsals in the few weeks prior to each performance. The flexibility of this schedule allows Pegasus to be involved in a wide range of projects.
They worked with the London Handel Orchestra and the Southbank Sinfonia and has performed in a variety of prestigious music festivals, including the Brandenburg Choral Festival of London, Tilford Bach Festival, London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and the Proms at St Jude’s. In 2018 the choir formed the chorus for a staged production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea for the London Handel Festival, conducted by Laurence Cummings.
Pegasus is committed to exploring contemporary music and has premiered music by John Tavener and Thomas Adès. In 2012 the choir gave the first performance of two works it commissioned from Francis Grier, A Baby Asleep after Pain and Pax, and in 2017 Pegasus gave the London premiere of Colin Riley’s Roads Shining Like River Up Hill After Rain. Pegasus’s secular repertoire ranges from opera choruses to folksongs and jazz.