Described as “outstandingly refreshing” (BBC Music Magazine) and “abundant in vibrant colour” (The Guardian), Sonoro is one of the UK’s foremost vocal ensembles. Under conductor Neil Ferris, Sonoro have performed at internationally renowned festivals and concert halls, including St Magnus Festival, Orkney, St Martin-in-the-Fields and King’s Place, London, and in St Gallen, Switzerland.
Sonoro’s critically acclaimed debut album ‘Passion and Polyphony’ featured works by Sir James MacMillan and Frank Martin, and ‘Christmas with Sonoro’ was BBC Music Magazine’s Christmas choice in 2018. Recent releases which have gained significant recognition include an album of music by Martin Bussey, and two volumes of ‘Choral Inspirations’ featuring choral classics partnered with newly commissioned works by established and emerging British composers, including Errollyn Wallen, Cecilia McDowall, and Oliver Tarney.
Combining a passion for excellence in choral music and education, Sonoro’s SING! outreach programme delivers projects in schools, as well as side-by-side performances and conducting masterclasses. SING! has reached hundreds of children and amateur singers,inspiring either a first love of singing or a renewed engagement with a shared passion in choral music.
“Classical concerts seldom feel so downright uplifting.” The Scotsman
Michael Higgins is a pianist, composer and arranger, and Artistic Director of Sonoro.
As a composer, his choral works have been performed and broadcast internationally, and are published by the Royal School of Church Music, Novello and Oxford University Press. Michael has performed at major venues throughout the UK, as well as across Europe and further afield in Australia, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands.
Michael studied with Margaret Newman at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Iain Ledingham and Julius Drake. He was awarded the Joseph Weingarten Memorial Trust scholarship and continued his studies at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest. He has recently been honoured as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Neil Ferris is Chorus Director of the BBC Symphony Chorus, Artistic Director of Sonoro, and Music Director of Wimbledon Choral.
He made his BBC Proms conducting debut in August 2019, celebrating the 90th Anniversary season of the BBC Symphony Chorus. In demand as guest conductor at some of the finest choirs in the UK, Neil has worked with London Symphony Chorus, Choir of the Age of Enlightenment, BBC Singers and the National Youth Choir of Wales. He has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, Welsh National Opera, London Mozart Players and Orchestra of the Swan.
Neil is recognised as one of the country’s leading teachers of choral conducting and has led masterclasses in the UK, USA, Ireland, Denmark, China and Singapore.