Mandarin Voices Choir (formerly Chopsticks Choral Society)

We are the Mandarin Voices Choir, a project-based choir aimed at promoting Chinese choral arts and championing works by Chinese and China-related composers. 

How we work

The Choir's unique repertoire, which includes works by both Chinese composers, rarely heard in European concert halls. Through its annual concerts, the Mandarin Voices Choir aims to introduce this repertoire and sound to European audiences, and to act as a bridge between China and Europe so that deserving works in the Chinese choral repertoire can make their way into the mainstream repertoire of European choirs. The Mandarin Voices Choir is a platform for access to and the understanding of Chinese choral works. Audiences will be offered a chance to hear works that have rarely, if ever, been sung in London or Europe performed to a high standard. As part of the concert, our Artistic Director,  Nick Smith will also provide historical and stylistic insights into the music performed.  

The Choir works on a festival format, performing up to two concerts a year with our next concert scheduled for February 2018. Singers are expected to download and learn scores in their own time, with rehearsals reserved for polishing the final piece. Rehearsals will be held in central West London in the two months leading up to the concert date. For each concert there will be up to six rehearsals.


Next Event

Saturday 29 September 2018 Chinese National Day Concert - venue Cadogan Hall London SW1 

Artistic Director & Conductor, Nicholas Smith OBE 
More details to follow but will include the premier of Tao in London, & a newly commissioned piece to celebrate the Chopsticks Club's 25th Anniversary

TO take part in either of these events, please email Theresa on theresabooth@chopsticksclub.com and complete the Mandarin Voices Application Form below. 

 

Highlights of concert on Saturday 27 January 2018 -  Chinese New Year concert of Choral Music using Chinese folksong melodies & infused with jazz themes

We were delighted to welcome world renowned jazz pianist, David Braid, who made this a concert to remember. David flew in from Moscow to perform, and our Artistic Director & Conductor, Nicholas Smith OBE, created an evening of uniqueness, beauty & thought provoking musical arrangements.  

Comments about the concert: 

"Amazing concert, there are many choirs in London singing in Mandarin, but this is the best, and the music chosen in keeping with what we Chinese expats want to hear. Fusing it with jazz was inspired and David’s ‘Chopsticks Concerto’ sublime. Thank you. An wonderful evening " Qin Lei

David Braid "utterly brilliant" - Clare Mowbray
LISTEN HERE TO David BRAID playing HIS 'Chopsticks' CONCERTo CLICK HERE TO HEAR Mandarin VOICES SINGing
Venue:  St James's Church, Sussex Gardens, W2 3UD.


LISTEN TO DAVID BRAID, world Renowned jazz pianist, demonstrate how he will give Chinese melodies the jazz treatment


Reviews and Testimonials

 'I attended the concert on 27th January given by the Mandarin Voices under the baton of British conductor Nick Smith OBE and alongside Canadian jazz pianist David Braid. The concert was a fusion of Chinese music and jazz and it was a real feast for the ears. David Braid's intricate improvisations, sometimes even using chopsticks between the piano strings to create ethereal effects, were outstanding and the way in which this blended with traditional Chinese songs was beautifully executed. I wasn't sure what to expect from the evening, but I was left yearning for more of this music. I very much hope this concert is repeated many times over in the near future- it was truly a wonderful evening all-round.'  - Sam Ward from www.pianoweek.com

'There are many choirs in London who now sing in Mandarin, but Mandarin Voices is the best. The concert was amazing, the jazz language imposed on the Chinese choral music was sublime' Azalea, Qin Lei

David Braid was 'utterly brilliant' Clare Mowbray



Our inaugural concert was held at the Cadogan Hall on 1st October 2016, a performance including  Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata along with a selection of other classical Chinese pieces.

The Yellow River Cantata is to Chinese choirs and audiences what Messiah is to UK choirs and audiences. Every choir in China knows this work, and everyone in China knows at least one of the tunes. This work, written by Xian Xinghai, makes extraordinarily effective use of the rhythms and cadences of Chinese folk music, which in turn spring from everyday Chinese life, to create a work that speaks directly to the Chinese, but is also universal in its appeal. This work is, above all, tuneful and emotionally accessible. Not knowing Chinese will not hamper your enjoyment of the work! 

This will be only the second performance of the Yellow River Cantata in London and will be a first step in establishing a tradition of performing this work in the UK. Just as every major city in the world has an annual performance of Messiah, this flagship Chinese choral work deserves an annual performance to evaluate its merits and stimulate a new generation of composers to react to it and create other Chinese choral masterpieces. 

December 2016 - Advent Concert December 2016 at Piccadilly Circus on an especially erected platform built around the statue of Eros

July 2017 - Singing football chants to promote Chelsea's Summer China Tour at the Chelsea FC Stadium at Stanford Bridge

SINGING AT CHELSEA F.C



How to sponsor our next concert

Click on the button below for information on how to sponsor our next concert. RIng Theresa on 020 7706 4713 for information and be sent our latest sponsor pack.



SPONSOR BENEFITS



How to join us

Applications to join the Mandarin Voices Choir for future events please complete the form below. 

The Mandarin Voices Choir is seeking members who have a musical background. To apply to join our choir please download and fill out the membership form below. Please ensure you include enough detail regarding your choral experience to give us an adequate understanding of your singing ability. Should your application be successful, we will be sending you downloadable scores. Mandarin Voices Choir charges an annual membership fee of £50.00 (Non Chopsticks Club Members) or £25 (Current Chopsticks Club Members) and Chopsticks Member student price of £20, Student Non Member price £25.00. (All fees below include paypal fees of 3.4% & £0.20/transaction). 
The membership fee helps us to cover the expenses of the concert including the venue hire. 
For more information email theresabooth@chopsticksclub.com

To join the Mandarin Voices Choir at Chopsticks Membership rate, and see list of Membership benefits, click on the JOIN Chopsticks Club below


JOIN CHOPSTICKS CLUB

APPLY NOW to join Mandarin Voices Choir 



Choral Rates





To apply to the Mandarin Voices Choir, please fill out this Application Form




More about us


Our artistic director is Mr Nicholas Michael Smith, OBE. Mr Smith is currently the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Peking Sinfonietta and the International Festival Chorus, both based in Beijing, China. Both offer regular seasons featuring the world’s top soloists. Under Mr. Smith’s direction, the Peking Sinfonietta is now widely recognized as offering China’s most innovative programming and authentic performances, while the International Festival Chorus is acclaimed as the PRC’s best choir and the only group in mainland China working consistently to introduce the western choral-symphonic repertoire to Chinese audiences in Beijing and beyond. 

 Mr. Smith has  with many groups worldwide, including the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the China National Film Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Les Percussions Claviers de Lyon, Teatro Lirico di Spoleto and the choirs of Cornell University.
 Over the last 12 years, Mr. Smith has conducted and helped to bring about numerous concerts of significance to the development of western music in China, including PRC first performances of works ranging from Bach’s St John Passion to Elgar’s The Music Makers, as well as the PRC’s first ever fully staged Broadway musical Lady in the Dark which featured stars from London’s West End. 

 Mr. Smith holds a degree in music from Cambridge University, England and studied conducting and composition privately with Reginald Thompson. Mr. Smith holds both artistic and academic appointments. 


Improve your Mandarin and learn to sing at the same time


It's not just the Mandarin Voices Choir that will help you improve your singing and mandarin skills. Join Chopsticks Club member and professional opera singer,  Wang Chen at St Martin's in the Fields Church, (Bishop Ming Hua Hall) Trafalgar Square, and sing in Chinese on Thursday evenings between 6.45 - 8pm.
Each session costs £10 for an hours lesson (£7 for students).
(To join the Club, click on the MEMBERS header)

For more information email: dawnwang23@yahoo.com  OR  see www.chenwangmusic.com