Review of 'King's College Choir'


When the list of Christmas events came up at the Royal Albert Hall we had browse and this performance was the only that really caught our eye. My companion is from Canada and does not like the sing-a-longs here as many of the tunes used in British carols are not the same as in Canada so are not really the same for her…In any case we really enjoy the King's College Boy's Choir and looked forward to hearing and seeing them in person. We were not entirely disappointed…

We were surprised to see that the choir only occupied the centre of the stage with the “Crouch End Festival Chorus” and either side of them with the “Philharmonia Orchestra” in front of them. Much of the first half featured the other performers rather than the choir though ended on a high when all others left the stage and they performed a-Capella versions of a number of songs (though only 1 or 2 Christmas pieces). Stephen Cleobury, Director of Music for the Choir of King's College, directed throughout the evening and had a chat with the audience (a full house) towards the end of the second half of the performance as he had us sing along to some favourite carols (song sheets had been tucked into every other seat in the auditorium).

The performers were on top form throughout the evening though the singer soloists brought onto the stage at various points were not as strong and rather lacking in any amount of passion. Indeed, the same could be said of all of the performers with a general feeling of “going through the numbers” with the only small flash of personality expressed by the conductor when talking to us.

We were somewhat disappointed that we did not hear more of the choir on their own but it was a generally enjoyable evening. Next year to hear more of the choir we may just watch “Carols from Kings” on television instead.


Review Date: 2017-12-15

Royal Albert Hall

Location: London (England)

Address: Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2AP ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE South Kensington TUBE Gloucester Road

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7589 8212


Simply my favourite concert hall in the world. When I lived in the United Kingdom after moving here from Canada I spent one of my first summers attending the Proms and I fell in love with the hall. It's warm inviting shape along with amazing acoustics and elegant, yet not completely over the top, decor. Many famous people have played here and many more still do.

For bigger shows I do not mind being up in the circle, but only if it is in the middle. The circle seats in the front rows off to the sides have a railing to content with. Seating in the stalls is very good but it can be difficult to take in any large spectacles on the stage. One thing to look out for are any concerts where they use the organ - A magnificent, restored beast that shakes the very walls when in use.