The Tallis Chamber Choir is an active British choir with a broad repertory and a reputation for strongly researched programs. It was founded in 1982 by choral director Philip Simms. The chorus soon became one of the best known in England. It is a flexible organization and can provide from 12 to 60 voices for a performance, depending on the requirements of the venue and the material.
While the name of the choir suggests that it is an early music organization, its repertory in fact is generous. What the Tallis Chamber Choir shares with the early music movement is that is performances are meticulously researched and sung according to the style appropriate to the music.
The choir's flexibility is suggested by their activities in a given six-month period: They began the last half of 1999 doing a soundtrack recording for a new film called The Criminal and during the next week sang a concert performance of Handel's Theodora. A major appearance at the Wratislava Cantans Festival in Poland in September included Haydn's The Creation and a choral concert of music of Tallis, Byrd, Gibbons, Sheppard, Morley, Martin, and Poulenc, followed within the a month's time by performances of two Handel choral works, Mozart's Requiem, and Burstein's The Gates of Time. Then, within two weeks they sang in Scriabin's Prometheus and began the busy Christmas season with Handel's Messiah, a festive Christmas program, and Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ.
In addition to soundtrack work, the choir makes backing tracks for television commercials, sings with major orchestras under some of the world's most famous conductors, and appears in music festivals throughout Europe.
Its recordings include a live recording of its Concert for the Queen Mother's 90th Birthday, conducted by Raymond Leppard, an appearance on a Branford Marsalis saxophone LP, Orff's Carmina Burana, and releases of Verdi's Il trovatore, Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. They sang on the soundtrack of the TV documentary Disaster at Sea, (about the Exxon Valdez shipwreck).
Its tonal qualities are described by British critics as warm, exuberant, and technically brilliant. The Tallis Chamber Choir is not related to the Tallis Scholars, a Renaissance a cappella choral group founded in 1973 by Peter Phillips.