A Choral Odysseyis the latest project by crack choral ensemble The Sixteen and their founder and conductor Harry Christophers. Over the course of five online programs, the outstanding British actor Sir Simon Russell Beale explores music and the architecture that inspired it through performances from Hatfield House and Magdalen College, Oxford to Shakespeare’s Globe. In a series of conversations, Russell Beale and Christophers discuss the socio-religious-political themes surrounding each composition. Christophers then offers insights and examples before performances of the complete works. The series will culminate with a livestream of The Sixteen’s Christmas at Cadogan concert on 23 December. Limelightcaught up with the conductor ahead of the first episode airing on 18 November.

Harry Christophers. Photograph © Firedog

What are the most obvious ways that architecture has inspired composers over the centuries? And does it ever work the other way around?

Architecture has been the inspiration for music ever since churches and cathedrals began being built. Right from the early 12th century when Leonin and Perotin were composing organum for Notre Dame in Paris, music has been informed by architecture. From...