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Press Releases

The King’s Singers’ new album Wonderland features works commissioned by the ensemble over their 55-year history

September 21, 2023 | By Amanda Sweet
President, Bucklesweet

GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble The King’s Singers today announced the release of their new album Wonderland, available on Signum Records on Sept. 22. Anchored by Hungarian composer György Ligeti’s Nonsense Madrigals, written for The King's Singers between 1988 and 1993, Wonderland exclusively contains works commissioned by the ensemble across their 55-year history.

To honor Ligeti’s 100th birthday in 2023, The King’s Singers commissioned six sets of cartoons - each of which has since been turned into a music video by illustrator Coralie Muce - to accompany the six?Nonsense Madrigals

Wonderland celebrates The King’s Singers’ trademark musical storytelling, with fantastical works by composers Makiko Kinoshita, Ola Gjeilo, Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, Joe Hisaishi, Judith Bingham, Malcolm Williamson, and Paul Patterson. 

“So much of the modern music that’s been written for The King’s Singers is full of joy and humor, that comes alive particularly when it’s framed in the right way,” bass Jonathan Howard said. “The commissioned cartoons from illustrator Coralie Muce, accompany each of his six?’Nonsense Madrigals’?(which Ligeti wrote for The King's Singers between 1988 and 1993). These cartoons are full of color, energy and playfulness, and tell each madrigal’s story - which are as wide-ranging as an unexpected re-telling of the English alphabet, a bizarre catalogue of weird and wonderful beasts and characters in sevens and nines, and three different tales from Lewis Carroll’s magical story,?Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Though some of the music is really complicated - with unusual harmonies and angular rhythms - the madrigals are brought to life in the most delightful and dreamy way by these brilliant cartoons. We hope that they give everyone a unique window into Ligeti’s amazing writing in the most unexpected,?funny and whimsical way.”  

Woven throughout the “Nonsense Madrigals” is the fairytale The Musicians of Bremen set to music by the Australian composer and Master of the Queen's Music Malcolm Williamson, premiered by The King’s Singers in 1972. Other works include Paul Patterson’s Time Piece, which tells an eccentric alternative creation story (1972); Judith Bingham’s extended work Tricksters (2019), which unearths what could happen if miscreants from different world mythologies could come together for the first time; and Ola Gjeilo's A Dream within a Dream, which questions the very nature of perception and reality. The album also features the legendary Japanese film and game composer Joe Hisaishi's first ever choral work, I was there (2022), focusing on the cultural memory of tragic events such as 9/11 and the 2011 Japan Earthquake. Themes of hope and positivity, centered on the natural world, emerge in Makiko Kinoshita's Ashita no uta (Song for tomorrow) (2020) and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers' Alive (2022). 


Wonderland EPK with audio downloads and booklet available here  

Wonderland streaming link available here


Track Listing for The King’s Singers Wonderland (SIGCD739) 

1. Makiko Kinoshita Ashita no uta (Song for Tomorrow)  

2. György Ligeti Two Dreams and Little Bat (from Nonsense Madrigals)  

3. Ola Gjeilo A Dream within a Dream  

4. György Ligeti Cuckoo in the Pear-Tree (from Nonsense Madrigals)  

5. Francesca Amewudah-Rivers Alive  

6. György Ligeti The Alphabet (from Nonsense Madrigals)  

7. Joe Hisaishi I was there  

8. György Ligeti Flying Robert (from Nonsense Madrigals)  

9. Judith Bingham Tricksters 

10. György Ligeti The Lobster Quadrille (from Nonsense Madrigals) 

11. Malcolm Williamson The Musicians of Bremen  

12. György Ligeti A Long, Sad Tale (from Nonsense Madrigals) 

13. Paul Patterson Time Piece  


About the label

Signum Records is a leading British independent label, specialising in classical music. Founded in 1997, Signum boasts a catalogue of over 700 titles collectively streamed over 500 million times and continues to release 35 new recordings each year by internationally acclaimed artists. Signum works closely with its sister company, Floating Earth, the leading production and engineering specialist service provider in Europe.

About the Artists 

THE KING’S SINGERS have represented the gold standard in a cappella singing on the world’s greatest stages for over fifty years. They are renowned for their unrivalled technique, musicianship and versatility, which draws on both the group’s rich heritage and its drive to bring an extraordinary range of new and unique works, collaborations and recordings to life. The King’s Singers’ extensive discography has led to numerous awards, including two Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, and a place in Gramophone magazine’s inaugural Hall of Fame.

Growing the global canon of choral music has always been one of the group's key aims, and they have now commissioned more than 200 works by many of the most prominent composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. These composers include John Tavener, Joe Hisaishi, Judith Bingham, Eric Whitacre, György Ligeti, Luciano Berio, Krzysztof Penderecki and Toru Takemitsu. All of this new music joins their unique body of close-harmony and a cappella arrangements, including those by individual King’s Singers past and present. Many of their early arrangements helped to develop the distinct ‘King’s Singers sound’ and a large number of them, as well as their more-recent commissioned works and arrangements, are now available to buy as sheet music in their own signature series with Hal Leonard. Over two million copies of these works have now been sold worldwide. 

Alongside their demanding performing and recording schedule, the group also leads educational workshops and residential courses across the world, working with both ensembles and individuals on their approaches to group singing. To mark their 50th anniversary in 2018, they founded The King’s Singers Global Foundation in the USA to provide a platform to support the creation of new music across multiple disciplines, to coach a new generation of performers, and to provide musical opportunities to people of all backgrounds. 

The King’s Singers were officially formed in 1968 when six recent choral scholars from King’s College, Cambridge gave a concert at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. By chance, the group was made up of two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones and a bass, and the group has stuck to this singular formation ever since that debut.


Patrick Dunachie, countertenor  

Edward Button, countertenor  

Julian Gregory, tenor 

Christopher Bruerton, baritone  

Nick Ashby, baritone  

Jonathan Howard, bass  






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