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Choral / Voice


Karen Wimhurst has written extensively for voices, from art songs through to large scale choral works drawing inspiration from classical, traditional and jazz genres. Collaborating with poets alongside writing her own material she works through the lens of poetic imagery and found text to create melody, polyphony, experimental harmony and dramatic use of texture. 

Ideas of Flight 2.jpg

A selection of works...

A Letter to the World

Settings of poetry by Emily Dickinson for choir.

Commissioned by the Norwich and Norfolk Festival.  Premiere May 2004.  Next performance Festival of the Voice, Plymouth University 2006.

Wild Nights edit
Before I Got My Eyes Put Out
I Saw No Way


Three a cappella choral pieces, due to be performed at the Sing Eden at the Eden Project September 2020. 

Rooted In Earth
Greener II


Song settings of poems by Micheal Symmons Roberts for baritone and piano.  Commissioned York Late Music Festival 2007

Track 01

Heartwood Inside Out Festival

Heartwood was initially commisioned for the Inside Out Festival in collaboration with ecologist and sound artist Dr Adrian Newton. Later performed again at the Springhead Ash Conference 2017.  The work consists of a choral procession for bass soloist, choir and children’s choir, celebrating the Ash tree.  It is set in the future when only a few specimen trees are left in Great Britain. The libretto is drawn from a number of sources spanning modern poetry to Norse legends. 

Inside Out

Jazz, Voice, guitar and Clarinet

Inside Out
Ideas of Flight.jpg

Ideas of Flight

One of four composers contributing choral works to the Ideas of Flight project.  Commissioned by the Voice Project. Premiered Norwich and Norfolk and Festival 2013

Silver Messenger

Large scale choral work commissioned by Common Ground for the Confluence Project.  Libretto James Crowden.  Soprano solo Frances Lycnch, conductor Howard Nelson.  Performance includes chamber ensemble, choir, small vocal groups, DMS percussion ensemble, DMS windband, organ.  

12.Christchurch and the Open Sea
5.Insects on the Water's Rim
7.River's Voice
10.In Time of Flood

We Breath Trees

SATB, chamber choir (SSAATTBB), children’s choir, 8 piece brass ensemble (4 tpt, 2tmb,btmb,tba) db,pf,perc
c.12(small version without chamber choir);c.20’(extended version)

WP. Plymouth Choral soc. 2009. Bristol Choral Society Dec. 2007

Libretto Claire Williamson

We Breathe Trees Counting the Rings_1.m
Cardiff City Songs - Brian Tarr credit..

City Songs

Song cycle for orchestra, children’s choir; string quartet and soprano.  Commissioned by Welsh National Opera.  Premiered April 2003, Bristol. Second performance Cardiff Nov 2003 as part of the British Council Conference ‘A Sense of Place’.  3rd performance Birmingham Hippodrome June 2007


WP. Plymouth Choral soc. 2009. Bristol Choral Society Dec. 2007

Libretto Claire Williamson and children involved in the performance

Excerpt one city songs
City Songs Dragon and Kids


Settings of Emily Dickinson poems performed by Voces, director Martyn Warren

Covering the Abyss

Carmens dream

Electric Voice Theatre vocal ensemble and piano, silent movie accompaniment

Seen But Not Heard

Code Name Electric

Work for electric string quintet, piano and children’s choir Commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.  Premiere Dec 2003.

2. Birth
4. Questions
1. Departures
3. The Monster's Song

A Candle                       

One of four composers contributing choral works to a song cycle celebrating  Amnesty’s 50th anniversary 2011.  14 performances through UK 2011 – 2012 with finale at South Bank Festival of the Voice.   Ashley Wood Festival 2013.   PRSF commission for VoiceProject.


Norfolk and Norwich festival commision 2015, for the voice project.  One of four composers writing for this site specific work.

The ObservatoryCredit-JMA-Photography-2.

Raven Suite

Commissioned by An Tobar for performers from

the Isle of Mull

2. White Raven Lament
4. White Raven
1. Black Raven
3. Raven's Love Song

The Song Of The falling Angel

(In memory of Lockerbie).  Choir, harp, sax, soprano and child soloist.  Premiered 1991. STV Broadcast networked December 1991. Commissioned by the Edinburgh International Festival.  Libretto Douglas Lipton.  Paintings Kieth McIntyre.  

Falling Angel
Songs for a Falling Angel

The Human Net

SATB a cappella Libretto Juliet Wimhurst

The Human Net

The Ring Cycle

Large scale performance work commissioned by Seachange Arts. Soprano Sianed Jones, Macfalls string quartet

Bright Rain of Summer
11. Missing the Boat
Reeds Poster.jpeg

Translated by Reeds         

Choral work celebrating the Waveney Valley.  Collaboration with poet Joanna Guthrie.  Commissioned by Waveney and Blyth Arts.  Premiered 2012.

2. Skin
7. Dream
1. Beginnings
5. Shepherd

Blue Pearl

Work for jazz orchestra and children’s choirs.   Commissioned by the Pyramid Trust and Common Ground.  Premiere May 2000.

Dragon Pageant

Choral work. Bournemouth Sinfonietta and the

Norwich Festival Chorus Premiered October '94, St.Andrews Hall, Norwich.  Commissioned by the Norwich and Norfolk Festival

Commissioned by the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

There Are So Few Angels That Sing

A cappella SSAATB
WP.Vocem 1993, 1994

I Have Lived On This Mountain

(In Memory Of Greenham)

WP.WNO chorus 2006

Tree Songs

childrens choir

Love Fragments

Soprano and piano

Last Journeys

3 flutes, soprano
c. 10’
WP.Frances Lynch 2003


Alto ,pf, words by Alice Oswald

The Punt

Soprano, pf,  words by HB Joyce
c. 5’
WP. Sarah Leonard 2002

Winter Psalm

SATB, pf, words by Juliet Wimhurst


SATB,  words by Juliet Wimhurst


SATB,  words by Juliet Wimhurst
c. 3’
Big Sky 1998/2000

Lilli Marlene

Setting for unaccompanied male voice choir
c. 4 mins
WNO 2008

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