Gloriae Dei Cantores
(Singers to the Glory of God) holds a passionate dedication to illuminate truth and beauty through choral artistry, celebrating a rich tradition of sacred choral music from Gregorian chant to the twenty-first century.
Founded in 1988, Gloriæ Dei Cantores from Orleans, MA, under the direction of Richard K. Pugsley, has touched the hearts of audiences in 23 countries in Europe, Russia, and North America, receiving extensive critical acclaim for its artistic elegance, performance authenticity, and compelling spirituality.
Distributed in the United States and internationally by Naxos, the choir’s discography of over 50 recordings showcases their extensive repertoire, encompassing both masterworks and rarely performed musical treasures from Gregorian chant to the 21st century.
Highlights of the choir’s career include three invitational tours of Russia, opening the 900th anniversary of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy, live radio and television broadcasts with the BBC, film soundtracks, the tree-lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Plaza, and performances in some of the finest concert halls throughout Europe and the United States.
The choir’s collaborative ventures have included ten Holiday Tours with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, a sixteen-city US tour of Mozart’s Requiem with Philippe Entremont and the Munich Symphony Orchestra (Columbia Artists, CAMI, LLC), performances of Mozart’s Requiem with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in Russia, and world premiere concerts and recordings with Grammy-award-winning artist Mark O’Connor. They have also appeared on the concert stage and in recordings with John Williams, Samuel Adler, Stephen Cleobury, Vladimir Minin, and the late George Guest, Mary Berry, and Margaret Hillis, among others.
Gloriæ Dei Cantores makes its home at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA, where the choir sings weekly worship services, concerts, and recordings throughout the year. The members’ ongoing life of worship – Sunday Eucharist, Choral Evensong and Liturgy of the Hours in Gregorian chant – is the foundation of the choir’s artistry, enabling their extensive repertoire to become a vibrant form of prayer in any setting. Their music conveys “a kind of utter, rapt, spiritual intensity, that you simply can’t imagine unless you’ve experienced it for yourself.” (American Record Guide)
The church has been called “an acoustical marvel” (American Record Guide) creating a sound of “sheer beauty” (HR Audio.net) and “sonic splendor” (Fanfare).
Richard K. Pugsley
Known for his musical sensitivity and performance authenticity, Richard K. Pugsley, Director of the world renowned Gloriæ Dei Cantores, has been applauded for his “expert conducting” (Mozart Forum). Pugsley has conducted the internationally recognized Gloriæ Dei Cantores for over 15 years, and performed with the choir in concert halls and churches in 24 countries throughout Europe, Russia, and North America for over 25 years. His passion for enlivening the sacred texts of choral literature as relevant and present encounters of sung prayer spans the traditions of ancient Gregorian chant, to classic repertoire, modern works, and rarely-performed choral gems.
Maestro Pugsley has conducted over 2,000 works at the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, MA. Featured performances have included; Bach’s Furchte dich nicht, Lobe den Herren, Komm Jesu komm, Jesu der du meine Seele, Jesu meine Freude, Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied; Beethoven’s Mass in C minor, Missa Solemnis; Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Festival Te Deum, and Rejoice in the Lamb; Bruckner’s Os Justi and Pange Lingua, Messe in F Minor; Des Prez’s Missa Pange Lingua; Ešenvalds’ Trinity Te Deum, Psalm 67, Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis; Gretchaninov’s Missa Festiva; Grieg’s Fire Salmer; Hanson’s Cherubic Hymn and How Excellent thy Name; Haydn’s Mass in D Minor; Howells’ A Sequence for St. Michael, Requiem, and Take Him Earth for Cherishing; Ives’ Psalm 100, and Psalm 135; Kodaly’s Missa Brevis; Langlais’ Missa Solonnelle and Messe en style ancien; Martin’s Mass for Double Choir; Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Mass in C Minor, Mass in E flat Minor, Scande coeli limina, and Vesperae Solenenes de Confessore; Pärt’s Salve Regina, Berliner Messe, L’abbé Agathon, and Peace Be Upon You, O Jerusalem; Persichetti’s Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis and Mass for Mixed Chorus; Poulenc’s Four Lenten motet’s, Four Advent motets and Gloria; Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom; Rheinberger’s Mass in E, Mass in F and Mass in G; Sowerby’s An Angel Stood by the Altar, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in D and Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in E minor; Stravinsky’s Mass for Mixed Chorus and Winds; Vaughan Williams’ The Call and Mass in G minor.
In addition, numerous operatic and choral performances such as Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri; Carissimi’s Jephtha; Händel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt, and Saul; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Beethoven’s Mass in C minor, Berger’s Brazilian Psalm; Brahm’s Requiem; Britten’s The Company of Heaven, Duruflé’s Requiem; Ešenvalds’ In Paradisum; Faure’s Requiem; Finzi’s Intimations of Immortality, For St. Cecilia, Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice, Welcome Sweet and Sacred Feast, and Requiem de Camera; Handel’s Israel and Egypt; Haydn’s The Creation; Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors; and J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. Mozart’s Requiem; Pärt’s Passio, Rachmaninoff’s
All Night Vigil; Sviridov’s Three Choruses from Tsar Feodor Ioannovich and Ineffable Mystery (Ñeizr̃echénnoe Chúdo); Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Walton’s The Twelve.
His directing in the New England Premiere in 2005 of The Pilgrim’s Progress was heralded by the Boston Globe as “powerful in conception and polished in execution.”
A soloist of critical acclaim, Mr. Pugsley’s most recent performance as the lead role of Pilgrim in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ opera, The Pilgrim’s Progress, was hailed for his “fully-embodied” and “musically thrilling” (NewsMax) performance, “where he captured the character’s humility and resilient faith” (Boston Classical Review). Other lead roles have included Saul in Händel’s oratorio, Saul, Pilgrim in the 2005 New England Premiere of Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrims Progress, solo roles in Duruflé’s Requiem, and works by Bach, Copeland, Grieg, Händel, Sowerby, and Vaughan Williams, among others.
An accomplished producer of over thirty recordings on the Paraclete label, Richard is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the Producers and Engineers wing. A recent project, a collaborative recording featuring Gloriæ Dei Cantores of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, has been hailed as “one of the very finest recordings this work has ever received” (Fanfare); “. . . a superlative recording . . . beyond glorious,” (The Buffalo News); and “…brilliant recording… sheer beauty” (HR.Audio.net).
Maestro Pugsley is a tenacious advocate for youth music education, continually inspiring young musicians to reach their greatest potential and experience the joy of excellence through performance. He has been recognized as an extraordinary teacher and coach of vocal technique. Pugsley has directed numerous ensembles and led workshops with thousands of students throughout the world including in South Africa, South Korea, Australia, and across the United States.