Shows & Attractions

Special Ensemble



The “engaging” (New Yorker) men’s vocal ensemble Cantus is widely known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming and riveting performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The Washington Post has hailed the Cantus sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to the “spontaneous grace” of its music making. The Philadelphia Inquirer called the group nothing short of “exquisite.”

As one of the nation’s few full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has grown in prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process.

Cantus performs more than 60 concerts each year both in national and international touring, and in its home of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Cantus has performed at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, UCLA, San Francisco Performances, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival.

In the 2019-20 season, Cantus celebrates the allure of upward exploration, the triumph of the human spirit, and striving for excellence through innovation and technology on their touring program One Giant Leap. The poetic arc of the program is structured around the moon landing and the groundwork that was laid to make this historic achievement possible, and includes works by Mohammed Fairouz, Franz Schubert, Kenneth Jennings, Byron Adams, David Bowie, Camille Saint-Saëns, Eriks Esenvalds, Z. Randall Stroope, and a piece originally commissioned for Cantus by Sarah Kirkland Snider. Cantus will perform One Giant Leap across the US, with stops in including Michigan, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and California. They also perform Christmas with Cantus – a “powerfully poetic Christmas program,” presenting familiar holiday carols, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, and narrated passages from The Little Match Girl, Christmas or The Good Fairy – along with 30 concerts and a 25th Anniversary Gala in their home base of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Cantus launches its anniversary year with a concert at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where the ensemble began.

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