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THIS long-acclaimed professional chamber chorus has been around for nearly 30 years. It was founded in 1964 by a young, ambitious musician called John Eliot Gardiner, who is still its artistic director while he continues to extend the cutting edge of the early music movement ever further into the nineteenth century. The Monteverdis, too, have diversified over the years. They still specialise in the Baroque and before, although recently they have sung the Requiems by Verdi (accompanied by period instruments) and Faure (in a version that recreates Faure's early thoughts on the work), the War Requiem by Britten and, in Seville and at the Proms last year, Alexander Goehr's The Death of Moses, which was written for them. Recent honours have included awards for recordings of the Beethoven Missa Solemnis and Mozart's Idomeneo.