Mandarin Voices Choir (formerly Chopsticks Choral Society)

We are the Mandarin Voices Choir, a project-based choir aimed at promoting Chinese choral arts and championing works by Chinese and China-related composers. 

About the Choir

The Choir has a unique repertoire, which includes works by Chinese composers, rarely heard in European concert halls. Through its annual concerts, the Mandarin Voices Choir aims to introduce this repertoire and sound to European audiences, and to act as a bridge between China and Europe so that deserving works in the Chinese choral repertoire can make their way into the mainstream repertoire of European choirs. The Mandarin Voices Choir is a platform for access to and the understanding of Chinese choral works. Audiences will be offered a chance to hear works that have rarely, if ever, been sung in London or Europe performed to a high standard. As part of the concert, our Artistic Director, Nicholas Smith will also provide historical and stylistic insights into the music performed.  


'I attended the concert on 27th January given by the Mandarin Voices under the baton of British conductor Nick Smith OBE and alongside Canadian jazz pianist David Braid. The concert was a fusion of Chinese music and jazz and it was a real feast for the ears. David Braid's intricate improvisations, sometimes even using chopsticks between the piano strings to create ethereal effects, were outstanding and the way in which this blended with traditional Chinese songs was beautifully executed. I wasn't sure what to expect from the evening, but I was left yearning for more of this music. I very much hope this concert is repeated many times over in the near future- it was truly a wonderful evening all-round.' - Sam Ward from 

 'There are many choirs in London who now sing in Mandarin, but Mandarin Voices is the best. The concert was amazing, the jazz language imposed on the Chinese choral music was sublime'  - Azalea, Qin Lei 

 David Braid was 'utterly brilliant' Clare Mowbray

Next Event 

Saturday 3 October 2020 - Chinese National Day concert - venue Cadogan Hall London SW1X 9DQ

Artistic Director & Conductor, Nicholas Smith OBE 
Details to follow in due course

For photos, press releases & Ambassador's speech for 29 September 2018 concert at Cadogan Hall - see below

PERFORM at the CONCERT on 3 October 2020 & JOIN THE CHOIR

To join the choir - email Theresa Booth on and complete an application form. Depending on your musical experience an audition may be required. Click on the button below



We offer a range of sponsorship benefits to suit all budgets from £8000 to £250 - benefits include VIP reception, pre & post concert marketing both in the UK & China, advertising in the concert programme - click on the links below for full information or email Theresa on



DAO & Love, Friendship & Longing Concert - 29 September 2018 - for photos & press releases, click on button below. 


Highlights of concert on Saturday 27 January 2018 -  Chinese New Year concert of Choral Music using Chinese folksong melodies & infused with jazz themes

We were delighted to welcome world renowned jazz pianist, David Braid, who made this a concert to remember. David flew in from Moscow to perform, and our Artistic Director & Conductor, Nicholas Smith OBE, created an evening of uniqueness, beauty & thought provoking musical arrangements.  

Venue:  St James's Church, Sussex Gardens, W2 3UD.

LISTEN TO DAVID BRAID, world Renowned jazz pianist, demonstrate how he will give Chinese melodies the jazz treatment

Reviews and Testimonials

Inaugural concert at the Cadogan Hall, October 2016

Our inaugural concert was held at the Cadogan Hall on 1st October 2016, and included a performance of   Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata along with a selection of other classical Chinese pieces.

The Yellow River Cantata is to Chinese choirs and audiences what Messiah is to UK choirs and audiences. Every choir in China knows this work, and everyone in China knows at least one of the tunes. This work, written by Xian Xinghai, makes extraordinarily effective use of the rhythms and cadences of Chinese folk music, which in turn spring from everyday Chinese life, to create a work that speaks directly to the Chinese, but is also universal in its appeal. This work is, above all, tuneful and emotionally accessible.

This was only the second performance of the Yellow River Cantata in London and will be a first step in establishing a tradition of performing this work in the UK. Just as every major city in the world has an annual performance of Messiah, this flagship Chinese choral work deserves an annual performance to evaluate its merits and stimulate a new generation of composers to react to it and create other Chinese choral masterpieces. 

Other events

December 2016 - the choir represented China at an  Advent Concert December 2016 at Piccadilly Circus on an especially erected platform built around the statue of Eros

July 2017 - Singing football chants to promote Chelsea's Summer China Tour at the Chelsea FC Stadium at Stanford Bridge


More about us

Our artistic director is Mr Nicholas Michael Smith, OBE. Mr Smith is currently the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Peking Sinfonietta and the International Festival Chorus, both based in Beijing, China. Both offer regular seasons featuring the world’s top soloists. Under Mr. Smith’s direction, the Peking Sinfonietta is now widely recognized as offering China’s most innovative programming and authentic performances, while the International Festival Chorus is acclaimed as the PRC’s best choir and the only group in mainland China working consistently to introduce the western choral-symphonic repertoire to Chinese audiences in Beijing and beyond. 

 Mr. Smith has  with many groups worldwide, including the China Philharmonic Orchestra, the China National Film Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Les Percussions Claviers de Lyon, Teatro Lirico di Spoleto and the choirs of Cornell University.
 Over the last 12 years, Mr. Smith has conducted and helped to bring about numerous concerts of significance to the development of western music in China, including PRC first performances of works ranging from Bach’s St John Passion to Elgar’s The Music Makers, as well as the PRC’s first ever fully staged Broadway musical Lady in the Dark which featured stars from London’s West End. 

 Mr. Smith holds a degree in music from Cambridge University, England and studied conducting and composition privately with Reginald Thompson. Mr. Smith holds both artistic and academic appointments. 

Improve your Mandarin and learn to sing at the same time

It's not just the Mandarin Voices Choir that will help you improve your singing and mandarin skills. Join Chopsticks Club member and professional opera singer,  Wang Chen at St Martin's in the Fields Church, (Bishop Ming Hua Hall) Trafalgar Square, and sing in Chinese on Thursday evenings between 6.45 - 8pm.
Each session costs £10 for an hours lesson (£7 for students).
(To join the Club, click on the MEMBERS header)

For more information email:  OR  see