The Thirteen

Organization Member

Contact Information

(202) 990-7679

[email protected]

Washington, District of Columbia

Type of Organization

Performing Ensemble


The Thirteen is a professional choir and orchestra celebrated for reimagining the potential of vocal music from many periods. Praised for performing with “striking color and richness” that “transfigures the listener” (The Washington Post) and “a tight and attractive vocal blend and excellent choral discipline” (American Record Guide), for a decade the ensemble has been at the forefront of invigorating performances of masterworks ranging from early chant to world premieres and the centuries in between. 

 The Thirteen’s growing discography includes “Truth and Fable,” which premiered in October 2019, “Voice Eternal,” which was pre-nominated for a Grammy® award, the critically-acclaimed Christmas album “Snow on Snow,” “RADIANT DARK,” which features the finest works of the late Tudor period and reached #28 on the iTunes Classical Charts, as well as The Thirteen’s debut recording “…to St. Cecilia.”

In past seasons, The Thirteen has performed and been in residency at Yale University, Bowling Green State University, Eastern Illinois University, the University of Central Oklahoma, York College, The University of Tampa, Virginia Wesleyan University, St. Ambrose University, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Guilford College, as well as concerts at colleges and concert series throughout the United States. In 2018 The Thirteen was awarded the Greater Washington Area Choral Excellence award for Most Creative Programming.

The Thirteen is committed to educating and inspiring the next generation of musicians, and frequently coaches students at the high school and collegiate levels in masterclass, workshop and collaborative performance sessions.

What’s in a name?

When Matthew Robertson founded The Thirteen in 2012, he initially imagined a collaborative ensemble that performed and toured with twelve singers and one conductor, making music that was best suited for that configuration. Since then, The Thirteen’s artistic ambitions have outstripped our name, and we now perform with varying numbers of musicians as required by the music we program, from eight to 50. This led us in 2022 to add “Choir & Orchestra” to our name. Still, while our numbers may expand or contract according to the music we perform, our commitment to touching each member of our audience remains unchanged. So too does our commitment to the collaborative music-making environment that was the initial inspiration for our name, The Thirteen.


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