Artist photo of GewandhausChor

The Gewandhaus Choir is closely linked in its history to the Gewandhaus Orchestra and can look back on a tradition of more than 150 years. Renowned conductors have collaborated with the ensemble, including the current Thomaskantors and Gewandhauskapellmeisters, most recently Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, and Andris Nelsons. Gregor Meyer has led the choir since the 2007/2008 season.

The ensemble’s repertoire is varied and requires a flexible voice and the willingness to repeatedly engage with new program approaches. Notable projects of past seasons have included collaborations with star trombonist Nils Landgren, multi-talent Herbert Feuerstein, actresses Katharina, Anna and Nellie Thalbach, and the staged performance of a version of Bach’s St. Mark’s Passion in a barrier-free production for the deaf.

The Choir also ventured an exciting experiment in collaborating with innovative piano-electro-artist Martin Kohlstedt, resulting in the album Ströme and numerous joint concerts in Germany.

Other highlights of its choral work include concert tours abroad, most recently to the Vatican, the Lucerne Festival, the BBC Proms, the Vienna Musikverein, India, and Vietnam. The Choir has also performed in unusual venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts Leipzig, the Monument to the Battle of the Nations, the Theater am Rand, the crematorium at the Leipzig South Cemetery, and the Weißer Holunder cult pub in Cologne. In Arne Birkenstock’s successful documentary Sound of Heimat, the singers have even been seen in the cinema.

The Gewandhaus Choir regularly performs with other renowned choirs, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, and other instrumental ensembles. In the field of historical performance practice, it has been closely associated with the camerata lipsiensis. The two ensembles frequently revive large-scale Romantic oratorios, such as Ferdinand Hiller’s The Destruction of Jerusalem, Friedrich Schneider’s The Last Judgement, and most recently Adolph Bernhard Marx’s Moses, the live recordings of which were also released.

Many other CD, DVD, television, and radio productions attest to the versatility of the ensemble’s artistic activities, including a CD of Franz Liszt’s sacred works, recordings of Max Reger’s complete choral cantatas and of Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony in a version for choir, soloists, and orchestra, and a CD with the L’art de passage quartet featuring works by Friedrich Silcher in very free arrangements.

Picture: Nick Putzmann

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