Monteverdi-Chor Hamburg

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The Monteverdi-Chor Hamburg is an award-winning mixed choir in Hamburg, the chamber choir of the University of Hamburg since 1961. Founded in 1955 by Jürgen Jürgens and directed by him until 1994, it is one of Germany's most famous concert choirs. The choir is well known for its interpretations of Baroque and Renaissance music,[1] but covers choral music from the Renaissance to contemporary music. Since 1994, the conductor has been Gothart Stier.

History[edit]

The choir was founded in 1955 as the "Chor am Italienischen Kulturinstitut" (Choir at the Italian Cultural Institute), but renamed the same year after Claudio Monteverdi, then a largely unknown composer.[2] Since 1961 it has been the chamber choir of the University of Hamburg, where Jürgens worked as a director of music from 1961 to 1993.[3]

After four years of intensive preparation, the Monteverdi-Chor won first prize at the international choral competition Concorso Polifonico Internazionale "Guido d'Arezzo" in Arezzo, Italy, in 1959. In 1962, it won first prize also at the international competition in Lille, France.

The choir became famous by collaboration with Gustav Leonhardt, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Frans Brüggen and Eduard Melkus, among others, recording for Teldec and Archiv Produktion.[2] The choir recorded rarities. In the 1960s it recorded Bach cantatas, with soloists and players who later became famous in the field of historically informed performance, such as tenor Kurt Equiluz, bass Max van Egmond, violinist Jaap Schröder, recorder player Frans Brüggen and organist Gustav Leonhardt, among others.[4] In 1990 works by Max Reger including his Requiem were recorded in collaboration with the choir of St. Michaelis, soloist Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and the Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg, conducted by Gerd Albrecht.[5] The choir was invited to music festivals at home and abroad, to almost all countries of Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Central and Latin America, Southeast Asia, China and Australia.[2]

After the sudden death of Jürgen Jürgens in August 1994, Gothart Stier from Leipzig, a former concert singer, became artistic director.[2] The choir has about 60 singers.[3] Stier has continued the tradition to focus on a cappella music. He also performed classical and romantic choral music including Verdi in cooperation with the Staatskapelle Halle, the Mitteldeutsches Kammerorchester, the Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum Leipzig, and members of the Gewandhausorchester.[2] On 16 October 2010, the choir performed Monteverdi's Marienvesper in the Berlin Cathedral with the ensemble amarcord and the Lautten Compagney.[6]

Selected recordings[edit]

Awards and prizes[edit]

Selected prizes for recordings[edit]

  • Grand Prix du Disque Paris: Monteverdi: Marien-Vesper, Telemann: Tag des Gerichts, Monteverdi: L'Orfeo, Alessandro Scarlatti|Scarlatti: Madrigale
  • Grand Prix du Disque Bruxelles: Bach: Trauerode
  • Prix St. Cecile Belgique: Monteverdi: L'Orfeo

Selected prizes in competitions[edit]

  • Concorso Polifonico Internazionale "Guido d'Arezzo", Arezzo
    • 1958: 3rd prize Folklore
    • 1959: 1st prize Mixed choir
    • 1960: 2nd prize Mixed choir
    • 1964: 2nd prize Mixed choir and 2nd prize Male choir
    • 1967: 2nd prize Mixed choir
    • 1968: 2nd prize Mixed choir & 2nd prize Male choir
    • 1970: 3rd prize Mixed choir
    • 1972: 2nd prize Male choir & 2nd prize Female choir
    • 1977: 1st prize Mixed choir and 3rd prize Folklore
    • 1983: 3rd prize Male choir
  • Bela Bartok International Choir Competition, Debrecen
    • 1958: 2nd prize Mixed choir
    • 1970: 3rd prize Folklore
  • Festival International de Chant Chorale, Lille
    • 1959: 1st prize Mixed choir
  • International May Choir Competition, Varna
    • 1977: 2nd prize Chamber choir
  • International competition of choirs of broadcasters, Brno
  • Let the Peoples Sing, international competition of the European Broadcasting Union
    • 1976: 1st prize Sender Freies Berlin – 1st prize Mixed choir
    • 1982: 1st prize Sender Freies Berlin – Large choir
    • 1986: 1st prize Sender Freies Berlin – Large choir and 1st prize male choir

References[edit]

  1. ^ Porter, Darwin; Prince, Danforth (30 October 2009). Frommer's Germany 2010. John Wiley & Sons. p. 634. ISBN 978-0-470-57326-6. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Monteverdi-Chor Hamburg (Choir)". Bach Cantatas. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Monteverdi-Chor" (in German). University of Hamburg. 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Quinn, John (2009). "Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) / Cantatas". musicweb-international.com. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Reger: Requiem". prestoclassical.co. 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Marienvesper / von Claudio Monteverdi / in Kooperation mit dem Monteverdi-Chor Hamburg". lauttencompagney.de. 2010. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Brahms-Medaille – Die Preisträger". aluan.de. Retrieved 27 March 2012. 

External links[edit]