„...bach modern...“ / or / „...which wondrous transformation that dignified Munich Bach Choir is currently undergoing...“ (RONDO 2008)
The Munich Bach Choir, founded in 1954 by Karl Richter, soon gained international renown, particularly for performing the works of Johann Sebastian Bach - both live onstage during its major international concert tours ( be it in Paris, Moscow, Tokyo or New York ) or as documented by numerous recordings.
After Richter´s death in 1981 - Leonard Bernstein conducted the memorial concert in his honour - Hanns-Martin Schneidt took over the baton between 1984 and 2001. He began to shift the choir´s repertoire, established new proirities and continued the by now traditional touring activities. The following years saw the choir collaborating with several guest conductors, predominantly Baroque specialists such as Peter Schreier, Bruno Weil and Ralf Otto.
A new era began in 2005, when Hansjörg Albrecht was appointed as new Musical Director - "a godsend for the Munich Bach Choir", as Süddeutsche Zeitung phrased it. Under his leadership the ensemble developed a new artistic profile and gained a clear and transparent choral sound that many critics since have highlighted. Agile, animated performances of Bach´s works, inspired by historically informed practices, remain a key focus of the choir´s schedule. Unusual program concepts and an expanded repertoire have become additional trademarks in recent years, marked by collaborations with the ballet companies of John Neumeier or Marguerite Donlon and with acclaimed soloists such as Marlis Petersen, Simone Kermes, Klaus Florian Vogt or Michael Volle.
The Munich Bach Choir continues working closely with its traditional artistic partners, the Munich Bach Orchestra and Bach Collegium München, but has also teamed up with other notable European orchestras. It performs at Munich´s grand concert halls as well as at other important musical centers and international festivals. CD and DVD productions are documenting the long-standing fertile collaboration between Munich´s major Bach ensembles - like the recording of Enjott Schneider´s oratorio "Augustinus", issued in 2015.
In March 2016 the Munich Bach Choir returned to Moscow after more than 35 years to sing Bach´s St.Matthew Passion there. Later that same year the choir toured eight major cathedrals of Southern France with Handel´s "Messiah" to great acclaim. 2017 saw the choir guesting Passau for the international Europäische Wochen festival and performing in the sold-out basilica of Ottobeuren Abbey. In November 2017 the Munich Bach Choir collaborated with the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra for the first time for a concert at Budapest´s Palace of Arts.
Another concert in Moscow is on the schedule for 2018, as is a concert tour to Israel with nine performances of Mozart´s Coronation Mass.
Translation: Cornelia Rèmi
Last update: January 2018