Munich Bach Choir

„...bach modern...“ / or / „...which wondrous metamorphosis the venerable Munich Bach Choir is currently undergoing...“ (RONDO 2008)

Munich, Baden-Baden, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Essen, Mannheim, Innsbruck, Paris, Turin, Genoa, Milan, Rome, Gdansk und Warsaw: The Munich Bach Choir repositions itself as concert choir.

Founded by Karl Richter in 1954, the Munich Bach Choir gained international renown through major concert tours - from Paris and Tokyo to Moscow and New York - and by its recordings with Deutsche Grammophon. In 1985 Hanns-Martin Schneidt took over as director, and he continued the choir´s extensive touring while giving it a new musical impetus. In addition, baroque specialists such as Peter Schreier and Bruno Weil, and major conductors of the calibre of Leonard Bernstein and Oleg Caetani, appeared as guest conductors with the choir. At the start of the 2005/6 season, the young conductor Hansjörg Albrecht, "a stroke of luck for the Munich Bach Choir" according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, was appointed as new musical director of the choir. He has conferred on the choir a new artistic style, and a transparent sound quality which is consistently highlighted in excellent reviews. The performance of the Bach St Matthew's Passion on Good Friday 2006, which was transmitted live by Bavarian radio, was enthusiastically received by the press: "When did we last hear such a radical, passionate St Matthew's Passion..."

Lively Bach interpretations, inspired by historical performance practice, are the main focus of the work. Innovative programme concepts and a versatile repertoire (from Bach to Bernstein) have also become trademarks of the ensemble.

Recently the Munich Bach Choir has performed with John Neumeier´s and Marguerite Donlon's ballet companies and with well-known soloists such as Simone Kermes, Klaus Florian Vogt, Ruth Ziesak, Marlis Petersen, Elisabeth Kulman, Ingeborg Danz and Michael Volle as well as with the actor Uwe Ochsenknecht. The choir has worked with orchestras such as Prague Philharmonia, the Ensemble orchestral de Paris, the Saxon State Orchestra Dresden, the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Munich Radio Orchestra, the Munich Symphony Orchestra and the State Philharmonic Orchestra Rheinland-Pfalz. In addition to these performances, the Munich Bach Choir regularly performs with its traditional musical partner, the Munich Bach Orchestra, and since autumn 2005 with the Bach Collegium Munich.

The Munich Bach Choir has appeared regularly not only in Munich´s major concert halls, but also in various other musically important cities and in European festivals ("Settembre Musica" in Torino, Festspiele Oberammergau, Internationale Orgelwoche Nuremberg, "Heidelberger Frühling", "Musikfestspiele Saar", "Europäische Wochen Passau", "Gustav-Mahler-Musikwochen" Toblach). 

During the past 60 years the Munich Bach Choir has evolved into an essential consistuent of Munich´s music culture and gained an international reputation even far beyond the German borders. An invitation to Italy in July 2014 confirms the choir´s enduring popularity as a cultural ambassador of Germany: with the generous support of the Foreign Office, the Munich Bach Choir and the Orchestra della Toscana performed a memorial concert to honour the victims of a massacre committed by SS troops in summer 1944.

Numerous live recordings in cooperation with radio and television stations document the choir's work. Furthermore, several CD and DVD productions have been released in the last years, among them Bach´s Christmas Oratorio, Bach´s Magnificat and a pasticcio composed of Bach's Secular Cantatas as well as a live recording of the performance of Brahms' "A German Requiem" at the occasion of the memorable Dominik-Brunner-Benefit-Concert and a live recording of Enjott Schneider´s oratorio Augustinus in January 2015.

Last update: February 2015