Origins and History

 

The Konzertchor Darmstadt was founded in 1977 by the internationally renowned conductor Wolfgang Seeliger, who continues to direct and conduct the choir to this day. It is now one of the best known choirs in Germany.

It gained international recognition within a few years of its founding. It has performed in many major European concert halls and has been invited to tour the United States, Israel, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. It was the first German choir to tour North Korea. Alongside its lively concert programme, the choir has made radio and television appearances and album recordings. The choir’s repertoire includes challenging as well as popular programmes and it is often invited for guest performances at music festivals, concert projects and opera productions.

The choir performs regularly with the Darmstadt Hofkapelle and has performed with renowned conductors and orchestras, such as the Saarbrücken RSO, the Frankfurt RSO, the Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, the Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bolshoi Orchestra Moscow, the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, the Young German Philharmonic Orchestra and the Beethoven Academy Orchestra Krakow. Guest conductors have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gary Bertini, Paolo Carignani, Dennis Russell Davies, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Alexander Lazarev, Leif Segerstam and Marcello Viotti.

 

Over the years, the Konzertchor, in its pursuit of perfection, has had the following highlights:

  • Winning first prize in 1988 in the “Large Choirs” category of "Let the Peoples Sing", the most prestigious international choral competition, hosted by broadcasters around the world.

  • In 1990, in the same competition, it won first prize in the category "Chamber Choirs" and received the legendary "Silver Rose Bowl" as the best choir in the entire competition.

  • In July 1989, the choir was the first choir ever to be invited to perform at the Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival under the direction of the renowned violinist Gidon Kremer.

  • From 1981 to 2000 the choir performed as the opera choir for the Schlossfestspiele Heidelberg music festival, and continues to support the opera choir up to the present day.

  • From 1993 to 2000, the choir organised the Jagdschloss Kranichstein Summer Festival, which it had established in 1993, at the Kranichstein Hunting Lodge.

  • In 2001, the Konzertchor launched the Darmstadt Residenzfestspiele. Every year during the summer months, historical Darmstadt sites come alive to convey music and culture connecting tradition with modern-day life. Each year, the choir participates in several concerts.

  • In April 2006, at the invitation of the North Korean government and with the support of the German Foreign Office and the Goethe Institute, the Konzertchor had the opportunity to participate in the North Korean Spring Festival in Pyongyang. It was the first German choir to visit North Korea, where it helped promote understanding and tolerance through music.

  • In 2017, to mark its 40th Anniversary, the Konzertchor Darmstadt was awarded the Bronze Medal of Merit of the City of Darmstadt for its contribution to culture in Darmstadt, Germany and abroad.

 





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