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The Monteverdi Choir was founded in 1964 by Sir John Eliot Gardiner to perform the Vespers composed by its namesake at King’s College Chapel in Cambridge. Originally the goal of the Choir was to explore the music of the Baroque in all of its facets, but its repertoire has long since spanned across eras, genres, and styles. The Monteverdi Choir has become a byword for passionate and highly cultivated choral singing through its performances all around the world. Its members in addition regularly undertake the solo parts in performances. The Bach Cantata Pilgrimage of 2000 must be regarded as the most spectacular project in the Monteverdi Choir’s history. This project honored the Leipzig cantor on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his death with performances of all his extant cantatas in more than 60 European churches; the live recordings of these concerts, which were released on CD, garnered numerous prizes, including the Gramophone Award. The Monteverdi Choir regularly takes part in opera productions, as, for example, Weber’s Le Freyschütz (in the Berlioz version), Chabrier’s L’Étoile, and Bizet’s Carmen at the Opéra-Comique in Paris and Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House in London. In December 2015 the singers performed in Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, and in the fall of 2016 they sang in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. The entire year of 2017 is devoted to their next Monteverdi project: to mark the 450th anniversary of the composer’s birth, the Choir is undertaking a seven-month tour performing the three operas L’Orfeo, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, and L’incoronazione di Poppea, which will also be presented in Venice, Salzburg, Berlin, Paris, Chicago, and New York. The Monteverdi Choir’s patron is the Prince of Wales.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 2 September 1994 in Mozart’s Thamos, König in Ägypten and C minor Mass.