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The Balthasar Neumann Choir, a professional ensemble of young soloists , was founded in 1991 by Thomas Hengelbrock. The heart of their artistic focus is music from the 16th to 18th centuries, but they extend their repertoire to older as well as more contemporary music for selected projects, from Perotinus Magnus to György Ligeti. The singers display their theatrical talent as well by participating in productions of music theater with the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble. For example they have collaborated with director Achim Freyer to perform a staged version of Bach’s B minor Mass at the Schwetzingen Festival as well as a new production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at the Vienna Festwochen. In 2005 the Choir made its Paris Opera debut in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, which was staged by Pina Bausch. The Ensemble has appeared at the Salzburg Festival in Handel’s Solomon and at the Konzerthaus in Dortmund in Bellini’s La sonnambula and Norma, with Cecilia Bartoli singing the title part of each opera. The Balthasar Neumann Choir was ensemble-in-residence at the Feldkirch Festival for six years and has been a regular guest at the Würzburg Mozart Festival since 2010. Along with Thomas Hengelbrock, such musicians as Ivor Bolton, René Jacobs, and András Schiff collaborate with the Ensemble, which won the Baden-Württemberg Cultural Award in 2005. Conductor, organist, and harpsichordist Detlef Bratschke, who prepared the singers for this concert, has served as Artistic Director of the Balthasar Neumann Choir since 1992. He is also founder and director of the Orlando di Lasso Ensemble, with whom he has recorded numerous CDs which have won such awards as the Diapason d’Or, the Cannes Classical Award, and the Echo Klassik.
One previous LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) appearance: on 19 March 1997 in works by Antonio Lotti and Emanuele Rincon d’Astorga.