Founded in 1992 by former members of St. Thomas’s Boys Choir in Leipzig, amarcord has since become one of the world’s premier vocal ensembles and leading representatives of Leipzig’s music scene in Germany and abroad, appearing at important music festivals and concert halls including Berlin’s Philharmonie and Konzerthaus, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Dusseldorf’s Tonhalle, the Philharmonie in Cologne and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. amarcord’s hallmarks are unique tone, breathtaking homogeneity, musical authenticity and a good dose of charm and humor.
amarcord performs a vast and highly diverse repertoire, from medieval plainsong to madrigals and Renaissance masses, compositions and cycles of works of the European Romantic period and 20th century, and arrangements of a cappella folksongs collected from all over the world. Open to new currents in vocal music, the singers attach great importance to new music and works dedicated to the ensemble include those by Bernd Franke, Steffen Schleiermacher, Ivan Moody, James MacMillan, Sidney M. Boguiren, Siegfried Thiele and Dimitri Terzakis. Although their concert programming is strongly focused on a cappella works they frequently appear with ensembles and soloists such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Lautten Compagney, Berlin, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Leipzig String Quartet, pianist Ragna Schirmer, bandoneon virtuoso Per Arne Glorvigen and violinist Daniel Hope.
In 1997 amarcord founded the International Festival of Vocal Music “a cappella” (www.a-cappella-festival.de) which has since become one of the most important festivals of its kind. Held in Leipzig each spring, premier vocal ensembles such as The Real Group, The King’s Singers, Take 6 and the Hilliard Ensemble have appeared at the Festival.
amarcord won prizes at many international competitions including the 2002 German Music Competition in Bonn and the 1st Choir Olympiad in Linz, Austria. amarcord was the first vocal ensemble to be awarded the Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Festival. Master classes with members of The King’s Singers and the Hilliard Ensemble also gave valuable encouragement to amarcord.
amarcord’s most recent CD, released on edition apollon in 2015 Armarium is a collection of works dating from the Middle Ages to Heinrich Schütz. Opening a treasure trove of St. Thomas singing tradition, from the first centuries of the St Thomas Choir’s existence, long dormant in various archives and performed for the first time in this new amarcord recording.
amarcord performs on Friday, November 17 as part of the Howard Mayer Brown International Early Music Series.