Gewandhaus Children´s Choir
Founded in 1973, the Gewandhaus Children's Choir has, as a consequence of its high musical demands und persistent nurturing of young talent, established itself as one of the most renowned and successful children's choirs in Germany. From 1982 to 1997, the Choir was led by the influential hand of Ekkehard Schreiber. Frank-Steffen Elster succeeded Schreiber in 1999, directing the Choir to this day.
The Gewandhaus Children's Choir is engaged in an exceedingly diverse range of musical activities. The children perform a cappella, together with the Gewandhaus Choir, with the Gewandhausorchester, as well as with other eminent ensembles, for instance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Scenic projects have, for some years, formed regular highlights of the Gewandhaus Children's Choir's activities. In 2009 and 2010, a lavish production was realised in collaboration with the Moran Choir from Israel - a project with wide-reaching cultural and artistic, as well as societal implications. Under the patronage of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Hans Krásas' opera Brundibár was performed in the Gewandhaus, in the Jewish Museum in Berlin and subsequently in Richon LeZion, Israel. This was followed in 2013 by the acclaimed production of Der RING – ein Musiktheater by Lutz Glandien – a work commissioned by the Gewandhaus. In 2015, the Choir staged Aaron Copland's The Second Hurricane. 2017 and 2019 saw the world premieres of two pieces of musical theatre: Frank-Steffen Elster's Von Zwergen, Riesen und Kindern (Of Dwarves, Giants and Children) and Walter Zoller's Aufstand! (Uproar!), for both of which Philipp J. Neumann was responsible for the libretto and the stage direction.
Concert tours have taken the Gewandhaus Children's Choir all over Europe and even further afield, including Belgium, Estonia, France, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland and, on two occasions, China. The ensemble has won numerous awards at international choral competitions, performed at the prestigious Salzburg Easter Festival and at the Festival de Saint Denis in Paris, at the World of Children’s Choirs festival in Vancouver, Canada, at the Estonian Song and Dance Festival in Tallinn and at the International Choir Competition in Tolosa. The Choir has hosted the Little Singers of Armenia in Leipzig, and is planning a reciprocal visit to Armenia.
Many of the Gewandhaus Children's Choir's performances are broadcast on television and radio, as well as being documented on film and CD. Their most recent CD release was Ein Tag im Leben eines Kindes (A Day in the Life of a Child) – a project created by Frank-Steffen Elster together with the beloved children's songwriter, Gerhard Schöne.