Gewandhaus Children´s Choir
Thanks to its high musical demands and consistent nurturing of young talent, the Gewandhaus Children's Choir, founded in 1973, has acquired an international reputation as one of the finest and most successful children's choirs in Germany. Membership of the Choir, winner of the City of Leipzig's Art Prize, has long since been regarded as an indication of exceptional musical understanding and talent.
From 1982 until 1997 the Gewandhaus Children's Choir was developed by the influential hand of Ekkehard Schreiber. Frank-Steffen Elster succeeded Schreiber in 1999, directing the Choir to this day.
The Choir numbers around 80 children and adolescents ranging from 9 to 18 years of age. The Preparatory Choir comprises approximately 50 children of the 6-9 age group.
The Gewandhaus Children's Choir is engaged in an extremely diverse range of musical activities: it performs a cappella, together with the Gewandhaus Choir, with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and with other renowned ensembles. The Choir's repertoire covers an enormous spectrum from simple folk song to contemporary works, from sacred motets to large-scale choral symphonic music. In addition, the Choir has given the first performances of a whole series of new works.
Scenic projects have, for some years, formed a highlight of each season. The Mozart Year in 2006 saw the premiere of Stephan König's "Amadeus' Klavier" in the Gewandhaus. The Choir made its first advance into the world of the musical in 2007 with a production of "Annie". This was followed in 2008 by a huge hit with "Tin Pan Ali".
The highlight of the 2009 and 2010 seasons was the realisation of a lavish production 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.
The most recent scenic production, Carl Jenkins opera "Eloise", graced the stage of the Gewandhaus to much acclaim.
Concert tours have taken the Gewandhaus Children's Choir all over Europe and even further afield: e.g. Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Hungary, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Spain, Switzerland and, most recently, Israel.
The Choir has won prizes at several international choir competitions, taking part in the Salzburg Easter Festival and Festival de Saint Denis in Paris in 1990, the World of Children's Choirs in Vancouver in 2001, the Estonian Song and Dance Festival in Tallinn in 2005 and the International Choir Competition in Tolosa, Spain in 2006.
Many of the Choir's activities are broadcast on radio and television, as well as being documented on film and CD.