The Gewandhaus Choir boasts an enviable 150-year history, during which it has always been closely allied to the Gewandhaus Orchestra. The Choir has continually performed under the leading conductors of the day, including such celebrated maestri as the Gewandhauskapellmeister Carl Reinecke, Arthur Nikisch, Franz Konwitschny, Hermann Abendroth, Kurt Masur, Herbert Blomstedt and Riccardo Chailly, as well as the Cantors of St. Thomas's, Karl Straube, Günter Ramin, Kurt Thomas and Erhard Mauersberger.
In 1964, the directorship of the Choir was assumed by Andreas Pieske, who was succeeded in 1980 by Georg Christoph Biller. On Biller's appointment to the position of Thomaskantor in 1992 the Choir sung initially under the direction of Gewandhaus Organist Michael Schönheit, then under Ekkehard Schreiber and subsequently from 1999 until 2007 under Morten Schuldt-Jensen. Since the 2007/08 season Gregor Meyer has been Artistic Director of this ambitious, 50-strong semi-professional ensemble. The Choir currently rehearses twice per week.
The Gewandhaus Choir's eclectic repertoire necessitates considerable vocal flexibility on the part of its members. In addition to a cappella music from the most diverse epochs and the large-scale choral symphonic repertoire the Choir's programmes regularly include gospel, soul, pop and jazz. Recent highlights include the collaboration with star trombonist Nils Landgren and a magnificent Bach Night to mark the composer's 325th birthday.
The Gewandhaus Choir performs regularly with the Gewandhaus Children's Choir, the Chorus of the Leipzig Opera, the MDR Choir and the Dresden Chamber Choir, as well as with the Gewandhaus Orchestra and other instrumental ensembles. As well as undertaking concert tours around Germany and abroad, the Choir is a regular guest at various eminent festivals including the Leipziger Bachfest, the Kunstfest Weimar, the Kultursommer Nordhessen, the Bad Harzburger Musiktagen, the Stelzenfestspielen bei Reuth and the Musiksommer Obermain. In addition, the Choir has performed at rather more unusual locations such as the Leipzig Art Museum and the Battle of the Nations Memorial.
Numerous CD, DVD, television and radio productions together with the Gewandhausorchester document a substantial part of the Choir's work. Under the direction of Gregor Meyer, the Choir has showcased itself in the form of two highly praised CDs released on the Genuin label: FELIX consists of a programme of works by the young Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, accompanied by the Leipzig Mendelssohn Orchestra and released in 2007; 2008 saw the release of the world premiere recording of the sacred choral music of Sigfrid Karg-Elert in collaboration with the Vocalconsort Leipzig and organist Stefan Engels. To celebrate its own 150th anniversary and the 200th birthday of Franz Liszt, the Gewandhaus Choir released a CD of Liszt's sacred choral music in autumn 2011 on the label querstand.