Gewandhaus Youth Choir

The Gewandhaus Youth Choir can already look back with pride on its first exciting decade of music making. Founded on the initiative of former members of the Gewandhaus Children's Choir, it forms a valuable link between the children’s ensemble and the predominantly adult Gewandhaus Choir. Initially numbering eight members, the Choir has developed into an ensemble comprising approximately 40 young singers ranging in age from 14 to 25. The musical direction lies in the hands of Frank-Steffen Elster, Director of the Children’s Choir, thus ensuring a compelling continuation of the young adults’ vocal development.

In the 2017/18 season, the Choir gave its first full, independent concert in the Gewandhaus and also provided the musical foundation for one programme of the Gewandhaus spielt Kino (Gewandhaus plays Cinema) series at the Schaubühne Lindenfels. Subsequent projects have included a programme comprising settings by various composers of texts by Shakespeare, and a concert celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Clara Schumann. The Youth Choir’s performances have now established themselves as an integral element of the Gewandhaus’s choral concert series.

The Youth Choir actively contributes to Leipzig’s musical life beyond the Gewandhaus. It appears regularly as guest choir at the Motette performances in St. Thomas’s Church, it has performed at the opening of the Schumann Festival, joined other choirs for the closing gala concert of Leipzig’s Jewish Week, and has even featured onstage in the production of Nackter Wahnsinn – Was ihr wollt at Leipzig’s Central Theatre. Concert tours have taken the Gewandhaus Youth Choir across Germany and to South Tirol, Austria.

Highlights of recent seasons include performances with the Gewandhausorchester at the Klassik airleben open-air concerts in Leipzig's Rosental Park, conducted by Riccardo Chailly, as well as repeated appearances at the Leipzig Bachfest. The Choir’s first concert at the world’s leading festival celebrating the music of J.S. Bach took place in 2015 in conjunction with the German-Chinese Choral Academy under the direction of Hermann Max, followed in 2018 by the collaboration with the German-American youth choir and orchestra academy b@ch für uns! This project brought the Choir together with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra under Federico Cortese and thus for the first time beyond Europe's borders, the young adults from both countries spending a week together in Boston und Leipzig respectively.