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Ensemble Amarcord History

Ensemble Amarcord

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Based in: Leipzig, Germany.

Founded in 1992 by erstwhile members of St Thomas's Boys Choir in Leipzig, amarcord has since become one of the world's leading vocal ensembles. amarcord's hallmarks include a unique tone, breathtaking homogeneity, musical authenticity, and a good dose of charm and humour. amarcord performs a vast and highly diverse repertoire of music, from medieval plainsong to madrigals and Renaissance masses, to compositions and cycles of works of the European Romantic period and the 20th century, a cappella folksong arrangements collected from all over the world, all the way to rock, pop, soul and jazz charts.

Open to new currents in vocal music, the singers attach great importance to New Music. Works dedicated to the ensemble include those by Bernd Franke, Steffen Schleiermacher, Ivan Moody, James MacMillan, Sidney M. Boquiren, Siegfried Thiele and Dimitri Terzakis. Even though their concert programming is strongly focused on a cappella works, amarcord also regularly performs in concert with ensembles and artists such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Lautten Compagney, Cappella Sagittariana, the Leipzig String Quartet, the KlazzBrothers, concert pianist Ragna Schirmer, the bandoneon virtuoso Per Arne Glorvigen and the brilliant violinist Daniel Hope.

Amarcord has won prizes at many international competitions, such as Tolosa in Spain, Tampere in Finland and Pohlheim in Germany, as well as the 1st Choir Olympiad in the Austrian city of Linz. In 2002, the ensemble won the German Music Competition, having joined the ranks of the BA KJK (the cream of young musicians singled out by the German Music Council for special support) two years beforehand. In 2004, amarcord became the first group of singers to be awarded the Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Festival. Attending master classes with the King's Singers and the Hilliard Ensemble has given amarcord valuable stimulus over the years.

Alongside the Gewandhaus Orchestra and St Thomas's Boys Choir, amarcord is now one of the leading representatives of Leipzig's music scene in Germany and abroad. amarcord regularly appears at important music festivals, and its frequent concert tours have taken the group not only all over Europe but also to North America - where it was enthusiastically received in cities like San Francisco, Washington, New York, Atlanta, Houston or Salt Lake City -, Central America, Australia, Japan, Israel, The Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Founded by amarcord in 1997 under the artistic direction of the group, the International Festival of Vocal Music "a cappella" ( has established itself as one of the most important festivals of its kind. Held in Leipzig in spring each year, premier vocal formations such as The Real Group, The King's Singers, Take 6 and the Hilliard Ensemble can be heard at the festival.

Numerous CD recordings document impressively the many facets of amarcord's repertoire. Released in 2009, the CD "Rastlose Liebe" ("Restless Love") received the ECHO Klassik Award, the Luxembourgian Supersonic Award and was nominated for the MIDEM Classical Award, the most important prize of the European CD market. In addition, this CD - as previously also "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland" ("Now come, saviour of the gentiles"), "Incessament" and "Hear the voice" - won the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award, the "a-cappella-Oscar". In February 2010 amarcord released its first CD production with an orchestral work: the reconstructed version of Johann Sebastian Bach's St. Mark Passion, performed together with Dominique Horwitz and the Kolner Akademie.

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