The Monteverdi-Chor is one of Germany’s most famous choirs. Founded by Jürgen Jürgens in 1955 as the choir of the Italian Cultural Institute Hamburg, it has been part of the music department of the University of Hamburg since Jürgens’ nomination as University Music Director in 1961.
The wide repertoire of the Monteverdi-Chor includes the main works of the early music canon as well as music of the romantic period and contemporary music.
Award-winning landmark recordings, mainly of early music, established the choir’s reputation world wide. Numerous prizes from international competitions document the choir’s successful work.
Concert-tours have taken the choir to nearly all western and eastern European countries, in the Near and Far East, to Australia, the USA, Latin America and China.
In August 1994 the well known Leipzig conductor and singer Gothart Stier became the new artistic director of the Monteverdi-Chor, with which he had already appeared as a guest conductor on a concert-tour to the St. Petersburg Easter Music Festival in May 1994 and in a significant performance of Handel’s „Messiah“ in the St. Michaelis Church in Hamburg.
The work of Maestro Gothart Stier continues the tradition of the Monteverdi-Chor as an a cappella choir, though he has extended the repertoire of the choir in his own style through a series of performances of major oratorios. For these, some of which have been recorded on CD, the choir works with such well known orchestras as the Philharmonic Orchestra Halle, the Mitteldeutsches Kammerorchester, the Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum Leipzig and the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig.
Highlights of Gothart Stier’s work with the choir so far have been a most successful concert tour to the Israel Festival in Jerusalem in May 1996 with Mendelssohn’s „Hymn of Praise“ and an a cappella programme; the first performance of Mendelssohn’s „St. Paul“ in Israel during the Liturgica Festival in Jerusalem and the Musica Sacra Festival in Nazareth in 1998; a performance of Luigi Dallapiccola’s „Canti di Prigionia“ during the Händel-Festival Halle 1999; concert tours to Central America in 1999 and 2001; a concert tour in Germany with Verdi’s „Quattro pezzi sacri“ and Rossini’s „Stabat Mater“ in January 2001; a concert-tour to the Tuba Mirum Festival of the Hermitage St.Petersburg with Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” and an a- cappella programme and Pendereckis “Seven gates of Jerusalem” in June 2001, the participation in the Handel-Festival Göttingen 2002, two performances of the “Missa solemnis” by Beethoven in the Festival “Musiksommer Mecklenburg-Vorpommern” in 2002, a concert-tour to China in October 2003, a concert-tour to Lituania und Latvia in autumn 2004, the participation in the German Bach Festival 2004, a concert-tour to the Israel festival Jerusalem in Mai 2005 with the “Elijah” by Mendelssohn in cooperation with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and an a-cappella-program and the first performance of Monteverdi’s “Vespro della Beata Vergine” in the famous St. Thomas-Church Leipzig in February 2007, a concert-tour to Shanghai/China in March 2008, the first perfomance of the unfinishes Requiem by Max Reger and works of Bach and Mendelssohn during the International Bach Festival Leipzig 2009, Performances of the Monteverdi Vespers in Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig as well as a concert-tour to St. Petersburg/Russia in 2010, a concert-tour to Lituania in October 2011, a concert tour to South America in 2012 and Concert-tour to Kalingrad and Moskow in 2014 with a-cappella-music, the Requiem by Mozart and The Creation by Haydn, the 60anniversayry concert in Hamburg in 2015 with Puccini “Messa di Gloria” and Rossini “Stabat Mater”, a Monteverdi-anniversary concert 450 years with the “Vespro della Beata Vergine” in Hamburg 2017.