Westminster Abbey Choir to tour Germany
Monday, 26th November 2018
The Abbey Choir will travel to Germany in early December to give concerts in three major cities: Dresden, Munich and Essen.
Visiting Germany for the first time since 2004, the choir will present two programmes of Christmas music from the English and German traditions including Renaissance masterpieces by Gibbons, Tallis and Praetorius, twentieth-century classics by Vaughan Williams, Britten and Howells, and contemporary works by John Rutter, Toby Young and Matthew Martin.
The Choir gives its first concert on Wednesday 5th December in Dresden's famous Frauenkirche. The iconic dome of this magnificent baroque church dominated the city’s skyline for 200 years until the building collapsed after the Allied bombing of February 1945. For 50 years its ruins stood as a memorial in the city centre until reconstruction began in 1994. The restored church was consecrated in 2005.
On Friday 7th December the Choir will perform at the historic Prinzregententheater in Munich. Built as a venue for the operas of Richard Wagner, the building was designed to Wagner’s own specifications and opened in August 1901 with a production of his Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Over the decades the building has housed the Bavarian State Opera and seen many notable world premieres including works by Pfitzner, Auric, Orff and Hindemith. The building is now home to the Bavarian Theatre Academy and presents a busy programme of concerts, ballet and drama.
The tour concludes with a performance on Saturday 8th December in the Philharmonie in Essen. This 1900-seater modern concert hall (built on the site of the historic Essener Saalbau, opened by Richard Strauss in 1904) is home to the Essen Philharmonic orchestra and boasts a fine Kuhn pipe organ.
The Choir of Westminster Abbey is renowned worldwide. Comprising up to thirty boys (all of whom attend the Abbey's unique Choir School) and twelve professional singers, its wide-ranging performing activities are rooted in centuries-old tradition and its repertoire ranges from plainsong and Tudor polyphony to twentieth-century masterpieces and new commissions. Its main focus is to sing the daily choral services in the Abbey but it also plays a central role in the many royal, state, and national occasions which take place there (often broadcast internationally). In parallel with its liturgical work, the Choir pursues a varied programme of high-profile concerts and tours, and enjoys a successful recording partnership with the Hyperion label.