The Thomanerchor, the boys choir of St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, will sing a concert at Grace on Monday, November 20, at 7:30pm. The program includes music of Bach, Mendelssohn, Schütz, and Schein, with Thomaskantor Gotthold Schwarz conducting.
Tickets ($12-$45) are available online or by calling the church at 708-366-6900.
The St. Thomas Choir’s history reaches back more than 800 years. The works of Johann Sebastian Bach, who as Thomaskantor directed the choir from until his death in 1750, are the center of the choir’s repertory, but its programs contain music from Gregorian chants to the present. The choir sings for church services every weekend in Leipzig, performing cantatas by Bach accompanied by the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
The Thomanerchor is an established name on the German and European music scene, and regular concert tours take the group to the U.S, Canada, China, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and Argentina. The choir members, the Thomaners, live, learn and sing in the Thomas-Alumnat – the boarding house – and attend St. Thomas School, a public secondary school of the City of Leipzig.
Gotthold Schwarz currently holds the position of Thomaskantor, the 17th St. Thomas Cantor after Johann Sebastian Bach. Schwarz sang in the choir as a boy and began his work with the choir in 1979 as a vocal coach. As a bass-baritone soloist, he has sung and recorded the works of Bach with noted conductors. He succeeded Georg Christoph Biller as Cantor in February, 2015.
The concert is part of the Bach Cantata Vespers ministry at Grace. Cantata Vespers services present the sacred music of J. S. Bach within the context of congregational worship, the setting for which they were intended. Scripture texts, preaching, hymns and additional music in the service all relate to the themes of the cantata.
The Bach Cantata Vespers are led by Grace’s Cantor, Michael D. Costello, conducting the Cantata Vespers choir, with professional vocal soloists and instrumentalists. Members of the Bach Cantata Vespers choir of Grace Church have performed cantatas at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig three times and will sing there again in the summer of 2018.