"Students at sports school are proud of how high they can jump, while we're proud of making the audience happy with our singing,” a 12-year-old member of the church and boys' choir founded more than 800 years ago recently declared. The unique boarding school, in which nearly 100 boys aged between 9 and 18 currently study, was immortalised by Johann Sebastian Bach.
It has been no small task to keep tradition alive and to remain worthy of the name of the famous Thomaskantor, but the combina...tion of - among other things - a balanced upbringing, wonderful teaching and a select student body together produce the same highest standards today as in the 18th century. This sailor suit-clad community lives in a little world of its own, among friends who help each other in their studies, with a strict daily routine and multi-faceted curriculum. What we witness of this as observers on the outside is the professionalism and marvellously uniform sound that characterises the choir's every performance - since the boys also sing the soprano and alto parts - and the spontaneous musicality that nevertheless permeates their productions. Outside of Europe, they have travelled to the United States, South America and Hong Kong, and are constantly receiving invitations to perform. However, due to the constraints of the school year and commitments in Leipzig, they only go on tour once a year. So if we pass up this opportunity, who knows when we might get the chance to hear them again.
The focus of the choir's repertoire is on Bach and the music of the German Baroque. This evening they sing a selection of works by composers who are less well known today, under the direction of a chorus master who assumed his duties not long ago. Gotthold Schwarz is a former pupil of the St. Thomas School, beginning his musical career in the institution in the 1960s, and continuing to collaborate regularly with the renowned choir in the ensuing decades.
The concert will be preceded from 6.30 pm by a conversation entitled Prelude, where ticket holders will be invited to get to know the performing musician and the works to be performed more closely.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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