Founded in 1974, as a result of several of the city’s music festivals, and made up of singers from a solid musical background, the Curitiba Camerata Antiqua Choir is seen as one of the major musical vocal groups in Brazil today. The group has, since the very beginning, been recognised for it’s originality and skill in it’s interpretation of the baroque and renaissance repertoire, both in concerts performed under the baton of founder Roberto de Regina, and those performed a cappella, directed by Gerard Galloway. A combination of contemporary music and world premières of pieces written especially for them has now lent the choir a new and striking characteristic – that of a choir with a vast and eclectic repertoire.

The choir has received several favourable reviews for it’s discography and performances in both Brazil and abroad. Among the most significant international concerts include a tour of five German cities with the Arad Philhamonic Chamber Orchestra (Romania) in 2006 and a tour of Portugal in 2007, performing a programme of a cappella repertoire alongside concerts with the Symphony Orchestra of Póvoa do Varzim. They participated in concerts at the 8th World Symposium on Choral Music in Denmark in 2008, and also at the 18th Festival Corale Internazionale – La Fabbrica del Canto in Italy in 2009.

The choir has proven it’s versatility more recently by presenting new semi-staged programmes such as A Comédia do Senhor Carlo Goldoni – Crônica com Música (The Comedy of Mr Carlo Goldoni – Chronicals with Music) under the baton of Wagner Polistchuk and scenic direction of Roberto Innocente, with special guest actor Luís Melo. Other important programmes include both the Cores do Brasil (Brazilian Colours) and Lamejos da Música Sacra no Brasil (Flashes of Brazilian Sacred Music) under the baton and general directorship of Helma Haller and scenic director Jacqueline Daher.

Wagner Polistchuck became the artistic director of the choir between 2009 and 2011, with Helma Haller as principle conductor, and Neyde Thomas as vocal coach from 1992 to 2011. From 2013 onwards the choir will be under the artistic directorship and baton of Maria Antonia Jimenez.

The Sirenot (Sirens) Ensemble was formed in 2000 by Shosh Lagil and she has conducted it ever since.

The relatively small number of singers and the diverse repertoire allow Lagil to maintain every member’s unique voice. Movement and acting have also become part of the artistic interpretation. Lagil encourages personal involvement on every singer’s part whilst developing the ensemble into a “polyphonic entity” so that it finally becomes a potent inner force, a rich combination of true diversity and vitality.

The outstanding repertoire characterizing the Sirenot Ensemble is an example of how relevant music has become today. It is an inseparable part of the vivid, sizzling culture in Israel. The ensemble’s programme “You have Turned My Eulogy into Dance” involves verse from the holy Jewish scripture especially composed for the ensemble. “Hanoch Levin – The Concert” is where theatre meets the classical world, accompanied by music taken from H. Levin’s plays and rearranged for the ensemble in a fascinating manner. Monteverdi, Brahms, Schubert, Elgar, Debussy and even Edith Piaf were not forgotten.

The finest Israeli composers continue their ongoing dialogue with the ensemble, writing especially for its performances. J. Bardanashvili, P. Eliyahu, E. Bat, A. Poznansky and Y. Ben Nun are just a few of the composers who collaborated with the ensemble. Shosh Lagil values Israeli art and its creativity is of the utmost importance to her. The Ensemble allows the rich and diverse Israeli artwork a well deserved place on stage, exposing it to audiences in Israel and abroad.

The Sirenot Ensemble has performed in festivals and concerts in Israel as well as throughout the world, achieving enthusiastic critique and resounding response. The ensemble received invitations for future performances. Warm, friendly musical relationships have also been formed.

The Ensemble and its conductor have recently been awarded the Minister of Culture’s Odon Pártos Award for best performance of an Israeli work of art. The award-winning piece composed by Josef Bardanashvili and commissioned especially by the ensemble is entitled: “And the Notebook is Still Open”. It is based upon verse from the Book of Proverbs and cites Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers). The dramatic scene on stage is a protest against the moral decay and decline in our society today.

The Sirenot Ensemble released its first CD, supported by the Zfunot Tarbut NGO (for art and artists in Israel). The ensemble is also supported by the Culture Department within the Israeli Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts, Mifaal Hapais and the Raanana Municipal Authority.

Directed since 1973 by its founder Néstor Andrenacci, GCC-Grupo de Canto Coral is a chamber choir dedicated to all types of choral music, including contemporary compositions, some written specially for the group. It has performed in the most important venues in its native Argentina, as well as in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. GCC has been awarded a number of prizes for performances in Argentina and abroad. The group has made ten very fine recordings: Argentine choral music and colonial music of Hispanic America for example and also „Un Réquiem Alemán“ (“A German Requiem”) by Johannes Brahms (London Version).

In April 2009, with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, the group performed the Argentine première of Hector Berlioz’s “Lelio,” Op. 14b. Since 1987, GCC has been a regular performer in concert series presented by the Bach Academy of Buenos Aires.

The choir has been at the forefront of Icelandic musical life for four decades. Founded in 1967 by its present conductor, Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, it was among the first college choirs in Iceland, and has maintained its leading position ever since. The choir, made up of students at Hamrahlíð College in Reykjavík, is an educational institution in its own right. More than 2,000 Icelandic teenagers have come into contact with classical music through the Hamrahlíð choral experience. Many of these have had no prior musical training, but through diligent practice they have gone on to participate in music-making of the highest quality, from new Icelandic compositions to the choral masterworks of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart.

The Hamrahlíð Choir has been a breeding ground for many of Iceland’s leading singers, instrumentalists, and composers. Among the many musicians who are former members of the choir are singer/songwriter Björk Guðmundsdóttir, composer Haukur Tómasson (Nordic Council Music Prize 2004) and bass Kristinn Sigmundsson. In 1982, a choir made up of former students at Hamrahlíð College was founded and immediately established itself as one of Iceland’s leading choral ensembles.

Although the Hamrahlíð Choir is primarily devoted to musical education, it has from the very beginning been dedicated to giving performances of the highest quality. The choir sings with a pure, flexible, well-blended sound, and it performs with exuberance and a youthful sense of discovery. Critics throughout the world have praised its accurate intonation, clear diction, and the high level of enthusiasm and commitment that are among the hallmarks of the choir’s music-making.

Throughout its history, the choir has collaborated closely with Icelandic composers. Over 90 works have been composed especially for the choir, including works by virtually all of Iceland’s leading composers. Apart from its close association with native composers, the choir has collaborated with foreign artists such as Arvo Pärt, John Cage, and Vagn Holmboe in the first Icelandic performances of their works. Arvo Pärt was so impressed with the choir’s performance of his „Te Deum“ in 1998 that he composed a choral work dedicated to Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir, „…which was the son of…“, which was premièred in 2000.

With its dedication, passion, and spirit, the Hamrahlíð Choir has touched audiences around the world. The Choir has travelled to 23 countries and has performed at many of the world’s leading choral festivals to great acclaim, introducing audiences around the world to the rich legacy of Icelandic choral music.

The WDR Radio Chorus of Cologne consists of 48 professional singers whose repertory spans from music of the middle ages to contemporary compositions, from sacred music to operetta, and from large scale oratorios with orchestra to soloistic vocal ensembles.

Especially noteworthy is the vocal ensemble’s occupation with contemporary music: over 140 world premières have been featured on their programmes, among them Schoenberg’s ‚Moses und Aron‘, Henze’s ‚Laudes‘, Stockhausen’s ‚Momente‘, Nono’s ‚Il canto sospeso‘, Boulez‘ ‚Le Visage Nuptial‘, Zimmermann’s ‚Requiem für einen jungen Dichter‘, Penderecki’s ‚Lukas-Passion‘, Xenakis‘ ‚Nuits‘, Berio’s ‚Coro‘, Höller’s ‚Der ewige Tag‘, Eötvös‘ ‚IMA‘ and Hosokawa’s ‚Die Lotosblume‘.

The repertory of the Aachen Chamber Chorus, founded 1981, includes a cappella choral music from the Renaissance through to the avant-garde, yet also includes oratorio works from the Baroque and Romantic eras. In the contemporary scene, world premières and new music belong to the programme as well as the study of Jazz and Pop arrangements or folksong. Prizes have been awarded by international choral competitions in Austria, Hungary, and most recently first prize at the choral competition of North Rhine-Westphalia. The chorus has attended international chorus festivals in Italy and France, concert tours in many European countries, and radio recordings with WDR and SFB.

The chamber chorus Carmina Mundi (‚Songs of the World‘) was founded by Harald Nickoll in 1983. The chorus concentrates almost exclusively on a cappella works with a speciality in contemporary choral literature.

Carmina Mundi were prize winners at international choral competitions in 1993, 2001 and 2005, and first prize winners in German choral competitions at the state level, netting second prize in 1994 and first prize in 2008 at the national competition. They have made many concert tours as far as Estonia and Argentina, and have thus far produced ten CDs (including the complete secular choruses of Hugo Distler).

Aachener Bachverein is the oratorio choir of Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Aachen (protestant church). The choir consists of about 120 active members of all denominations and is considered as one of the most steeped-in-tradition art organisations of this region. Continuity and quality mark its contribution as „body of sound to Aachen’s music life“. Aachener Bachverein performs regularly the works of J. S. Bach and beyond that feels also obliged to the choral repertoire from the early Baroque to the present. As choir of Evangelische Kirchengemeinde, Aachener Bachverein performs church music in the Annakirche. In 2013 the choir celebrates its 100th anniversary.

The Kammerchor Aachener Bachverein performs fastidious works of all epochs after short intensive rehearsals. In addition, concert tours and broadcast recordings are taken regularly.


The student orchestra of Aachen (ASO) was founded by a student initiative in 1989. It is one of three orchestras in Aachen where students and other young people can participate and play music together: The Collegium Musicum (the official orchestra of the RWTH), the young symphonic orchestra of Aachen and the ASO. The great number of amateur orchestras is not surprising, considering that Aachen is home to more than 40.000 students, most of them in the faculties of engineering, medicine and natural science. These orchestras not only enable students to follow their hobbies but also offer a wide range of classical music and numerous concerts every year not only for  students, but for all residents of Aachen and the surrounding cities.

The ASO itself consists of about 80 musicians, mostly students of the “RWTH University” and the “University of Applied Science”. These students all share a strong interest in music and welcome the orchestra as a free time activity to balance their workload at university. We therefor try to perform our programs without hiring professional musicians as temporary staff.

We prepare a new program each semester and give two end of term concerts. The program is proposed and chosen by the members of the orchestra. Happily, due to an unusually big cast, we are able to perform large orchestral works that one would otherwise seldom have the opportunity to participate in as an amateur musician.

In addition to these concerts, we occasionally take part in smaller projects with other local musicians, visit international music festivals or, in 2013 for the first time, take part in the Chorbiennale in Aachen.