Ever since its founding in the 1960s, the Monteverdi Choir has been a leading force in the world of choral music.
The Monteverdi Choir, founded in 1964, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2024. Through a combination of consummate technique, historically informed performance practice and a strong appreciation for visual impact, the Choir constantly strives to bring fresh perspectives, immediacy and drama to its performances across the world.
The Monteverdi Choir was named ‘Best Choir’ at the Oper! Awards in January 2024. In February and March the Monteverdi Choir will perform Brahms’s choral masterpiece Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem), with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, at The Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. They will be joined by baritone Christian Gerhaher and soprano Lenneke Ruiten, who will be making her debut with the orchestra. In March and July the Monteverdi Choir will perform Handel’s biblical oratorio Israel in Egypt with the English Baroque Soloists on a European tour. Handel’s Israel in Egypt, with its virtuosic choruses and characterful arias, is a perfect showcase for the Monteverdi Choir. In May the Monteverdi Choir will join the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique for performances of Beethoven’s Mass in C major and Symphony No. 9, featuring soloists Lucy Crowe (soprano), Alice Coote (mezzo soprano), Allan Clayton (tenor) and William Thomas (bass), at St Martin-in-the-Fields in London and the Philharmonie de Paris. The Monteverdi Choir will perform Bach’s sacred motets in London and Leipzig in June 2024. Bach’s motets have been part of the Monteverdi Choir’s repertoire for over five decades, giving the choir the opportunity to display technical virtuosity as well as a deep understanding of texts and, above all, a vivid conception of the drama behind Bach’s interpretation of religious words.
In 2023 the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists, conducted by Dinis Sousa, performed Bach’s Mass in B minor, as well as Handel’s pastoral ode l’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato, on their North American tour in October following their European tour of Bach’s monumental work in April. In the summer the Monteverdi Choir, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and outstanding soloists, conducted by Dinis Sousa, performed Berlioz’s opera Les Troyens on a critically acclaimed European tour. In May the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists were honoured to perform at the Coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla. The Daily Telegraph noted, “If the Monteverdi Choir isn’t singing when I get to the gates of Heaven, I want my money back.”
In 2022 the Monteverdi Choir performed on several successful tours including works by Mendelsohn and Brahms in partnership with the Berlin Philharmonic, a programme of music by Bach, Schütz and Schein at prestigious festivals across Europe, and Beethoven’s late masterpiece: Missa solemnis at the BBC Proms, Berliner Festspiele and Wratislavia Cantans. The year culminated in a tour of J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratoiro at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Chapelle Royale, Château de Versailles, and at our London home, St Martin-in-the-Fields, which was livestreamed on Deutsche Grammophon’s new online platform STAGE+.
In 2021 the Choir performed its first live streamed concert, Bach’s St John Passion with the English Baroque Soloists, filmed in Oxford’s historic Sheldonian Theatre and streamed on Deutsche Grammophon’s online platform DG Stage. The ensemble returned to live performing in the summer with a programme of Handel and Bach at the BBC Proms and Berliner Festspiele, and ended the year with a tour of Berlioz’s sacred oratorio L’enfance du Christ.
The Monteverdi Choir accompanied the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Barcelona, New York and Chicago in 2020, forming part of a wider project celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer.
The Monteverdi Choir has taken part in a variety of projects across different repertoires, ranging from tours of Bach’s Mass in B minor and St Matthew Passion (performed from memory) with the English Baroque Soloists (EBS) to Berlioz’s Les Troyens, L’enfance du Christ, La damnation de Faust and Verdi’s Requiem with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique (ORR). It has also performed in several staged opera productions, including Orphée et Eurydice at the Royal Opera House (2015), Der Freischütz (2010), Carmen (2009) at the Opéra Comique in Paris, and Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet (2003). Amongst its many trailblazing tours was the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, during which the Choir performed all 198 of Johann Sebastian Bach’s sacred cantatas in over 60 churches throughout Europe and North America. The entire project was recorded and released by the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra’s record label, Soli Deo Gloria, with Gramophone hailing the venture as “one of the most ambitious musical projects of all time”. In 2017 the Choir took part in the Royal Philharmonic Society’s award-winning Monteverdi 450 project in which they performed all three of Monteverdi’s surviving operas, with the English Baroque Soloists, across Europe and the United States. The Monteverdi Choir has released over 150 recordings and won numerous prizes.
“If the Monteverdi Choir isn’t singing when I get to the gates of Heaven, I want my money back.”
The Daily Telegraph
“If there were a Nobel prize for choirs, the Monteverdi Choir should be its laureate”
“The Monteverdi Choir has dominated the choral scene worldwide for more than 50 years”
The Guardian ★★★★★
The Monteverdi Choir is under the patronage of HM King Charles III.
Trailer - Bach Mass in B minor and Handel l’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
Bach - Mass in B minor, Château de Versailles 2023
Bach - St John Passion, Sheldonian Theatre Oxford 2021
Monteverdi - Vespers, Versailles 2015