The Monteverdi Choir
The Monteverdi Choir, founded in 1964, is famous for its passionate,
committed,and virtuosic singing. Over the past 50
years, it has been consistently acclaimed as one of the best choirs in the world, noted for
its ability to switch composer, language, and idiom with complete stylistic
Among a number of trailblazing tours, the choir's most ambitious was the Bach Cantata
Pilgrimage in 2000, during which it performed all 198 of Bach's sacred cantatas in more
than 60 churches throughout Europe to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer's
death. The entire project was recorded and released by the company's own record label, Soli
The choir is also a fertile training ground for future generations of choral and solo
singers. Choir members often step out to sing solo parts, and many former members have gone
on to enjoy successful solo careers. Since 2007, the Monteverdi Apprentices program has
added an exciting new dimension to its profile.
The choir has more than 150 recordings to its name and has won numerous prizes. It
regularly participates in staged opera productions, including recently Le
Freyschütz (Weber-Berlioz), L'étoile (Chabrier), and Carmen (Bizet)
at the Opéra Comique in Paris.
Last year, the choir celebrated its 50th anniversary with performances of Monteverdi's
Vespro della Beata Vergine in Cambridge, Barcelona, and Versailles, as well as an
extensive European and US tour of Handel's Dixit Dominus. It also collaborated
with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in a performance of Schumann's Manfred under
the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner and released an acclaimed new album of English
polyphony entitled Vigilate!.
Earlier in 2015, a tour featuring Bach's Mass in B Minor took the choir to Munich,
Frankfurt, Lucerne, and Paris. Further projects this year include performances at several
major summer festivals as well as the choir's first Far East tour in more than a decade,
with concerts in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The Monteverdi Choir is under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner is one of the most versatile and sought-after conductors of our
time. Founder and artistic director of The Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists,
and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, he also appears regularly with leading
symphony orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, as well as at the
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. After serving as artistic director of the Opéra de Lyon
(1983-1988) and chef fondateur of its orchestra, the focus of his opera
projects in France moved to the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris-where he oversaw productions
of Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice and Alceste,
Weber's Oberon, Verdi's Falstaff, and most notably
Berlioz's Les Troyens in 2003-and then to the Opéra Comique, where he
conducted new productions of Carmen, Pelléas et Mélisande,
Chabrier'sL'étoile, and the Weber-Berlioz Le Freyschütz with
The Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.
Acknowledged as a key figure in the early-music revival of the past four decades, Mr.
Gardiner has led his own ensembles in a number of groundbreaking projects and international
tours, including the yearlong Bach Cantata Pilgrimage to mark the 250th anniversary of the
composer's death in the millennium year. With The Monteverdi Choir, Mr. Gardiner returned
to King's College, Cambridge, in 2014 to perform Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata
Vergine exactly 50 years to the day after their inaugural concert in the famous
chapel. The same year, the 25th anniversary of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique
was marked by the filming of a BBC TV documentary on Beethoven, the ensemble's first visit
to Latin America, and a celebratory European tour. The two ensembles came together last
August for a widely acclaimed BBC Proms performance of Beethoven's Missa
The extent of Mr. Gardiner's repertoire is illustrated by more than 250 recordings for
major record companies and by numerous international awards, including
the Gramophone Special Achievement Award for live recordings of the
complete church cantatas of Bach on the Soli Deo Gloria label. In 2013, he won the Critics'
Circle's Outstanding Musician Award.
His acclaimed book Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven was published by
Penguin in the UK and by Knopf in the US in 2013. He was recently appointed president of
the Bach-Archiv Leipzig.