Founded in 1992 by erstwhile members of Thomanerchor Leipzig, amarcord has since become one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles. amarcord’s hallmarks include a unique tone, breathtaking homogeneity, musical authenticity, and a good dose of charm and humour.
The musical activities of this young quintet centre around Mediaeval and Renaissance compositions along with collaborations with contemporary composers such as Bernd Franke, Ivan Moody, Sidney M. Boquiren, Marcus Ludwig, Siegfried Thiele and Dimitri Terzakis, all of whom have written pieces especially for amarcord. Its repertoire includes various thematic programmes ranging from madrigals and romantic compositions to a cappella arrangements of famous songs spanning all facets of vocal music.
amarcord has won prizes at many international competitions, such as Tolosa in Spain, Tampere in Finland and Pohlheim in Germany, as well as the 1st Choir Olympiad in the Austrian city of Linz. In 2002, the ensemble won the German Music Competition, having joined the ranks of the BA KJK (the cream of young musicians singled out by the German Music Council for special support) two years beforehand. In 2004, amarcord became the first group of singers to be awarded the Ensemble Prize at the Mecklenburg-West Pomerania Festival.
Attending master-classes with the King’s Singers and the Hilliard Ensemble has given amarcord valuable stimulus over the years. Alongside the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Thomanerchor Leipzig, Amarcord is now one of the leading representatives of Leipzig’s music scene in Germany and abroad. amarcord regularly appears at important music festivals, and its frequent concert tours have taken the group not only all over Europe but also to North America - where it was enthusiastically received in cities like San Francisco, Washington, New York, Atlanta, Houston or Salt Lake City -, Australia and Southeast Asia.
amarcord has set up a festival of vocal music in Leipzig known as ‘a cappella’, which in recent years has hosted such renowned performers as the Swingle Singers, the Huelgas Ensemble, Chanticleer and The Real Group.
amarcord’s CD's have been very successful. "Nun komm der Heiden Heiland“ ("Now come, saviour of the gentiles“ with Medieval and Renaissance Vocal Music for the Christmas Season), "Incessament“ (works by Pierre de la Rue and Gregorian Chant from the Moosburg Gradual) and "Hear the voice“ (featuring spiritual works from different centuries) won the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award (CARA - called "a-cappella-Oscar"). The latest CD of amarcord entitled "The Book of Madrigals“ contains profane vocal music of the renaissance-era. Other releases include "Insalata a cappella“ (sold out) featuring secular works from various centuries, an album of Christmas vocal music entitled "In adventu Domini“, and also "And So It Goes“, a selection of arrangements of rock and pop songs. Moreover, amarcord has recorded a CD for the German Music Competition Prizewinners’ Series containing works by J.S. Bach, Edward Elgar, Francis Poulenc, Grieg and Ludwig as well as folk songs.
Amarcord's first DVD, Sounds like Christmas, was released in 2004. Made in conjunction with EuroArts and ZDF, it includes appearances by mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager, the Freiburger Barockorchester, and jazz trumpeter Tomas Stanko with his group.