Balthasar-Neumann-Chor (The Balthasar Neumann Choir), founded in 1991 by Thomas Hengelbrock in Freiburg, attracted interest through its unexpected first concert successes. Lively and stylistically appropriate performance of 16th to 18th century music, with the occasional detour into more recent repertoire, is at the heart of the musical work of this professional choir of soloists; in addition to the great, well-known works of the choral literature, the choir also performs lesser-known and unpublished works of repute.
The choir name’s patron is the most important architect of the German Baroque era. He lived from 1687 to 1753 and was chief architect of both the Würzburg and Schönbornslust residences and of the monastery and pilgrimage churches at Vierzehnheiligen, Holzkirchen and Münsterschwarzach. His name is the epitome of the age, which forms the core of the Balthasar-Neumann-Chor’s work. In 1992 the choir celebrated its first international success in Utrecht with Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. The Balthasar-Neumann-Chor was invited to the ‘Resonanzen’ Festival, in Vienna, to the Schwetzingen Festival and to the Israel Festival in Jerusalem. It performed J.S. Bach’s Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) at the ‘Wratislava Cantans’ Festival in Wroclaw. In May 1995 the opera King Arthur by Purcell was staged with the actor Graham Valentine. Together with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Balthasar-Neumann-Chor conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock accepted an invitation, in July 1996, to perform two concerts featuring Haydn’s Creation at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. In December 1996 they toured Vienna, Bonn, Bremen and Cologne performing J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248).