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Georg Christoph Biller (Conductor, Baritone, Thomaskantor)

Born: September 20, 1955 - Nebar/Unstrut, Germany

The German conductor and baritone singer, George Christoph Biller, was a Thomaner from 1965 to 1974. As a member of the Thomanerchor in Leipzig under Erhard Mauersberger and Hans-Joachim Rotzsch, he gained his first experience in conducting as a Choir-prefect. From 1976 to 1981 he studied at the Leipzig Musikhochschule orchestral-conducting with Rolf Reuter and Kurt Masur and singing with Bernd Siegfried Weber.

George Christoph Biller's musical activity began with singing of lied and as a soloist in oratorios. In 1976, he founded the Leipzig Vokalkreis, out of which emerged the Leipzig Vocalensemble, which he has led until 1998. From 1980 to 1991, he was the Choir-master of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, alongside which he acted as tutor in choral conducting in the Kirchenmusikschule of Halle. In 1982, he was awarded a Diploma in Orchestra-conducting from the Summer Academy of the Salzburg Mozarteum. In 1985, together with the Thomanerchor Leipzig, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, and other German soloists, he received the Osaka Music Prize. He has directed leading choirs and orchestras as Guest-Conductor, appearing as Song and Oratorio singer in numerous concerts and broadcasts in Germany and internationally. He regularly appeared as soloist in concerts of the Thomanerchor Leipzig. From October 1991 to July 1992, he was tutor in choral conducting at the Musikhochschule of Franfurt/Main and Detmold.

In November 1992, George Christoph Biller took up his position as Thomaskantor, becoming the been the 16th successor J.S. Bach in this post. In January 1994, he was also appointed Professor in choral conducting at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Hochschule of Music and Theatre in Leipzig. In May 1996 he was elected a member of the Academy of Arts of Saxony.

In his work, Georg Christoph Biller embraces the traditions of his predecessors; in his programming one finds the great choral traditions from its Gregorian beginning to the modern time. He maintains close relationships with numerous composers and also composes himself. In 1993, he commenced the cyclical presentation of all surviving Bach cantatas in the Thomaskirche, in which the cantatas are presented on the particular Sundays of the church year for which they were intended. Under his direction, the Thomanerchor has produced many CD-performances for Philip Classics.

Source: Musica Sacra Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (August 2001); St Johns Southgate (January 2006)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2001); Graham Lieschke (January 2006)

Georg Christoph Biller: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Individual Recordings:
BWV 232 - G.C. Biller | BWV 244 - G.C. Biller
Thomaskantors: Thomanerchor Leipzig | Gewandhausorchester Leipzig | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2
Table of Recordings by BWV Number

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Matthias Eisenberg


BWV 211, BWV 212, BWV 439-507

Links to other Sites

Musica sacra: Ausgabe 2000/02: Interview mit Thomaskantor


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