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Michel Corboz (Conductor)

Born: February 14, 1934 - Marsens, Switzerland

The Swiss conductor, Michel (Jules) Corboz, was educated at the École Normale in Fribourg (Switzerland), where he studied solo singing and composition. Attracted by the conducting, it was not long before he devoted himself to this direction.

In 1953, Michel Corboz became a director of church music in Lausanne His knowledge and his love of the voice lead him to direct the works inspired by it: choruses and a cappella, cantatas and oratorios. After having worked several years in the wake of the modern music and the rebirth, lengthily attended Monteverdi, Antonio Vivaldi, J.S. Bach, Michel Corboz turned with happiness to the great traditional and romantic oratorios.

Michel Corboz founded Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne, a group of chosen singers, in 1961. With this vocal and instrumental ensemble, he has given numerous performances of Baroque vocal and orchestral music. The distinctions and the greeting of the press for its recordings of Vespro and Orfeo by Monteverdi, in 1965 and 1966, mark the beginning of its international career. Since 1969, he is a titular head of the Gulbenkian Chorus, in Lisbon, with which he explores the symphonic repertoire. These two ensembles are closely related to hts professional course. It is with one or the other that it carried out the majority of its recordings - more than one hundred -, many times crowned by the academies of many countries.

Since 1976, he teaches direction choral music at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique of Geneva.

Michel Corboz directs readily the pre-classical opera (Cavalli, Monteverdi, Charpentier), but he is especially fond of the concert repertory for chorus, soloists and orchestra, which he interprets and records on disc. Among his most significant recordings appear the Passions and the Mass in B minor (BWV 232) by J.S. Bach, the Mass in C minor and the Requiem by Mozart, Elias and Paulus by Felix Mendelssohn, the Mass of Puccini, the Requiems of Johannes Brahms, Verdi, Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé. His recorded catalogue includes also, works of the Swiss composers Frank Martin and Arthur Honegger.

Michel Corboz received the Prize of Critics at the time of his two last rounds in Argentina, 1995 and 1996. The French Republic honoured him with the title of de Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was decorated with l'Ordre de l'Infant Don Henrique by the President of the Portuguese Republic in 1999. The Great Prize of the Town of Lausanne was decreed to him in 1990.

Source: Bakerís Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne Website (2000-2001), English translation by Aryeh Oron (August 2001)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001)

Michel Corboz: Short Biography | Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne | Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne | Recordings of Vocal Works | BWV 232 - M.Corboz

Recordings of Bachís Instrumental Works




Michel Corboz


Harpsichord Concertos No. 1 BWV 1052, No. 4 BWV 1055, No. 5 BWV 1056 [w/ pianist Maria-João Pires]

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Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne


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