Johannes Bedyngham

English Born 00 1400 Died 00 1460

The Monteverdi Choir

The Monteverdi Choir was formed forty years ago by Sir John Eliot Gardiner for a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers (1610) in King's College Chapel, Cambridge. Its original aim was to explore a wide repertoire fanning out from the Baroque, but soon became famous for its passionate, committed singing, underpinned by a strong rhythmic vitality and the ability to switch composer, languages and idiom with stylistic conviction.

The Choir has undertaken numerous trail-blazing tours. The most ambitious was the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, during which it performed all 198 of JS Bach's sacred cantatas in more than 60 churches throughout Europe to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer's death. During the summer of 2004, the Choir undertook another pilgrimage along the oldest and most famous of pilgrimage routes, el Camino de Santiago, giving fourteen a cappella concerts in churches along the route to Santiago de Compostela.

The Monteverdi Choir has formed a highly successful partnership with the Châtelet Theatre in Paris, providing the chorus for productions of Verdi's Falstaff in 2001, Weber's Oberon in 2002, and the first complete performances in France of Berlioz's opera Les Troyens in 2003, a staging which was awarded the Grand Prix by the French Journalists' Union.

The Choir has more than one hundred recordings to its name, the most recent one being Santiago A Cappella, and has won numerous awards and prizes, including many Gramophone awards. Future plans include JS Bach's St Matthew Passion in the spring of 2005, as well as a selection of his cantatas towards the end of the year.

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