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The Cäcilienchor

A major choir with a long tradition

Since its foundation in 1818, the Cäcilienchor, named after the patron saint of music, has contributed significantly to the musical life not only within its region, but also in the whole of Germany and - with visits in recent years to Japan, Israel and the USA in addition to neighboring European countries - abroad.

As befits a large and leading mixed-voice choir, the demanding and vast program of works performed covers choral music from the sixteenth century to today.

Cäcilienchor at the Frankfurt Opera

Cäcilienchor at the Frankfurt Opera

Over the years the choir has sung under the baton of many world-famous conductors, including Wilhelm Furtwängler, Sir Georg Solti, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Mazur, Christian Zacharias, Michael Gielen, Paolo Carignani, thus adding significantly to the rich musical experience that the members and supporters enjoy.

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was much associated with the Cäcilienchor, being musical director for several years, and conducting the choir in historical performances of both Bach's St. Matthew Passion (in 1829) and B minor Mass (in 1833), works that he had discovered after they had fallen into oblivion following Bach's death in 1750. As token of his esteem for the choir, Mendelssohn dedicated several of his compositions - including his oratorio St. Paul - to the Cäcilienchor.

"They sing with such an enthusiasm and in such a perfect harmony that it is a prodigious joy to hear them": These words, written in 1837 by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, are still up-to-date. In 1858, the Cäcilienchor gave also the first performance of the Christmas Oratorio in Frankfurt after Bach's death.

Right from its earliest days, the Cäcilienchor has been directed and trained by top professionals, the latest in the long line of distinguished musical directors being - since 1988 - Christian Kabitz, who also conducts the majority of the concerts in which the choir appears. He approaches each new musical work with the highest possible attention and instills into the established repertoire this clear interpretation, typical for the choir. Christian Kabitz is seconded by Otto Honeck, répétiteur at Frankfurt's Opera House. Previous musical directors, apart from Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy already mentioned, include Johann Nepomuk Schelble, Ferdinand Hiller, Theodor Egel and Enoch zu Guttenberg.

The Cäcilienchor gathers more than 100 active members of any nation and of any occupation, representing the diversity of the Rhine / Main region of Hesse. The Cäcilienchor is always interested in singers - regardless of nationality or religious affiliation - who have discovered the satisfactions of learning and performing choral music, and who want to work at a high amateur level, at which rehearsal time is devoted more to issues of coordination and interpretation than to learning the individual notes. Besides this musical preparation, a supplementary vocal training is provided every week to choir members, allowing the group to develop its particular and typical sound, as well as a clear intonation and a professional interpretation. If this philosophy appeals to you, you are welcome to take part in several rehearsals as a guest.

Rehearsals are held regularly on Tuesdays in the "Haus der Chöre" (House of Choirs, Kaiser-Sigmund-Straße 47), and occasionally on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. On Tuesdays from 6pm to 7pm there are rehearsals for individual voice groups - sometimes soprano and alto together, or tenor and bass together - while the remaining members have voice training as a group; from 7pm to 9pm all voices rehearse together.

Do you want to sing with us?
If you have a good voice and want to study demanding pieces with us, a lively and international choir is waiting for you. Contact us and come to meet us!
Our mail address: info@caecilienchor.de

Our office:
Cäcilien-Verein Frankfurt e.V.
Alfred-Delp-Str. 27
60599 Frankfurt
Germany
Tel: +49 (69) 65 00 98 94

In 2000 the Cäcilienchor was honored with the Binding-Kulturpreis.

The Cäcilienchor is a member of the Verband Deutscher Konzertchöre (VDKC, Association of German Concert Choirs):

Logo des VDKC.
In the more than 90 years of its existence the VDKC has grown to become a non-profit association of distinguished and especially ambitious public choirs with nationwide relevance. Its ideally base is to maintain challenging choir music in performances of high artistic degree. The choir concert as an artistic event within society is at the center of the VDKC's and its members attention.

Source: VDKC Homepage, own translation