Die Singphoniker

Personal details

The German vocal ensemble “The Singphoniker” was founded three decades ago by six students at the Music Conservatory in Munich. This was at a time when, after years of oblivion – thanks to Eberhard Fechner’s documentary film – the Comedian Harmonists were rediscovered and reassessed, with their fantastic ensemble singing and inimitable arrangements. At the same time, the English group the King´s Singers began to attract a wide public in Germany with their mixed programs ranging from madrigals through contemporary music to close harmony. Right from the beginning The Singphoniker were aware that simply imitating other groups would not bring pleasure or success in the long term. Rather, the question was: is there a German tradition of vocal chamber music for male voices – apart from the narrow German patriotism then commonly found in amateur male voice choirs – which should be fostered and continued, and which is worth incorporating within the overall music of our time? Yes, indeed! The archives are full of such hidden treasures. With curiosity and in the spirit of discovery, we set off on a fascinating journey which has led to many surprises even among experts. Works such as Schubert’s part songs, for example, have formed the center of a German Romantic tradition for the Singphoniker. It is astonishing what we have discovered in terms of wonderful compositions – from Lasso to Orff (both with long associations to the Singphonic home of Munich) and from Grieg to Villa Lobos, et al. Finding their way between the riches of earlier German repertoire, the current international vocal ensemble scene, the revived and rediscovered German tradition and exciting contemporary music, the Singphoniker have developed a wideranging repertoire and an unmistakable profile among the few ensembles of vocal soloists on the international scene. The inclusion of the piano for all musical styles and periods provides an added ingredient in the group’s artistic profile and distinctiveness. Numerous prizes and awards and fruitful partnerships with many distinguished artists – including Gert Westphal, Ute Lemper and Angelika Kirchschlager – reflect their good reputation. Similarly, they work regularly with international orchestras (most recently the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lisbon, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orquesta Nacional de España) and conductors (including Sir Lawrence Foster, Paul Daniel, Ulf Schirmer, and Howard Griffiths). A whole range of renowned contemporary composers have made exciting contributions to the ensemble’s repertoire. The members of the current group maintain this tradition with continued enthusiasm, and they are finding great pleasure in discovering new repertoire. The Singphonikers’ ensemble sound – and they have consistently rejected all technical means of enhancing this – is considered warmly sonorous, from finely balanced to cohesively powerful in equal measure, reflecting all the facets of a purely male-voice scoring from the deepest darkness to the brightest light.