Cologne “Figuralchor” (Der Figuralchor Köln) |

Cologne “Figuralchor” (Der Figuralchor Köln) |

The Figural Choir Cologne

Year of foundation
A type

Cologne “Figuralchor” (Der Figuralchor Köln) |

The Cologne Figuralchoir was founded in 1986 by conductor Richard Maylander and pastor of the Cologne Artistic Union Friedrich Hofmann (now Bishop of Würzburg). There are currently 35 singers in the group.

The specificity of the activity of the choir is that the sacred music performed by it sounds in the context for which it was originally intended – in the premises of the church or as part of the church liturgy. The unity of sacred space and music is the main credo of the collective. Therefore, his performances become more of a spiritual event than just a concert.

Over the years of its existence, the group has mastered a large repertoire, which includes well-known and rarely performed works for choir a cappella, masterpieces of the cantata-oratorio genre (Mass in B minor and Passion according to John by Bach, Messiah and Resurrection by Handel, Vespers of the Virgin Mary Monteverdi , “Christ” by Liszt, Bruckner’s Mass in E Minor). The music of contemporary composers (A. Pärt, M. Baumann, L. Lenglet, K. Walrath, B. Blitch, P. Lukashevsky, K. Maubi, O. Sperling, G. Goretsky, and others) occupies a large place in the programs. Many works were written specifically for the Figuralhor and performed as part of the Vigil im Advent (All-Night Advent) project. Another interesting event was the thematic program “From Eternity to Eternity”, where the main emphasis was placed on the combination of modern and ancient music.

Numerous concerts, CD recordings, annual Easter performances at the Cologne Museum of Medieval Art, tours throughout Europe, collaboration with the Cologne Artistic Association and various choirs are an integral part of the Figuralchoir’s diverse creative activities.

Richard Mailender, artistic director and conductor, was born in 1958 in Neukirchen. Even in his school years, he sang in the church and at the age of 15 organized his first choir in his native city. Educated at the University of Cologne and the Higher School of Music, where he studied history, musicology and church music. In 1986 he founded the Cologne Figuralchoir, with whom he made many radio and CD recordings. Currently, the conductor continues to search for new concert forms in order to present masterpieces of sacred music in conjunction with the church liturgy.

Since 1987 he has worked as a church music consultant, since 2006 he has been the music director of the Diocese of Cologne. He is the author of articles on choral conducting in the church, co-author and editor of a number of books on church music and choral collections. Since 2000 he has taught liturgical singing at the Cologne Academy of Music.

Source: Moscow Philharmonic website

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