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About Die Singphoniker

Die Singphoniker is an internationally renowned German vocal ensemble whose repertory ranges from Gregorian chant and Renaissance-era music to modern and avant-garde works, and also includes folk and popular songs. The group consists of six male singers, one of whom doubles as the ensemble's pianist. A typical Die Singphoniker concert program might include a selection of chant and German folk songs, along with a colorful mixture of works by some or all of the following: Lassus, Haydn, Schumann, Brahms, Richard Strauss, Cole Porter, Gershwin, and Simon & Garfunkel. Die Singphoniker has been compared with an earlier German vocal group, Comedian Harmonists (1927-1934), which consisted of five singers and a pianist whose repertory was also inclusive of numerous genres. In terms of sound, the ensemble has been likened to the warm, colorful vocal quality of the English group the King's Singers. Die Singphoniker has made numerous recordings over the years, most appearing on CPO and Oehms Classics.

Die Singphoniker was founded in 1980 by six music students at the Munich Hochschule, all of whom were members of the school chorus. The original members were tenors Alfons Brandl and Bernhard Hofmann, baritone Ludwig Thomas, bass-baritone Gunnar Mühling, bass Christian Schmidt, and bass and pianist Franz-Xaver Lechner.

There were numerous personnel changes over the quarter century-plus lifespan of the ensemble, but the first did not come until the early '90s, when Hofmann was replaced by Christoph Rösel and Lechner by Berno Scharpf. The 2007 membership still included Brandl (who left the following year), Schmidt, and Scharpf, along with tenors Hubert Nettinger, baritone Ludwig Thomas, and bass-baritone Michael Mantaj. By 2013, Schmidt was the only remaining original member.

From its early years Die Singphoniker was highly regarded in Germany and soon developed an international reputation. It made regular tours of Europe and the United States and by the early '90s was a popular recordings group.

Its first recording was issued in 1982 on the CPO label, and some of its selections were reissued along with later recorded material on a 2005 commemorative two-disc set, entitled Die Singphoniker - 25 Years. 2005 was an important year on another front for the group: it premiered Wilfried Hiller's powerful church opera Augustinus, with great critical success.

Among Die Singphoniker's recordings is the 2006 CD on Oehms Classics, Deutsche Volkslieder, which contains arrangements of well-known German folk songs by Brahms, Reger, and Silcher.

Top Songs by Die Singphoniker

Top Albums by Die Singphoniker