History, prices, honours

In 1984 the Kettwiger Bach-Ensemble were created in Kettwig, a district of the ruhrmetropole Essen (Germany), by his current conductor Wolfgang Klaesener. It consists of approximately 25 young musicians (most of them amateurs). Once a month they travel from all over Germany to Kettwig for an rehearsal or concert weekend.

The repertoire Kettwiger Bach-Ensemble comprises predominantly sacred and profane a-cappella-literature of all epochs. It cover from the early part singing over renassaince madrigales and baroque motets up to contempory compositions, e.g. Gyoergy Ligeti, Arvo Paert and Dieter Schnebel. Apart from the compositions of J.S. Bach the opera of Francis Poulenc play an important part.

The Kettwiger Bach-Ensemble distinguishes itself by an alive interpretation of the selected opera as well as by an very transparent timbre. By rarely interpreted compositions it made itself a name in and outside of germany. Apart from regular concerts in Essen and other parts of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as in Southern Germany numerous concert journeys, festivals and competitions led the choir to Italy, Israel, Austria, France and Switzerland.

1991 the Kettwiger Bach-Ensemble won five awards at the international choir competition of Arezzo (Italy) :

  • 1. Prize category mixed choirs
  • 1. Prize category vocal ensemble (ex aequo)
  • Special prize for the best interpretation of a solo casted composition
  • Special prize for the conductor
  • Grand Prix of the city Arezzo for the total winner of the competition
  • 1993 the Kettwiger Bach-Ensemble tock part at the 3. international chamber choir competition Marktoberdorf (Germany) and was confirmed with an 2 Prize.

    Again two years later on pentecoast 1995 they participated at the 24. Florilege Vocal de Tours (France), anotherone of the important European competitions. Here they were honored with three prizes:

  • 1. Price category free program
  • 2. Price category mixed choirs
  • Special price of the French Secretary of cultural affairs for the best interpretation of French choir music
  • In the summer 1995 Kettwiger Bach-Ensemble participated with great success in a performance of Henry Purcells "The Fairy Queen" in the context of the castle concerts in Bruehl (near Bonn).

    1996 followed a co-operation with Simon Carrington, an initial member of the "King's Singers". He had heard Kettwiger Bach-Ensemble at the competition in Tours and had suggested a common Workshop.