“the oldest cultural institution of the City of Leipzig.”
The history of Thomanerchor Leipzig dates back to more than 800 years and therefore it is the oldest cultural institution of the City of Leipzig.
In 1212 Emperor Otto IV. confirmed the foundation of the Augustinian monastery of St. Thomas, which was initiated by margrave Dietrich the Oppressed of Meissen. The monastery contained a convent school to educate the young cleric, but soon the school was made accessible also for boys who did not live in the monastery. Liturgical singing has been part of the education from the beginning in order to deploy the boys in the numerous weekly church services. In the course of the reformation in 1539 Leipzig acquired a reputation for being a musical and cultural centre, not least because of the significant “Thomaskantoren” (cantors at St. Thomas).
The musical focus of the Thomanerchor Leipzig is on the maintenance of the “Musica Sacra”. The works of Johann Sebastian Bach – who was introduced as Thomaskantor on 1 June 1723 and who stayed in that position for 27 years until his death on 28 July 1750 – form the main musical centre of the choir. Nevertheless, the choirs programs contain choir works of all ages of musical history – from Gregorian chants to contemporary compositions – which is documented by numerous audiovisual productions.