|Alternative Spellings||Thomanerchor Leipzig, Choir of St. Thomas's (Leipzig)|
Johann Hermann Schein
Johann Kuhnau - Conductor from 1701 to 1722
Johann Sebastian Bach - Conductor from 1723 to 1750
Johann Adam Hiller - Conductor from 1789 to 1801
The choir was founded in 1212. At present, the choir consists of about 90 boys from 9 to 18 years of age. The members, called Thomaner, live in a boarding school, the Thomasalumnat, and attend the Thomasschule zu Leipzig, a Gymnasium school with a linguistic profile and a focus on musical education. Johann Sebastian Bach served as Thomaskantor, director of the choir and church music in Leipzig, from 1723 to 1750.
Although the choir's main musical field traditionally consists of the vocal works of Johann Sebastian Bach, the repertoire comprises pieces from different eras, from the Renaissance to contemporary music. Gotthold Schwarz is the 17th Thomaskantor since Bach.
The Thomanerchor offers concerts across all of Germany (at least two big tours a year) and abroad. The choir also sings three times a week in the Thomaskirche, "Motette" every Friday evening at 6 and every Saturday afternoon at 3, service on Sundays at 9 o'clock.
The tour of 2012, the choir's 800th year, presented a program of Scarlatti's Exultate Deo, Kyrie and Gloria from Palestrina's Missa sine nomine, Bruckner's motets Vexilla regis and Christus factus est pro nobis, and Bach's motet Jesu, meine Freude.
The Margrave of Meissen founded St. Thomas' priory for Augustinian Canons in 1212. A school was annexed to the monastery, the intended purpose of which was to develop future priests. Since the Reformation in 1539, the school and the choir have belonged to the city of Leipzig; it is also influenced by the Protestant Church of Saxony. This makes the Thomanerchor the oldest cultural entity in the city and one of the oldest in Europe; the Regensburger Domspatzen is the oldest known choir on record. When Johann Sebastian Bach served as director, the choir consisted of about 50 singers, of which the best 16 were used for performance of cantatas. After Bach's death, other famous musicians served as director, among them Doles, Hiller and Moritz Hauptmann.
By the end of the 19th century, the Thomasschule next to the Thomaskirche was demolished and the choir moved to the Hiller street, now the Leipziger "Music Quarter". During the Nazi era, the choir was incorporated into the Hitler Jugend in 1937. But the Nazi government did not succeed in infiltrating their ideology into the choir's repertoire because the then director Ramin concentrated on religious works. He also tried to prevent the boys from being enlisted as long as possible. Wikipedia