© Tom Thiele

Thomanerchor Leipzig

The history of the THOMANERCHOR Leipzig spans more than 800 years, making it the oldest cultural institution in the city of Leipzig.
In 1212, at the Imperial Diet in Frankfurt, Emperor Otto IV confirmed the foundation of the Augustinian Canons' Monastery of St. Thomas, which had been initiated by Margrave Dietrich the Distressed of Meissen. The monastery included a monastery school, which was intended to educate the next generation of clerics, but soon became accessible to boys who did not live in the monastery.

From the beginning, liturgical singing was part of the education so that the singers could be used in the numerous weekly services. In the course of the introduction of the Reformation in 1539, Leipzig gained the reputation of an outstanding musical and cultural centre in Central Germany, not least due to the important and well-known Thomaskantors.
The musical focus of the THOMANERCHOR Leipzig is on the cultivation of the "Musica Sacra". The works of Johann Sebastian Bach, who was appointed Thomaskantor on 1 June 1723 and held this post for 27 years until his death on 28 July 1750, form the musical centre. Nevertheless, the programmes include choral works from all epochs of music history - from Gregorian to modern, which is also documented by numerous audiovisual productions.
Daily rehearsals prepare the "Motetten" (in Leipzig also musical forms of worship) on Fridays 6 p.m. and Saturdays 3 p.m. as well as the services on Sundays 9.30 a.m. in the Thomaskirche with a weekly audience of more than 2500. The Saturday motet also regularly features a Bach cantata with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and vocal soloists - and of course the pastors of St Thomas' Church and the organist can also be heard.
In the 20th century, the THOMANERCHOR Leipzig began a busy concert tour, which helped the choir to gain an international reputation. Today, the choir is a permanent fixture in German and European musical life and is in demand worldwide as a cultural ambassador for Leipzig. Regular concert tours have taken the choir to North and South America, the Middle and Far East and Australia.
The members of the choir, the Thomaner, live, learn and rehearse in the Thomas-Alumnat. From the Gymnasium level onwards, they attend the Thomasschule, a grammar school run by the city of Leipzig, opposite. The youngest St Thomas's students in 4th grade learn in special classes at the Anna-Magdalena-Bach-Schule (a primary school run by the city of Leipzig) or the forum thomanum primary school directly on the forum thomanum campus.
On 18 December 2020, Andreas Reize was elected by the Leipzig City Council as Thomaskantor and artistic director of the Thomanerchor Leipzig. As the 18th successor of Johann Sebastian Bach, he was appointed to the post on 11 September 2021.