The Frankfurter Kantorei dedicates it’s musical work – beyond the traditional repertoire of choral music – to the music of the present. The musical and vocal skills of it’s singers facilitate the unique choral sound that stands out due to delicacy and transparency as well as to homogenity and sonority. The choir varies the number of singers according to the performances of chamber music or oratorios as appropriate.
The Frankfurter Kantorei was founded by Kurt Thomas in July 1945. His successors were Helmut Rilling and Wolfgang Schaefer and since 1997 the composer, conductor and singer Winfried Toll.
From the beginning the performances were categorized by a broad variety of genres and styles. Already in the fifites of the 20th century the choir gained international respect, documented by several record awards. Later the ensemble twice won the international contest of the european broadcasting union “Let the peoples sing”, won awards at international choral contests. Concert tours took the choir to the USA, Canada, France, Italy, South Africa, Israel, Turkey, Russia, Finland und Armenia.
Besides a busy schedule of concerts, CD-productions and concert tours under the direction of it’s conductor the Frankfurter Kantorei is frequently asked to perform under other renowned conductors, e. g. Eliahu Inbal, Riccardo Chailly, Gary Bertini, Michael Gielen, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Lorin Maazel, Andrew Parrot, James Conlon, Carl Saint Clair, John Nelson and John Adams.
In August 1993 the Frankfurter Kantorei performed at the 3rd International Symposium on Choral Music in Vancouver, Canada, and in 1994 together with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under the direction of Roger Norrington at an official concert celebrating the 1200th anniversary of the city of Frankfurt am Main. The ladies’ Choir of the Frankfurter Kantorei participated in a CD-Production of Zemlisky’s opera “The Dwarf” under James Conlon, chief conductor of the Opéra National de Paris and the Guerzenich Orchestra Cologne. The recording of this rarely performed opera was published in 1996 by EMI Classics and won several international awards. In August 1999 the Frankfurter Kantorei’s singing formed the musical framework at a celebration honoring the German Author Siegfried Lenz with the “Goethepreis” of the city of Frankfurt am Main. Shortly after this the choir had a first cooperations with the Ensemble Modern (Charles Ives’ 4th symphony and Brecht/Weill’s “Three penny opera”) In 2000 the FRANKFURTER KANTOREI has been honored with the “Binding Kulturpreis”. In October 2005 the choir followed an inivitation to Japan and performed in Sennan, Toyohashi and at the Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo. In 2006 the Frankfurter Kantorei initiated the “Aventure”-concert series in cooperation with the Institute for contemporary music at the Academy for music and performing arts Frankfurt am Main.