“Nothing short of remarkable...they, quite simply, bring whatever they sing to glorious life.” That is how the Deseret Morning News described a concert by Calmus, the First Prize Winner of the 2009 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Founded in 1999 in Germany, the a cappella quintet embodies the rich choral tradition of its hometown of Leipzig, the city so closely associated with Bach and Mendelssohn. Whether singing music by those German masters or something else from its diverse repertoire, Calmus captivates both audiences and critics with its charming stage presence, flawless technique and entertaining presentation.
All graduates of Leipzig‘s renowned St. Thomas Church Choir School, Calmus offers the unique combination of a pure soprano voice with four male voices ranging from bass to countertenor. The seamless blend of these five voices lends itself to the almost limitless range of music the ensemble offers, from renaissance and baroque masters through great German romantic works all the way to contemporary choral repertoire and popular songs. Calmus conveys everything they perform with great respect, and also with a sense of joy in singing that is obvious to the listener: “ I sat through the performance with my mouth agape and a smile on my lips” (Classical Voice of North Carolina).
In the 2010-11 season, Calmus‘ debut recital in New York at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on the CAG Winners Series is just one highlight. Other concerts nationwide feature such prestigious series as the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Purdue University Convocations, the University of Iowa’s Hancher Auditorium, Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University, Clemson University’s Utsey Chamber Music series, Chamber Music Society of Little Rock, the Artist Series of Tallahasee, Lancaster (CA) Performing Arts Center and Northeastern Illinois University’s Jewel Box series in Chicago.
With no less than ten recordings to its credit, Calmus received the 2009 Echo Klassik Award for Lied:gut!, a disc of treasured German folksongs. The group‘s latest CD, entititled Hausmusik, is a collection of songs by Robert and Clara Schumann and J.S. Bach, featuring a program that very well could have been heard at a salon concert in the Schumann home. This follows the 2009 release of the Calmus Christmas Carols album in late 2009, its first CD of music for the Holidays which has been received enthusiastically: “...perfectly balanced ensemble singing, every note, every chord given
exacting importance, delivered in the most vocally attractive, musically expressive style (Classics Today).
An active concert schedule worldwide has already taken Calmus across Germany, Austria Belgium, Switzerland, France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and North and South America. Festival appearances include International a cappella Week in Hannover and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival where the group attended a master class with the King’s Singers. In addition to garnering First Prize and numerous performance prizes at the CAG Competiton, other prestigious awards bestowed upon the ensemble include First Prizes at the fourth annual Robert Schumann Choral Competition, the International Competition for Vocal Ensembles in Finland and the 37th Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain.
Anja Lipfert – Soprano
Sebastian Krause – Countertenor
Tobias Pöche – Tenor
Ludwig Böhme – Baritone
Joe Roesler – Bass