Maulbronn Chamber Choir
The Maulbronn Chamber Choir was founded by its director, Jurgen Budday, in 1983 and is one of the top choirs in Germany today. In addition to learning a baroque oratorio, the ensemble compiles a sacred and secular a-cappella programme every year, its focal point being 19th and 20th century literature. The choir won first prize at the Baden Wurttemberg Choir Competition in 1989 and 1997, second prize at the Third German Choir Competition in Stuttgart in 1990, and were also successful at the Fifth German Choir Competition in Regensburg in 1998.
The Maulbronn Chamber Choir has received, to name a few, invitations to the Ettlingen Palace Festival, the chamber music series of the Dresden Philharmonic, the cloister concerts at the Walkenried convent, the First International Festival of Sacred Music in Rottenburg, and the European Music Festival in Passau.
The choir has also made a name for itself internationally. Their 1983 debut tour in the USA included concerts in such states as New York and Indianapolis as well as participation in the Festival of Music in New Harmony, Indiana. They participated in concert tours through numerous European countries as well as those further afield such as Israel, Argentina (1993 and 1997), South Africa, and Namibia (2001) and all were greeted with similar enthusiasm by the public and critics alike. Their third tour through South America followed in autumn 2003 with concerts in Argentina and Uruguay.
Jurgen Budday (Conductor)
Jurgen Budday is artistic director and founder of the Maulbronn Chamber Choir. He studied church music and musicology at the Academy of Music in Stuttgart from 1967 to 1974 and, since 1979, has taught at the Evangelical Seminar in Maulbronn. This also involved his taking over as artistic director of the Maulbronn Monastery Concerts and the cantor choir. In 1992, he was named Director of Studies. In 1995 he was appointed Director of Church Music and in 1998 he was awarded the 'Bundesverdienstkreuz' (German Cross of Merit) as well as the Bruno-Frey Prize from the State Academy in Ochsenhausen for his work in music education. At the Prague International Choir Festival, Jürgen Budday received an award as best director and, since 2002, he has also held the chair of the Choral Committee with the German Music Council. Jürgen Budday has started a cycle of Handel oratorios that is planned to span several years, which involves working with soloists like Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, Nancy Argenta and Mark Le Brocq (to name but a few). The live recordings of these performances, that have received the highest praise from reviewers, have won him international recognition.
'No conductor and no choir have so consistently recorded so many Handel oratorios as Jürgen Budday and his Maulbronn Chamber Choir.'
Dr. Karl Georg Berg, Handel Memoranda Halle 2008