As an ambassador of its university, the UNICHOR (university choir) of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany, is undertaking a concert tour of Canada in the summer of 2014. The choir will perform in Vancouver, Victoria and several other locations with a cappella works of German-speaking composers spanning across five centuries. The programme includes pieces by Mozart, Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Bach and others.
The two-week journey is scheduled from 3 to 18 August 2014. Concerts will be held, for example, in St. Dunstan’s Anglican Church in Victoria, the Anglican Church of Canada on Salt Spring Island, and the Holy Rosary Catholic Cathedral in Vancouver.
An extensive cultural programme, including visits of important historical sights, completes the choir’s musical work and also makes the tour a social and cultural highlight in the history of UNICHOR.
…and about the choir:
UNICHOR is a group of young people passionate about singing, and consists of both students and staff from all departments of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf. It was founded in 1989 by “a handful of bawlers” (as the caretaker responsible for the rehearsal room put it) and has since been conducted by Silke Löhr, Musical Director of the university.
Today, UNICHOR has more than 100 members, and regularly collaborates with the university orchestra: a prime example of this musical synergy was on the occasion of its silver jubilee concert which was performed in the spring of 2014 in Düsseldorf’s prestigious concert hall, Tonhalle.
Every semester, a musical programme is rehearsed and performed. An extensive and diverse repertoire has thus been developed in the course of the years, including the requiems by Fauré, Dvořák and Brahms, the Christmas oratorios by Bach and Saint-Saëns, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Leoš Janáček’s Otče náš and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. It also comprises a-capella pieces by Bach, Byrd, Dowland, Janáček, Monteverdi, Poulenc, Pilkington, Weelkes, Rachmaninoff and others.
UNICHOR has firmly established itself in the cultural life of Düsseldorf and in the choral scene of its federal home state North Rhine-Westphalia, with each semester culminating in a highly anticipated concert.
UNICHOR has travelled extensively concert tours to many European countries (e.g. England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland and the Czech Republic) and left Europe for the first time in March 2009 to give concerts in Brazil. In September 2011, the choir undertook a tour in the French Pays de la Loire and also visited its twin university in Nantes. In the summer of 2014, UNICHOR will travel to West Canada and will give concerts in Vancouver and other places. The choir will be conducted by Mathias Staut who has been handed the baton by Silke Löhr from the spring of 2013 until the summer of 2014.