Dresdner Kreuzchor



The history of the Dresdner Kreuzchor (Choir of Church of the Holy Cross) goes back far more than seven centuries whereby it is one of the oldest boys’ choirs of Germany. Founded as a school for Latin at the "Capella Sanctae Crucis", the present Kreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross) and home of the choir, the medieval tradition of boys’ liturgical singing has been preserved by the Dresdner Kreuzchor until the present day. As the oldest art institution, which is also today still financed by the city, the Dresdner Kreuzchor is an indispensable part of the city’s identity.

150 members of the choir or Crucians aged between 9 and 19 years belong to the Dresdner Kreuzchor today. The choir performs mostly as mixed boys’ and men’s choir, the number of singers depending on the works being performed.
For guest performances, about 80 singers go on tour. The Kreuzkirche is the focal point and the centre of the entire cultivation of music by the Dresdner Kreuzchor: The presentation of the Musica sacra for the Sunday’s and Vespers church services is in accordance with the choir’s original commitment and forms at the same time the basis of its artistic work.

Hardly any other choir can offer both such a varied and comprehensive repertoire. It ranges from the early
Baroque works of the musical director of the Dresden court orchestra Heinrich Schütz, the Passions, Motets and Cantatas by Bach to the choir music of the 19th century up to modernism. With numerous premieres and first performances, the Dresdner Kreuzchor receives the repeated attention and appreciation of the expert critics. The compositions of former cantors of the choir are a permanent part of the repertoire.

Developing from the liturgical tradition and being deeply rooted in it, the Dresdner Kreuzchor is one of the few choirs that also perform regularly in concerts. The music life of the city cannot be imagined anymore without the joint concerts together with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden State Orchestra of Saxony or special ensembles for old music.

The Crucians are just as much liked and celebrated guests in the large churches and concert halls in Germany and abroad. Tours have led the choir beyond the German and European borders to Japan, Israel, Canada and the United States. Renowned opera houses engaged members of the Dresdner Kreuzchor as soloists. The choir is engaged for television and radio recordings on a regular basis. Since 1995, the Dresdner Kreuzchor has been under contract with the recording company ‘Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft’. The young singers are educated at the Evangelisches Kreuzgymnasium (Protestant Holy Cross School), now a modern grammar school, up to A-level standard. The boarding accommodation where most of the choirboys live during their time in the Dresdner Kreuzchor is nearby.

Success and fame of the choir are not a result of the specific sound of the boys’ voices alone. They are also due to daily rehearsing, intensive singing and instrumental classes for each Crucian. Particularly talented musicians have come from the Dresdner Kreuzchor. The choir’s specific character has also influenced the work of the masters of music of the choir over the centuries. Due to this continuity, this unique synthesis between liturgical tradition and highest artistic quality has been attained which helped the Dresdner Kreuzchor to achieve its artistic significance.

Born in 1956, Roderich Kreile studied sacred music and choir direction in Munich, where he achieved wide recognition as a church musician. From 1989 to 1996 he taught, most recently as professor, at Munich’s College of Music and directed two of the college’s choirs there. In 1994 he assumed additional responsibilities for the productions of the Philharmonic Choir Munich and worked under such celebrated directors as Gerd Albrecht, Sergiu Celibidache, and Lorin Maazel.

In January 1997 Roderich Kreile was appointed as 28th cantor of the Dresdner Kreuzchor (Choir of
the Church of the Holy Cross). With the members of the choir ? named Crucians ? Mr Kreile has put together a varied repertoire of sacred and secular choir music spanning several centuries, produced in recent years world premieres of the most diverse works, intensified work with orchestras (Dresden Philharmonic, Ensemble for Ancient Music), and produced numerous performances for radio and CD.

Mr Kreile as Head of Music has travelled with the Dresdner Kreuzchor to Japan, the USA, Latin America, and many European countries. Under his direction the Dresdner Kreuzchor is regularly ? also in concert with orchestras ? guest in Germany’s great concert halls and churches. In his daily rehearsals with the Crucians he places great emphasis on bringing to life Christian and humanistic values as well as on creating an atmosphere of inspiration and joy in the common making of music.
Roderich Kreile has widely ranging responsibilities both in liturgical and public life.

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