17/18 Vocal Ensemble Series: St. Thomas Choir / Thomanerchor Leipzig

17/18 Vocal Ensemble Series: St. Thomas Choir / Thomanerchor Leipzig

Tuesday, November 14 | 8 pm
$52 for VIP Seating
$42 for Preferred Seating
$28 for General Admission Seating
$20 Ages 30 & Under (General Admission Seating only)
$10 Duke Students (General Admission Seating only)

Duke Performances 2017/18 season ticket packages — including the Pick-Four or More, Chamber Arts Series, Piano Recital Series, and Vocal Ensemble Series — will go on sale to the general public on TUESDAY, JUNE 20 at 11 AM. Single tickets to Duke Performances 2017/18 shows will go on sale TUESDAY, JULY 11 at 11 AM. Tickets will be available for purchase online, via phone at 919-684-4444, and in person at the Duke University Box Office, Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 6 PM.

Renewal deadlines for current subscribers for Duke Performances season ticket packages are as follows: Chamber Arts Series (Friday, April 21), Piano Recital Series (Friday, May 26), and Vocal Ensemble Series (Friday, May 26).


The Thomanerchor — otherwise known as the St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig, whose most famous cantor was Johann Sebastian Bach — is one of the world’s most enduring musical institutions. Founded in 1212 to provide music for church services, The Thomanerchor hired Bach in 1723; he held the position until his death and is buried at St. Thomas. Bach’s music remains a mainstay of the choir’s repertoire, and its fifty exceptionally talented boy singers between the ages of nine and eighteen still perform his works every Sunday. In recent decades, the enormous choir has made international touring a central part of its activities, taking the entire ensemble beyond the church walls of Leipzig and out into the world. The New York Times calls the choir’s sound “magnificent, soaring, poignant, ethereal.”

Inside the appropriately gothic setting of  Duke Chapel, the Thomanerchor sings sacred works by Germany’s most revered composers. Led by cantor Gotthold Schwarz and organist Stefan Altner, the Choir sings a Psalm setting and a selection of motets by early Baroque composer Heinrich Schütz. The choristers turn next to a hymn setting and a sacred madrigal by Schütz’s contemporary and Bach’s predecessor at St. Thomas by a hundred years,  Johann Schein. At the center of the concert are three Bach motets: Fürchte dich nicht, Komm, Jesu, Komm!, and Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, all for double choir. The Thomanerchor also includes several works from the nineteenth century: Felix Mendelssohn’s setting of the forty-third Psalm, and two movements from his deutsche Liturgie: Kyrie Eleison and Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe.


Schütz: The One-Hundredth Psalm, SWV 36
Schein: “Her Gott, du unser Zuflucht bist,” from Cantional oder Gesangbuch Augspurgischer Confession
Schein: “Nu danket alle Gott,” from Israelsbrünnlein
Bach: Fürchte dich nicht, BWV 228
Bach: Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229
Mendelssohn: The Forty-Third Psalm
Mendelssohn: “Kyrie Eleison” and “Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe” from Die deutsche Liturgie
Schütz: “Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt,” SWV 380; “Verleih uns Frieden,” SWV 372; and “Gib unsern Fürsten,” SWV 373,  from Geistliche Chormusik
Bach: Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226