Founded in 1994, ensemble cantissimo is made up of young professional singers from Germany and Switzerland.
The name “cantissimo” speaks for itself: it refers to singing only. The ensemble focuses on everything connected to vocal music, performed by varying sets of singers.
The main interest of the vocal ensemble, which normally appears on stage with 16 vocal soloists, has always been in projects that are musically charming, challenging and exciting. This, of course, has led to a wide repertoire of musical styles. One of the ensemble’s main aims is the performance of old and new vocal music with richly varied programmatic conceptions.
cantissimo has performed numerous programmes with music which was once „unheard.“ These include premieres of old and new music, commissioned, or even inspired by cantissimo, and concert productions for broadcasting stations. In contrast to the „unheard“ repertoire, cantissimo also undertakes the monuments of the European sacred choral tradition. Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and Motets are performed by a small, transparent ensemble to present a new, different sound.
Under the direction of Markus Utz the ensemble cantissimo established itself by appearing at the Heiligkreuzer Konzerte Kempten, where it was the Ensemble in Residence. Performances have followed throughout Southern Germany in renowned concert series in Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and the Rhineland-Palatinate. Over the last two decades, cantissimo has won acclaim at home and abroad, especially with its programmes of ambitious a cappella literature. Several concert and broadcast productions with Bavarian Radio, SWR, Swiss Radio as well as invitations to important festivals all over Europe have contributed to the ensemble’s renown. CD productions (“Stimmen des Himmels” 2004, “Giovanni Battista Martini – Sacred works” 2006, “Franz Philipp – Mater Dei, Ein Marienleben” 2007) are well known by connoisseurs and choral specialists to whom cantissimo is already well known. A further CD “In Heaven” with the choral music of Scandinavia was released at the end of 2010. In 2013 the Stuttgart publisher Carus selected the ensemble to record the complete choral oeuvre of Heinrich von Herzogenberg, a contemporary of Brahms, in connection with the publication of this exquisite – yet virtually unknown – music.