Since its foundation in 1998, the choir, led by the Szabó Soma Liszt Prize-winning conductor, has achieved significant results in both national and international terms in recent years.anniversarywith a year-long series of concerts.
In the 25 years of its existence, the Cantemus Choir has become a significant part of the Hungarian and international music scene as the National Ensemble of Hungary. Following its numerous international competition victories, the city of Nyíregyháza gave the ensemble an institutional form, which greatly helped it to meet the ever-increasing number of requests. Today, the choir performs its tasks in a professional framework and fulfils the mission of keeping alive the millenary traditions of European choral culture and spreading Hungarian choral music in the world;
The Cantemus Choir was founded in 1998 by the desire of the alumni of the Kodály Zoltán Elementary School in Nyíregyháza to sing. The singers, who grew up under the tutelage of Dénes Szabó as children, acquired the exceptional knowledge based on Kodály’s concept of music education in the Cantemus Children’s Choir, which forms the basis for the artistic heights of singing together. The common roots, unified voice training and intonation traditions result in an incomparable choral sound that has truly placed the ensemble of otherwise amateur singers at the forefront of the world;
The choir’s musical flair, technical knowledge and demanding repertoire have resulted in podium places, first prizes and grand prizes at the most prestigious international competitions:
- 2001-Budapest (1st prize, Grand Prix, Special prize for conductor)
- 2005-Olomouc/Czech Republic (1st prize)
- 2006-Gorizia/Italy (1st prize in 4 categories, Grand Prix, Audience Prize, Special Prize)
- 2008-Tolosa/Spain (1st prize in 2 categories, Special prize, Grand prize)
- 2008-Torrevieja/Spain (Special prize for conductor, 2nd prize)
- 2016-Cantonigros/Spain (1st prize,2nd prize)
In addition to the growing number of concert requests from all over Europe, the demand for Cantemus concerts has also increased in the Far East (Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Japan), and the number of oratorio requests from leading orchestras in Hungary and Europe (Budapest Festival Orchestra, Budafok Dohnányi Orchestra, Liszt Ferenc Chamber Orchestra, Helsinki Baroque Orchestra etc. Théâtre des Champs-Élysées/Paris, Izumi Hall Osaka/Japan, Teatro Nuovo Giovanni da Udine/Italy, Helsinki Musiikkitalo/Finland). The choir’s repertoire includes the widest range of a capella choral literature, from Renaissance madrigals, masses and motets (e.g. Palestrina, Tallis, Gesualdo, Gabrieli), through the world of modern composers (e.g. Busto, Arvo Part, Lauridsen, Whitacre, Orbán, Kocsár, Gyöngyösi), to popular music (e.g. Beatles, Abba).