The European Union Choir currently
recruits beautiful voices, in all registers.
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The European Union Choir
The European Union Choir was founded following the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1958, under the patronage of European Parliament Presidents Halstein and Hirsch. In the early 1960s, the Choir made its debut under director Jean Jakus with a series of Easter concerts at Brussels’ Saint-Michel cathedral: Bach’s Passion according to St. Matthew and St. John, attended by Queen Elisabeth of Belgium.
The Choir, which brings together singers of 22 nationalities, is frequently invited to perform in different countries. Considered as musical ambassadors for Europe, the Choir regularly sings at major European events – concerts organised by the EU Presidencies, the award ceremonies of the Charlemagne Prize in honour of great European personalities, the entry of Greece and Austria into the European Community, celebrations of important European anniversaries (e.g. in France, the 100th birthday of Jean Monnet), German reunification in 1990 (where the Choir performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony) as well as the inauguration of the new European Parliament premises in Brussels in 1998, attended by the European Parliament President and Belgium’s King Albert II. The Choir also takes part in Belgian and European festivals and has performed on a number of television programmes, such as the “Grand Echiquier” about Jacques Delors (on France 2).
The European Union Choir (its new name since the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993) has performed in many cities throughout Europe, singing amongst others in Aix-en-Provence, Athens, Basel, Berlin, Bern, Cannes, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Geneva, Graz, The Hague, Luxembourg, Milan, Palermo and Rome. The Choir performed a wide range of choral works, from Bach to contemporary composers including Charpentier, Vivaldi, Telemann, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Cherubini, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Verdi, Gounod, Franck, Bruckner, Brahms, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Dvorak, Fauré, Puccini, Jongen, Stravinsky, Villa-Lobos, Honegger, Orff, Poulenc, Janssens and Vanherenthals.
The Choir has worked together with world class orchestras such as the Klassische Philharmonie Bonn, the Orchestre de Radio-Télé-Luxembourg, the Philharmonia Hungarica, Residentie Orkest-Den Haag, the Orchestre Régional de Cannes PACA, the Grand Orchestre d'Harmonie des Guides, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, the Orchestra Filarmonica Georg Enescu-Bucarest, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Grazer Symphonisches Orchester, the Sinfonia Varsovia, and the Ensemble Christos Leontis.
Presigious conductors including Erich Kleiber, Eugen Jochum, Hans Knappertbusch, Paul Kletsky, John Nelson, Robert King, Philippe Bender, Pierre Bartholomée, Yuri Simonov, Niksa Bareza, Mélanie Thiébault and Facundo Agudin have directed the choir in concerts that featured distinguished soloists such as Jules Bastin, Agnes Giebel, Hans Hotter, Herman Prey, Lucrecia West, Barbara Hendricks, Claron McFadden, Guy De Mey, Fernand Koenig, Michel Trempont, Marcel Vanaud, Patrick Van Goethem, Mady Urbain or José Van Dam.
On 9 May 1998 the choir performed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin, upon invitation of the International European Movement of the Nederlands Concert Koor.
In the context of the recent celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, the choir participated on 24 March 2007 festivities, held at the Brussels Atomium entitled “Stars of Europe”, broadcasted in over 50 countries worldwide.