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Helmuth Rilling: Stuttgart Bach Collegium, Gächinger Kantorei

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Biography

Helmuth Rilling (born 29 May 1933 in Stuttgart) is an internationally known German choral conductor, founder of the Gächinger Kantorei (1954), the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart (1965), the Oregon Bach Festival (1970),[1] the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (1981) and other Bach Academies worldwide, and the “Festival Ensemble Stuttgart” (2001).

Rilling was born into a musical family. He received his early training at the Protestant Seminaries in Württemberg. From 1952 to 1955 he studied organ, composition, and choral conducting at the Stuttgart College of Music. He completed his studies with Fernando Germani in Rome and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena.

While still a student in 1954, he founded his first choir, the Gächinger Kantorei. Starting in 1957, he was organist and choirmaster at the Stuttgart Gedächtniskirche. From 1963 to 1966, he built up the Spandauer Kantorei (Spandau Choir), and taught organ and choral conducting.

In 1967 he studied with Leonard Bernstein in New York and in the same year was appointed professor of choral conducting at the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, a post which he held until 1985. In 1969, he took over as conductor of the Frankfurter Kantorei (Frankfurt Choir). Since 1965 he has conducted the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart, which often performs with the Gächinger Kantorei. He has toured widely with both ensembles.

He is well known for his performances of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries.

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