Orchestera and choir Collegium Musicum
Quentin Clare, conductor
Gilles Michels, conductor
Matthew Baker, tenor
Liesbeth Praat, violin
Collegium Musicum is the student choir and orchestra of Leiden. With 144 members it is one of the largest musical societies of the Netherlands. Both the choir and orchestra are semiprofessional and have been part of the many highlights in the history of CM. The society was asked to play during the ceremonies in which Nelson Mandela and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands received their honorary doctorates, in 1999 and 2005. CM regularly organizes large projects, for instance a performance of the War Requiem by Benjamin Britten during CM’s five yearly anniversary year in 2010. The most recent ambitious project was in March this year, when CM performed the Verdi Requiem in collaboration with two other choirs.
Every other year we go on an international tour. During past tours we visited, amongst others, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Hungary. During tours we play slightly smaller pieces of music, as we have to take the amount of available members and the transport of instruments into account. During the 2012 tour, CM performed Mendelssohn’s Third Symphony and The Black Knight by Sir Edward Elgar. This successful tour ended with a spectacular concert for a filled concert hall in Zaragoza. You can find a photograph taken just before the concert attached to this e-mail. The size of the repertoire we will perform during the tour of 2014 can be compared to the program of our regular December and June concerts. Therefore, you will find links to the recording of CM performing Missa Brevis by Zoltán Kodály during our most recent June concert, and a recording of Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 in E minor, performed by the orchestra during the December concert in 2012 at the bottom of this e-mail. These recordings give an impression of the quality of CM, during concerts comparable in size to the program of the 2014 tour.
The program of the tour of 2014 is ambitious and original, incorporating pieces for the chamber choir, choir, orchestra and two soloists. CM will perform pieces by the English composers Benjamin Britten, Vaughan Williams and David Willcocks.