In Bach cantatas there were usually two groups of singers: concertists and ripienists.
The so-called concertists were the better-trained singers and therefore the soloists Bach needed for his complex music. Concertists sang throughout the cantata. Ripienists – either one per part or more – simply doubled the soloists at the less complex tutti marked sections and were needed for the singing of chorales.
Founded in 2008, Die Konzertisten is a chamber choir that aims to perform choral and vocal works to the highest professional standard with committed and passionate singing. The group promotes a variety of musical styles and has presented a series of concerts with repertoire ranging from the Renaissance and Baroque to romantic, modern and contemporary works.
From its early days Die Konzertisten has performed with a number of internationally renowned conductors and musicians, including the legendary conductor Helmuth Rilling (Bach’s B Minor Mass with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong), the highly sought-after living composer Karl Jenkins (Karl Jenkins’ Requiem), the distinguished English conductor Nicholas Cleobury (Requiems by John Rutter and Bob Chilcott), Johnny Poon (Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Collegium Musicum Hong Kong), Michael Ryan (Victoria’s Requiem), Wing-sie Yip (Faure’s Requiem with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta) and Felix Yeung (Bach’s St Matthew Passion).
In 2011, Die Konzertisten was invited by the Hong Kong Arts Festival to be the performing choir in the ‘All About Bach’ series, including performances of all six of Bach’s motets, and acting as the demonstration choir in a master-class with Maestro Georg Christoph Biller, cantor of the world-famous St Thomas Boys Choir, Leipzig. The group was also the designated choir in the 2010 and 2011 Master of Music choral conducting programmes of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
In September 2012, Die Konzertisten will be performing Mozart’s Requiem together with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong under the baton of the internationally renowned conductor Stephan Layton. In late November 2012, the choir will perform The Great Service by William Byrd in a concert and education programme of Renaissance Music.