The SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart
with its 33 singers, is considered one of the leading international ensembles for 20th century and contemporary vocal music. It first appeared at the Donaueschingen Festival in 1947. In 1951, their new chief conductor Hermann Joseph Dahmen began to significantly promote the choir’s specialization in contemporary vocal music. With its subsequent chief conductors Marinus Voorberg (1975–1981), Klaus-Martin Ziegler (1981– 1987) and Rupert Huber (1990–2000), the SWR Vokalensemble attained an international reputation as an ensemble for new music. Marcus Creed has been the chief conductor since 2003. Under his direction, the SWR Vokalensemble founded its first own concert series in Stuttgart. The CD productions recorded under Marcus Creed’s baton have won significant awards. They include practically unknown works by Charles Ives, Elliott Carter and Heitor Villa-Lobos. For its production of Bruckner’s E minor Mass and a selection of motets, the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart was named “Ensemble of the Year” in 2009. In 2011 and 2012 they were awarded the Echo Classic Prize for the “Choral Production of the Year” (2011: Heitor Villa- Lobos, Choral Works; 2012: György Ligeti, Requiem). Furthermore, the ensemble was awarded the “European Choir Prize” by the Pro Europa Foundation for Culture for its pioneering efforts on behalf of contemporary vocal music.
The conductor Marcus Creed was born and grew up on the south coast of England. He began his studies at King’s College in Cambridge, where he had the opportunity to sing in the famous King’s College Choir. Further studies took him to Christ Church in Oxford and the Guildhall School in London. Marcus Creed moved to Berlin in 1977. Stations in his professional career have been the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Hochschule der Künste, as well as the Gruppe Neue Musik and the Scharoun Ensemble. From 1987 to 2001, Marcus Creed was artistic director of the RIAS-Kammerchor. In 1998, he accepted a professorship for conducting at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. Marcus Creed has been artistic director of the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart since 2003. His particular objective with this ensemble has been to make renewed performances of outstanding compositions from the recent past, including, for example, works by Luigi Nono, György Kurtág, Wolfgang Rihm or Heinz Holliger. Marcus Creed is regularly invited to international festivals for both early music and new music and he regularly collaborates with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the Freiburger Barockorchester and Concerto Köln. His CD releases have won international awards for their stylistically sure and acoustically sensitive interpretations. Among others, he has been awarded the German Record Critics’ Award, the Edison Award, the Diapason D’Or, the Cannes Classical Award, and the Echo Classic Prize.