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Christoph Spering

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Conductor Christoph Spering applies his knowledge of authentic performance practice to the music of the early 18th to the mid-19th centuries, in all genres. With several groups he founded, he has made innovative recordings of Classical and early Romantic choral and symphonic repertory. Spering was born June 23, 1959, in the small town of Simmern in West Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate state. His younger brother Andreas is also a conductor. Spering attended the Musikhochschule Köln, studying church music and earning the title of Kirchenmusikdirektor or Church Music Director. He has continued to work as the Protestant parish of Cologne-Mülheim. In 1983, in Cologne, he formed the Mülheimer Kantorei Köln, the first of several groups of his own. He followed that up by establishing the Chorus Musicus Köln, and in 1988, Das Neue Orchester (The New Orchestra). With the latter two groups, in 1992, he made the first recording of Mendelssohn's 1841 version of Bach's St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244. That gained Spering wide attention, and he began to find bookings not only for his own ensembles but also as a guest conductor of major orchestras. He has appeared with the Gürzenich Philharmonic Orchestra in Cologne, the Halle City Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Lille in France, among others. Building on the success of the Mendelssohn recording, he has performed other unusual late Classical and early Romantic works, including the oratorio Columbus by J.S. Bach's grandson Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach, Antonio Salieri's Requiem, and Robert Schumann's oratorio Der Rose Pilgerfahrt. Spering has also performed music by composers dating back to Bach and as far forward as Berlioz, often applying historical-performance principles. Spering is especially notable for his large catalog of recordings, made for the Opus 111, Naïve, and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi labels, among other top imprints. His recorded repertory focuses on the music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including such rare works as the Christmas Oratorio of the composer Antonio Cartellieri (1772-1807), as well as neglected works by famous composers. He has issued recordings of Mendelssohn's lesser-known incidental music for the plays Antigone, Oedipus Rex, and Athalia. In 2020, Spering led the Chorus Musicus Köln and Das Neue Orchester in a new recording of six Bach cantatas on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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