© Pedro Malinowski

ChorWerk Ruhr

Florian Helgath, conductor

Season 2020/21
The Sound of Silence

Claudio Monteverdi: Ecco momorar l'onde
Claudio Monteverdi: Cruda Amarilli
Claudio Monteverdi: Sestina "Lagrime d'amante al sepolchro dell'amata"
Carlo Gesualdo: Io Tacerò
Carlo Gesualdo: Felicissimo sonno
Luca Marenzio: O tu che fra le selve occulta vivi
Marc Schmolling: Darkness, My Old Friend
Marc Schmolling: Little Gardens
Marc Schmolling: Ticho
Marc Schmolling: Haiku
Marc Schmolling: Schweigen
Marc Schmolling: Improvisationen
Werke von Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Marenzio für Chor und Theorbe

Marc Schmolling Jazz Quintett

Spring 2021/ January 2020

Maurice Duruflé: Requiem op. 9 for choir, mezzosoprano, baritone, harp and organ
Frank Martin: Mass a cappella
Leos Janacek: Otche Nash for tenor, choir, harp and organ
N.N., mezzosoprano
Timo Schabel (tbc), tenor
N.N., baritone
Eve Meret Haug, harp
Peter Kofler, organ

December 2019 upon request
Christmas Oratorio

J.S. Bach: Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 (Cantatas I-VI)

Sarah Wegener, soprano

Marie Henriette Reinhold, alto

Patrick Grahl, tenor

Tobias Berndt, bass

Florian Helgath, conductor
B'Rock Orchestra

Autumn 2019

Tomas Luis de Victoria: Requiem - Officium Defunctorum (1605)
John Cage: Four 2 (1990)
Morton Feldman: Christian Wolff in Cambridge (1963)
Morton Feldman: Rothko Chapel (1971)

Anja Scherg, soprano
Andra Isabel Wildgrube, alto
Axel Porath, viola
Dirk Rothbrust, percussion
Sebastian Breuing, celesta

June 2019 nach Absprache

J. S.Bach Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied BWV 225
J.S. Bach: Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf BWV 226
J.S. Bach: Fürchte Dich nicht, ich bin bei dir BWV 228
Mauricio Kagel: Chorbuch for vocal ensemble and keyboard instruments (with run-in chorals by J.S. Bach)

Sebastian Breuing, piano
Christoph Anselm Noll, organ and harmonium
Björn Colell, theorbo
Günter Holzhausen, violone

Dates upon agreement
Brahms: A German Requiem

Johannes Brahms: Warum ist das Licht gegeben dem Mühseligen (1878)
Johannes Brahms: A German Requiem, op.45 for choir, 2 pianos by Duo D'Accord

Johanna Winkel, soprano
Thomas E. Bauer, baritone
Duo D'Accord - piano duo Lucia Huang & Sebastian Euler

Dates upon agreement
A Summer Night's Dream

Johannes Brahms: Sieben Lieder op. 62

Benjamin Britten: Five Flower Songs op. 47

Claude Debussy: Trois Chansons de Charles d'Orleans

Camille Saint-Saëns: Calme de Nuits op. 68 No. 1

Camille Saint-Saëns: Les Fleurs et les Arbres op. 68 No. 2

Zoltán Kodály: Mountain Nights No. 1 for women choir

Arthur Sullivan: The Long Day Closes for men choir

Hans Schanderl: Traumtänze

Eric Whitacre: Sleep

Dates upon agreement
The Chirping of the Nightingale

Josquin Desprez: Mille regretz with diminutionen from Diego Ortiz for mixed choir (12 singers) and recorder

Cipriano de Rore: Ancor che col partire with diminutionen from Riccardo Rogniono for mixed choir (12 singers) and recorder

Clément Janequin: Le Chant des Oiseuax for mixed choir a cappella

Jakob van Eyck: Engels Nachtegaeltje for recorder solo

François Couperin: Le Rossignol en amour for recorder solo (arranged)

François Couperin: Le Rossignol Vanqeur for recorder solo (arranged)

Uģis Prauliņš: The Nightingale music for the fairy tale The Nightingale by Hans Christian Andersen for mixed choir and recorder

The performance is complemented by a reading of the tale.


Michala Petri, recorder

Angela Winkler, narrator

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ChorWerk Ruhr

ChorWerk Ruhr is one of the leading German professional chamber choirs. Award-winning conductor Florian Helgath has been Artistic Director of ChorWerk Ruhr since 2011.

With his ensemble of young and flexible voices Florian Helgath presents choral music at the highest level. The repertoire ranges from Bach to Hans Zender and from Monteverdi to Wolfgang Rihm. Florian Helgath has been focussing on contemporary music to great acclaim within the last years.

Invitations led ChorWerk Ruhr to major concert halls as Essen Philharmonie, Munich Herkulessaal and to the Berliner Festspiele, Audi Sommerkonzerte, Eclat Festival Stuttgart and particularly to the Ruhrtriennale. Since 2002 ChorWerk Ruhr has been taking part in annual opera productions.

Since the foundation in 1999, ChorWerk Ruhr has appeared in numerous concerts in collaboration with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Concerto Köln, Ensemble Resonanz, musikFabrik NRW, Schönberg Ensemble Amsterdam, Cappella Coloniensis, Ensemble Modern, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, SWR Radio Sinfonieorchester, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and conductors such as Sylvain Cambreling, Reinhard Goebel, Robin Gritton, Susanna Mälkki, Peter Neumann, Peter Rundel, Bruno Weil and Hans Zender.

Co-Founder and first Artistic Director Frieder Bernius has led ChorWerk Ruhr until 2003. His successor Rupert Huber has been Music Director from 2008 to 2011.  

ChorWerk Ruhr has recorded numerous acclaimed productions for Deutschlandfunk and WDR.

Season 2018/19

Video: ChorWerk Ruhr on youtube.

Florian Helgath

Since 2011 Florian Helgath has been Artistic Director of the ChorWerk Ruhr. Within the past years he presented choir music of various periods on the highest level both in A cappella and with orchestras. From 2017/18 he will be Artistic Director of the Zürcher Sing-Akademie.

Florian Helgath has held the position as conductor of the Danish National Choir from 2009 to 2015 and was Artistic Director of the Via Nova Chor Munich from 2008 to 2016 and has conducted numerous highly acclaimed first performances.

Florian Helgath is also a regular guest conductor of the SWR Vokalensemble, RIAS Kammerchor, MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, Choir of the Bavarian Radio, Netherlands Radio Choir, Choeur de Radio France, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir among others and collaborates with the Munich Radio Orchestra, Bochum Symphony, Odense Symphony, Danish Chamber Orchestra, Münchner Symphoniker, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Concerto Köln and Ensemble Resonanz. Concerts led him to major concert halls and festivals as the Berliner Festspiele, Audi Sommerkonzerte, Eclat Festival Stuttgart, Thüringer Bachwochen and particularly to the Ruhrtriennale with contemporary opera performances and numerous manifold projects.

Upcoming engagements include his debuts with the Brussels Philharmonic & Flemish Radio Choir, Norwegian Soloists‘ Choir and Swedish Radio Choir as well as further projects with the Netherlands Radio Choir.

Florian Helgath’s discography includes the CD Sacred Songs with works by J.S. Bach, Reger and Knut Nystedt with the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, which was awarded the ICMA Award 2017, works by Palestrina and Wagner also with the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, Contemporary Choral Music with the Via Nova Chor as well as J.S. Mayr Missa in c – Stabat Mater with the Orpheus Vokalensemble and Concerto Köln among others. For the album Da Pacem with the RIAS Kammerchor and Capella de la Torre Florian Helgath receives the ECHO Klassik 2017. The recording of Tigran Mansurian's Requiem with RIAS Kammerchor prepared by Florian Helgath and Munich Chamber Orchestra for ECM Records has been nominated for a Grammy in 2018.

He also has prepared choirs for conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Kent Nagano, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Christian Thielemann among others.

Florian Helgath’s initial experience started as a chorister in his native city with the Regensburger Domspatzen. He studied choral conducting at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich and graduated in 2008 with a Masters Degree. Among his most important teachers are Michael Gläser, Stefan Parkman, Dan-Olof Stenlund who influenced him largely in his career as conductor.

As a prizewinner and finalist of the Eric Ericson Award 2006 and Competition for Young Choral Conductors in Budapest 2007, Florian Helgath has already drawn the attention of the international choral music scene.

Season 2018/19

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Florian Helgath conducts ChorWerk Ruhr and B'Rock Continuo in Antwerp

Florian Helgath conducts the production Earth Diver with music by Heinrich Schütz and Nikolaus Brass with ChorWerk Ruhr and B'Rock Continuo in Antwerp from 11-14 October.


  • J.S. Bach: St. John Passion with Florian Helgath

    The 25 members of the exceptional vocal ensemble ChorWerk Ruhr are all soloists, but nevertheless they sing in one flow - even though they were positioned not within their voices but mixed. This resulted in a particularly lively and refreshing rendition. A flawless intonation, richly graded development of sound and the clearest diction were self-evident.

    Rheinische Post, Heide Oehmen, 05.04.2019


  • Brahms Requiem in version for piano duo and choir

    The ChorWerk Ruhr and Florian Helgath performed in the well-filled Philharmonie Mercatorhalle Duisburg the two most important sacred works of Johannes Brahms, the German Requiem and Why is the light given to the weary with only 29 voices in exemplary concise manner. This was not only extremely transparent and lively, more than ever before, especially in the sixth movement "Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt ", which also gave the goosebumps quality due to the overwhelming euphony. Even for the always first-class iconic ensemble, this was a great moment of choral music.

    Rheinische Post, Ingo Hoddick, 28.11.2017

  • When early music and new music meet at same level: "Memoria" in Dortmund

    This requires such an excellent ensemble as the ChorWerk Ruhr, which has given us, under Florian Helgath's prudent management in this concert as part of the Ruhrtriennale, very unusual, exciting and beguiling listening experiences. This is in the machine hall of the coal mine Zollern in Dortmund, where the sound unfolds freely in the room, always remaining tangible despite the enormous dimensions of the building.(…) A fascinating evening.

    Westdeutsche Zeitung, Martin Schrahn, 29.08.2017

  • "Memoria" with Florian Helgath and ChorWerk Ruhr at Ruhrtriennale

    Florian Helgath's plan to prepare de Victoria's vocal polyphony for the search for the sound of New York's school is astounding.(…)  Helgath works in the "Offertorium" at the polyphony of Tomas Luis de Victoria and lets the choir of six voices sound wonderfully changeable. In "Hosianna", quite audible and clear, the moving chant of ChorWerk Ruhr in the motet resumed with the moment of personal grief. In the venue of a factory a reverberation is felt, and in "Absolutio", the choir has a multi-voice ending, which allows the spectrum of the fading sound to swell to a volume which is unimagined. (...)

    John Cage has named different tones for soprano, alto, tenor and bass without determining the duration in Four 2 (1990). In certain periods of time the singers have to sing as well as to end their sound chord differently. Helgath has placed couples of singers among the audience. Their entries trains the feeling for the spatial feeling of the illusion of the origin of the sound.(…)

    In Morton Feldman's "Rothko Chapel" (1971), one experiences moments as if the sound is released into the world for the first time. (...)The choir holds a tone which is becoming more and more comprehensive, indeed appears absolute. There is a fine concentration, an expectation.

    Westfälischer Anzeiger, Achim Lettmann, 27.08.2017

  • Philipp Glass: Oper Einstein on the Beach

    In Dortmund, ChorWerk Ruhr - a choir of young professional singers who have achieved the international top level within in the last years also through their productions for the Ruhrtriennale - was phenomenally secure in intonation and rhythm, and also playful up to audacity. The founder and musical director Florian Helgath also had the musical overall direction and also conducted the small ensemble of wind instruments and keyboards on which Philipp Glass has built his monumental work.

    Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Ulrike Gondorf, 23.04.2017

    Florian Helgath and “ChorWerk Ruhr”, the excellent soloist- and adequate nine-headed instrumental ensemble easily mastered the technical requirements. (…) Florian Helgath and the fabulous “ChorWerk Ruhr” achieved essential sound impacts, especially in the few sequences, where the music dissolved from prepunched patterns. (…) The premiere audience was overwhelmed by the wall of pictures and sounds, and reacted accordingly thrilled.

     Westfälische Rundschau, Pedro Obiera, 24.04.2017




  • Excellent „Paulus“ with ChorWerk Ruhr, Concerto Köln and Florian Helgath in Essen

    The 36 choristers left nothing to be desired with its powerful and crystalline sound: neither in the clear lines, nor in the differentiated choral expression or the dramatic emphasis “Steinigt ihn!”. Huge accolades in the Philharmonie.

    ikz-online.de 07.03.2017

    ChorWerk Ruhr sang Mendelssohns „Paulus" intimately and grippingly

    With only 36 singers and 46 musicians, Helgath succeeded not only in a romantic, but also a dramatically gripping interpretation of the story of Paulus.(…) ChorWerk Ruhr convinced with a phased staggered sound: soft and homogenously in the choir "Siehe! Wir preisen selig", dancing and swinging and radiant in the fugue "Der Erdkreis ist nun des Herrn".

    Ruhr Nachrichten, Klaus Stübler, 06.03.2017

  • First performance of 'Earth Diver' at Ruhrtriennale in Essen

    ChorWerk Ruhr sang under the direction of Florian Helgath very well and delicately, and disarmingly clear – while walking around in the hall.

    Westfalenpost online, 22.09.2016

    Then ChorWerk Ruhr begins to sing the music of Heinrich Schütz, an early baroque cry from God from the anguish of the Thirty Years' War, and you feel, to borrow a cliché, as though you have died and gone to heaven.

    Financial Times, Shirley Apthorp, 24.09.2016

  • As if time seems to stand still

    If there were a god, he would be pleased with such an evening. Not because the motet by Bach "Come, Jesus, come" convinced him of deep faith and the requiem fragments of Mozart anyway got under the skin. [...]

    The ChorWerk Ruhr and the Ensemble Resonanz directed by Florian Helgath get a grip on the overdimensioned hall of the Cathedral in Speyer - ecpecially those slow-moving works, which turn out well with the slight soprano-alto-dominance.

    Mannheimer Morgen, Stefan M. Dettlinger, 23.07.2016

  • Chant of Nightingale at its best

    A listening pleasure of the extra class follows: A multi-faceted, expressive singing with perfect fine-tuning in literally all pitches, a virtuoso, sensitive flute playing and a captivating, charming story.

    Westdeutsche Zeitung, Gabriele M. Knoll, 21.06.2016




  • The accomplished falling silent of Mozart at the Ruhrtriennale

    With his excellent ensemble ChorWerk Ruhr and eight singers of each section,  Florian Helgath has realised Mozart’s Requiem & Georg Friedrich Haas‘ Sieben Klangräume exquisitely. J.S. Bach’s motet Komm, Jesu, komm with an almost weightless choral sound has been interpreted extremely precise(…) Also Ligeti‘s Lux aeterna with its floating, complex areas of sound has been sung admirably clear. Helgath and ChorWerk Ruhr have captivated once again with its supernatural, beautiful pianissimo in Mozart’s Ave verum corpus and the strings of the Bochum Symphony accompanied delicately: Great highlight of an extraordinarily gripping concert.

    Online Musik Magazin, Stefan Schmöe, 05.09.2015

  • First-class singing on the world heritage site Zeche Zollverein Essen

    What ChorWerk Ruhr offers in terms of purity of intonation , subtle articulation and culture of phrasing, understanding of the text, fine dynamic work as well as perfect balance of male and female voices, was already demonstrated with the six dark tuned motets by Hubert Parry from his final years 1916-18. Pretty simple songs, closer oriented to ancient than romantic or even modern prototypes, where ChorWerk Ruhr was able to present fully its top class singing culture.

    Der Westen, Pedro Obiera, 23.02.2015 

  • "The magic of unearthly vocals" for the 15th anniversary of ChorWerk Ruhr

    Charles Hubert Parry’s Songs of Farewell could have been no better reference for the extraordinary art of the singers of the ChorWerk Ruhr as the six settings by this contemporary of  Brahms. (…) An intonation beyond all doubt demonstrated a comforting awe of the breezing, sparkling treble of the sopranos and the velvety warm depth of the bass singers. (…) The top ensemble combines a special ardency with its already highly acclaimed artistic director Florian Helgath, who developed the voices to a maximum in Mendelssohn’s Psalms scorings. (…) After 90 minutes of high intensity this concert has truly deserved the title of “finest hour of choral singing”.

    Rhein-Zeitung, Julia Hilgeroth-Buchner, 09.02.2015

  • "The Chirping of the Nightingale" at German festivals

    The highlight of the evening: Uģis Prauliņš The Nightingale. An incredibly challenging programme, that can be performed only by the best. The audience is cheering.

    Donaukurier, 14.07.2014

    An excellent vocal ensemble and a world class recorder player of world class were part of the musical part of the event series "Wege durch das Land". […] How professional and flexible the big choir acted under the direction of Florian Helgath became already obvious in the five romantic songs by Mendelssohn Bartholdy.

    Neue Westfälische, 08.07.2014

  • Heinrich Schütz and Giacinto Scelsi at Musica Viva in Munich

    Incomparable Musikalische Exequien (1635/36) by incomparable composer Heinrich Schütz incomparably celebrated by the truly incomparable ensemble ChorWerk Ruhr - that was beyond any quotidianity.

    Neue musikzeitung, Wolf Loeckle, 03/2014

  • Bach's "B minor Mass" brilliantly interpretated in Kempen

    Florian Helgath, the young chief conductor of ChorWerk Ruhr holds the strings of energy to conduct this special, impressive concert[...] Rarely one has seen such a clearly articulated, so musically phrased polyphony, rarely one witnessed singers that listen to each other that well [...] The incredibly serious nature Helgath is working with, reveals parts of the piece which are usually reserved to musicologists.

    Rheinische Post, Armin Kaumanns, 05.11.2013

  • Helmut Lachenmann: The Little Match Girl

    It was the Frankfurt Radio Symphony under Emilio Pomàrico and the singers of ChorWerk Ruhr who ultimately provided the evening’s most engrossing content last weekend, with a musical account of the piece that was every bit as aurally beguiling and intellectually provocative as Lachenmann could possibly have wanted

    Financial Times, Shirley Apthorp, 23.09.2013

  • "A Summer Night's Dream" in Essen

    With Benjamin Britten's "Five Flower Songs" (op. 47) [...] the singers not only have proven their individual talent, but also their perfectly matching coherent chorus sound that is acentuated even more when they sing a cappella.

    Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, Anna Ernst, 29.07.2013