© 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

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

October 2020 and upon request

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)
J.S. Bach: 2 pieces for organ solo

Björn Colell, theorbo
Lies Wyers, violone
Christoph Schnackertz, piano
Christoph Lehmann, organ and harmonium

16./17.10.2020, 06./07.05.2021 and upon request
J.S.Bach: iPod

Anonymous: Fanfare
Orlando di Lasso: Deus in adiutorium à 6 (B 46)
Moritz Landgraf von Hessen: Pavana
Erasmus Bodenschatz: Audi Dominum hymnum à 8 (B 07)
Alessandro Orologio: Cantate Domino á 8 (B 33)
Martin Wistinghausen: New piece, part 1
Michael Praetorius: Bransle de la Torche
Christoph Tomas Walliser: An Wasserflüssen Babylon à 8 (BII 03)
Martin Wistinghausen: New piece, part 2
Jacobus Gallus: Ecce quomodo moritur à 4 (B 64)
Hans Leo Hassler: Deus, Deus meus à 6 (BII 18)
Marco Antonio Ingegneri: Duo seraphim à 8 (B 74)
Moritz Landgraf von Hessen: Hosianna filio David à 8 (B 87)


Andrea Gabrieli: Exsultate justi à 8
Johann Kaspar Kerll:  Intrada Battaglia
Hyronimus Praetorius: Tulerunt Dominum meum à 8 (B 64)
Orlando di Lasso: Tristis est anima mea à 5 (B 60)
Teodoro Riccio: De profundis clamavi à 8 (BII 17)
David Pohle: Courante, Sarabande und Bourrée
Aspirio Pacelli: Cantate Domino à 8 (BII 10)
Giovanni Gabrieli: Jubilate Deo à 8 (BII 66)

Florian Helgath, conductor
Capella de la Torre
Katharina Bäuml, shawm

Dates upon request
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 request

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

Dates upon request
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

Dates upon request
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

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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.  

Coviello Classics has released an album with Brahms: A German Requiem (version with piano duo) in 2019. Chorwerk Ruhr has recorded numerous acclaimed productions for Deutschlandfunk and WDR.

Season 2019/20

Video: ChorWerk Ruhr on youtube.

Florian Helgath

Florian Helgath is emerging as one of the leading choral conductors of the young generation. Since 2011 Florian Helgath has been Artistic Director of the ChorWerk Ruhr and Zürcher Sing-Akademie since 2017.  With these exceptional vocal ensembles he creates choir music of all periods on the highest level both in A cappella and with orchestras.  

Florian Helgath has held the position as conductor of the Danish National Choir from 2009 to 2015. In addition he was Artistic Director of the Via Nova Chor Munich from 2008 to 2016. With this ensemble he has conducted numerous acclaimed first performances and has been awarded with international prizes.

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, Flemish Radio Choir, Warsaw Philharmonic Choir among others and collaborated with orchestras as Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, B’Rock Orchestra, Orchestra La Scintilla, Brussels Philharmonic, Odense Symphony, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, WDR Funkhausorchester, Münchner Symphoniker, Bochumer Symphoniker, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Berner Kammerorchester, Danish Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble Resonanz.

Concerts led him to major concert halls and festivals as the Berliner Festspiele, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Audi Sommerkonzerte, Eclat Festival Stuttgart, Thüringer Bachwochen and particularly to the Ruhrtriennale with contemporary opera performances and numerous manifold projects.

Apart from A cappella projects Florian Helgath’s focus are works for choir and orchestra and symphonic repertoire. Upcoming engagements include cooperations with ChorWerk Ruhr and B’Rock Orchestra and Duisburg Philharmonic with music by Berio and Striggio, Bach’s B minor Mass with Zürcher Sing-Akademie and Orchestra La Scintilla as well as A capella concerts including two commissions at World Choir Symposium in Auckland, and guest appearances with The Norwegian Soloists‘ Choir, Netherlands Radio Choir, Choeur de Radio France and BBC Singers.

Florian Helgath’s discography includes a number of recordings as the album 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: Echo der Reformation with the RIAS Kammerchor and Capella de la Torre Florian Helgath received the ECHO Klassik 2017. The recording of Tigran Mansurian's Requiem with RIAS Kammerchor prepared by Florian Helgath and the Munich Chamber Orchestra for ECM Records had been nominated for a Grammy in 2018. Coviello Classics released the first album with Chorwerk Ruhr featuring Brahms’ A German Requiem (piano version) in 2019, SRF2 Kultur published Three choirs A cappella by Walter Furrer with Zürcher Sing-Akademie.

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 of the Eric Ericson Award 2006 and Competition for Young Choral Conductors in Budapest 2007, Florian Helgath had drawn the attention of the international choral music scene.

Season 2019/20

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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.


  • Berio & Striggio with Chorwerk Ruhr at Ruhrtriennale

    At the Ruhrtriennale, Berio's "Coro" was heard with the great Chorwerk Ruhr which had joined forces with the Duisburg Philharmonic under the direction of Florian Helgath. [...] Helgath had positioned five groups of singers and instrumentalists in the hall: two at the back, with an almost bodiless sound, one in the gallery, one on the left, one in the middle. This resulted in a finely balanced sound mixture, which could increase into a luxurious mix. The sound was to be experienced as a fine cocoon: finely graduated, with room for carefully balanced individual voices. [...] A special experience was the "Agnus dei", in which the singers were split into 60 voices, as if the room were full of fine sound lines, performed with passion. [...] Chorwerk Ruhr, Florian Helgath and the Duisburg Philharmonic have once again ensured a highlight in the Ruhrtriennale programme.

    Westfälischer Anzeiger, Edda Breski, 03.09.2019

  • Mozart Requiem/Michael Ostrzyga with Florian Helgath and Concerto Köln at Rheingau Musik Festival

    High-precision cues, precise intonation, the rigorous renouncement of romanticizing blending of tones, monolithic clarity and a structuring phrasing are hallmarks of this magnificent formation.

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Christian Rupp, 19.08.2019

  • 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


Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem Florian Helgath
Chorwerk Ruhr
Sebastian Breuing & Christoph Schnackertz piano
(Coviello Classics 2019)