A NOTE ON BALTHASAR NEUMANN

It was in order to be able to realize his artistic ideas with like-minded musicians that Thomas Hengelbrock formed the Balthasar Neumann Choir in 1991. Four years later he founded an orchestra to work alongside it in the guise of the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble. Choir and orchestra were named after the Baroque architect Johann Balthasar Neumann.

Johann Balthasar Neumann

Johann Balthasar Neumann was born in Eger in 1687 and died in Würzburg in 1753. He was not only a pioneering architect, military engineer and master builder, he was also regarded in his own day as a freethinker, an outstanding strategist and an uncompromising perfectionist. He was the first person to conceive of architecture, painting, sculpture and landscape gardening as integral parts of an overall concept and to create designs inspired by their interaction. Ignoring the reservations of his colleagues, he carried out the most daring plans, which he did with the boldness of genius. Balthasar Neumann designed gigantic buildings, elegantly sublime, dizzyingly tall and remarkable for their spatial freedom. His idea was to conceive of art as a space in which each and every one of us can develop his or her potential.

Balthasar Neumann’s ideals form the pillars that underpin the work of the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble and of their artistic director, Thomas Hengelbrock. Conductor, choir and orchestra strive to ensure that all of the arts work closely with one another. With the help of an appropriate degree of passion for music and people, a reinvigorated tradition meets a virtuoso delight in making music. These ideals are incorporated into the logo of the Choir and of the Ensemble, a logo that represents these pillars embedded in the ground-plan of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Kitzingen, a typical example of one of Balthasar Neumann’s architectural designs.