Evonik Industries have been working alongside the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble since the start of 2016, enabling the choir and orchestra to undertake musicological research and providing financial support in order for them to examine all the relevant source material and unearth musical treasures from the past. The results may be appreciated in the form of programmes that span the centuries and cross generic borders.

We are grateful to Evonik for their support, for their trust in us, for their courage and for their fabulous friendship.

Evonik and the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble

Thomas Hengelbrock and Evonik can already look back on an association lasting several years. Since 2013 he and his ensembles have been appearing at the Essen Philharmonie within the framework of our Christmas concerts, on each occasion delighting our guests and staff members. But above and beyond this local concert tradition there are many other points that we have in common and that make us ideal partners.

These links start with Balthasar Neumann himself, the polymath who gave his name to both the choir and the orchestra. It is a name that Thomas Hengelbrock chose for a very good reason. Neumann was no musician but a master builder, developer, landscape gardener and entrepreneur. He was motivated not by any claim to omniscience on the part of a universal genius but by his understanding of the concept of specialism, a concept to which we ourselves feel very close as a specialty chemicals concern. Anyone wanting to create something new must look for it at the interface between disparate disciplines. This was as important to the residence of the bishops and grand dukes of Würzburg in the early eighteenth century as it is for the development of lightweight solutions for mobility and energy supply in the twenty-first century.
For this reason we regard Thomas Hengelbrock as far more than a much sought-after conductor of international standing. For us he is an innovator who, invariably at the cutting edge of research, sees every piece of music within its contemporary context but who, as an artist, often places it in a new and different framework. When combined with the outstanding abilities of his singers and instrumentalists, the creative force that is unleashed in this way ensures that every concert with Thomas Hengelbrock and the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble is an unforgettable experience.
Evonik Industries is a specialty chemicals company whose success is based on the core value of creativity, and so we see an elective affinity here. As a result, we have decided that as from 2016 we are placing our partnership on a new international basis. Wherever Thomas Hengelbrock appears with his choir and orchestra in the course of the next five years, we at Evonik will be sponsoring him and his outstanding artists. Our aim is to create additional scope for exciting and artistically ambitious projects. We hope that all music lovers will enjoy more unforgettable moments with Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble.

Dr. Klaus Engel
Chairman of the Board of Evonik Industries Inc.


“The word ‘sponsorship’ was never mentioned at the company’s Christmas concert in the Essen Philharmonie. The Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble under Thomas Hengelbrock were appearing for the fourth time as Evonik’s guests. From the start of 2016 they will be supported and sponsored under the terms of a new partnership. That this is not just an empty formula hiding behind a particular wording is suggested by the statement that Evonik is supporting the ensembles’ research, allowing them to undertake musicological investigations and providing financial assistance that will allow them to ‘examine the relevant source material and unearth musical treasures’. This does not sound as if it is designed simply to dazzle and impress but presupposes a lasting commitment where spectacular results are not identifiable at first sight: systematically exploring old and new music, working through it in a scholarly way and then presenting it to audiences on the highest artistic level. ‘Power to Create’ is the motto accompanying the Evonik logo – here it is transferred to the world of music.” WERNER HÄUSSNER. Häussner is an editor and music critic who writes for the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (Essen), Die Tagespost (Würzburg) and Der Neue Merker (Vienna) among others.