Thomas Choir in America

One of the oldest and best-known German choirs is making its debut in the New World. For the fist time in its history of almost 800 years, the St. Thomas Choir of Leipzig is traveling the United States. 80 boys between nine and 18 years of age have the opportunity to see a variety of places in America. Their tour began about two weeks ago (February 1st) in Leipzig's sister city Houston, located in between oil fields in the plains of Texas. From there, they traveled to the capital, Washington, D.C., making a visit to the White House. To round up the trip, they are now spending ten days in New York, where the Thomas Choir meets an old friend. Kurt Masur, music director at the New York Philharmonic, had the rare privilege to conduct the Thomas Choir several times while he was Kapellmeister (music director) at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. In New York, he is leading the choir in a performance of the St. Matthew Passion (four concerts from Feb. 12 to 17). The boys are due back in Leipzig Thursday morning (Feb. 19), but one thing already seems certain -- the tour was a smashing success. Georg Hirsch has the story.

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