Altensteig, situated in the northern part of the Black Forest, is not only famous for its picturesque medieval townscape but also for the Christophorus-Kantorei, an internationally renowned youth choir with a tradition of excellence for the past 50 years.
The Christophorus-Kantorei is the concert choir of the Christophorus Music Gymnasium Altensteig comprising girls and boys between the ages of 15 and 19 years. Young students start in specific choir classes and participate in the children’s choir. By the time the singers reach the Kantorei, they have well-trained voices. They do not only have intensive rehearsals, but every member of the choir takes voice lessons given by voice trainers Eberhard Schuler-Meybier and Jeannette Bühler.
Founded in 1962 by Dr. Jürg Wieber, the Christophorus-Kantorei has been under the leadership of Michael Nonnenmann since 1993. It has an extensive repertoire of religious and secular a-cappella music with the main emphasis on contemporary choir music. Special highlights are the performances of oratorios and musicals.
The Christophorus-Kantorei gives 30 to 40 concerts a year in Germany and on its concert tours in other countries. Every spring there is a two-week concert tour which in past years took the choir to Spain, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Romania, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Argentina, the USA and New Zealand.
The choir has won many prizes at competitions both national and international e.g. German Choir Competition, European Music Festival for the Youth in Neerpelt/Belgium, Festival Internacional de Música de Cantonigròs/Spain, International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen/Wales, International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf and Festival Mundus Cantat in Sopot/Poland. The latest success was the Grand Prix at the International Music Festival for the Youth in Bratislava in 2015. In the year 2009 the choir was awarded the Kulturpreis Baden-Württemberg for the furtherance of young people with the jury emphasizing the wide range and intense impact as well as the considerable artistic achievement of their performance.
The choir produces CDs on a regular basis, the latest is a jubilee edition (2012) comprising religious, secular and festive music for choir. Radio and TV broadcasts helped the Christophorus-Kantorei win a larger audience.