Sunday, July 25, 2010

ChorFreude receives endorsement from WDAV Classical Public Radio

WDAV Classical Public Radio is showing support for the ChorFreude International Music Festival and encouraging local singers to audition for the ChorFreude Choir. We thank WDAV for the following article, currently displayed on their website.

ChorFreude: Calling all singers with an Interest in International Travel
Take part in the Charlotte International Cabinet’s “ChorFreude” program. In celebration of the 250th anniversary of Queen Charlotte’s coronation in June 2011, outstanding vocal ensembles and singers from throughout the Charlotte, NC region are forming the official ChorFreude Choir, under the direction of Professor Ginger Wyrick. The group will travel to and perform in the beautiful, historic, and musically rich German Baltic Coast, in collaboration with the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie. The program includes Mozart’s “Coronation Mass” and Boyce’s “The King Shall Rejoice,” composed especially for Queen Charlotte’s coronation.

WDAV 89.9FM, a public radio service of Davidson College and licensed to the trustees of Davidson College, is a member-supported public radio service providing classical music and cultural arts programming 24 hours a day.
WDAV reaches a 22-county market of approximately 2.2 million people in Charlotte, North Carolina region. The station attracts approximately 100,000 listeners each week.
The purpose of WDAV is to provide the highest quality classical music and cultural arts programming and to promote the activities of local arts organizations and artists of all disciplines. Promoting major community projects, such as ChorFreude, throughout the year, WDAV is devoted to creating a “community of the arts.”

Celebrate the Official Grand Re-opening of the Castle Mirow

In collaboration with the 250th anniversary of Queen Charlotte’s coronation, the officials of Mecklenburg-Strelitz celebrate the grand re-opening of the Queen’s birthplace, the Castle Mirow. The merriment will commence Friday, June 17, 2011, in honor of the Queen and the castle’s historic legacy.
The ChorFreude Choir and friends will serve as the special American guests of Mirow’s highest officials. Experience a traditional feast and engage in unique cultural exchanges with the people of Mirow while visiting the royal duchy and birthplace of Queen Charlotte.

“The event in Mirow will be a sort of ‘Festakt zum Krönungsjahr,’ with regional VIPs and a feast at the castle the whole day.”
-Dr. Melanie Wuerz,
Ministery for Culture and Education

The Castle Mirow served as the home of the Dukes of Mecklenburg since 1587. Sophia Charlotte, born May 19, 1744, was the youngest daughter of Duke Charles Louis Friederich of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Prince of Mirow, and his wife, Princess Elizabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The future queen’s bloodline reigned over Mirow for centuries. Sophia Charlotte was the granddaughter of Adolf Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, by his third wife, Christiane Emilie Antonie, Princess of Schwarzburg-Sonderhausen. Her father’s elder half-brother reigned from 1708 to 1753 as Adolf Friederich III.
The children of Duke Charles were all born at the Castle Mirow, a modest citadel comparable to a large country estate. The daily life at Mirow favored that of the family of a simple English country gentleman rather than prestige and royalty. The children practiced needlework, embroidery, and lace-making. The children were raised by the careful hand of their mother, with admirable education and grounded religious principles. They received further education by a Lutheran minister by the name of M. Gentzner who offered detailed knowledge of botany, mineralogy, and science. Sophia Charlotte ultimately developed a lifelong appreciation for botany and the performing arts.
Sophia Charlotte went on to fulfill an arranged, yet happy and faithful marriage, to King George III of the United Kingdom, who was attracted to her charm, intelligence, good humor, and sparkling eyes. Although the Queen spent her entire adult life serving the United Kingdom, her legacy prevails over the region of Mirow.
The city of Mirow lies on the southern shore of Lake Mirow, in the heart of the Mecklenburg Lake District. A calm oasis near the German Baltic Coast, Mirow is roughly translated to mean “peace town.”
Click here for the official ChorFreude audition form and other important information

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Incantato presents ChorFreude at NC ACDA

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's rich musical history

Germany’s beautiful coast-lined region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern offers historic castles, museums, and local culinary specialties plus a rich music history and lots of culture. It is here that one can experience the sound of rich classical music and famous operatic arias, and a lot of this cultural richness is the legacy of one monarch’s love of performing arts.
Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg, consort of King George III, devoted much of her time and money to the advancement of music in this region. As a connoisseur and enthusiast of the great George Frideric Handel, Queen Charlotte had an avid interest in all German artists and composers.
In 1764, the Queen summoned, then eight-year-old, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to court in order to perform a special four-hour show to an intimate crowd of the monarch’s closest advisors. Mozart went on to publish six sonatas in 1765, simply entitled Opus 3, which he admirably dedicated to his supporter, Queen Charlotte, on the fifth anniversary of the King’s accession.
Johann Christian Bach, eleventh son of Johann Sebastian Bach, served as Queen Charlotte’s personal music master. To entertain the Queen and her court, the young Bach was often expected to play new and unrehearsed music at first sight.
The Queen not only enjoyed listening to magnificent classical works, but was also herself a talented musician. Johann Christian Bach often accompanied her as she sang various arias. She also fluently played the flute, which she once performed as Mozart provided the accompaniment. The influence of Queen Charlotte’s musical advocacy can be heard today in various forms throughout the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern region.
Summertime offers numerous open-air concerts, as well as Germany’s largest classical music festival. Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern occurs from June through September, presenting more than 100 various classical music performances, in venues ranging from established concert halls and country estates, to village churches and family barns. Acts include world renowned musicians, as well as developing young talent. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a great place for anyone who enjoys rich history, beautiful scenery, and classic music!
Photos of young Mozart, Johann Christian Bach, and Festspiele provided by Wikipedia and Ennus Photos.

Youth Guest Houses in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Listen to the organ at Schwerin Cathedral

Dom Cantor and Master Organist Jan Ernst plays the magnificent Ladegast organ (1871) at Schwerin Cathedral. For more information and to purchase the CD, visit

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ChorFreude Festival 2011 on the German Baltic Coast - Celebrating choral music and Queen Charlotte's 250th coronation anniversary

ChorFreude is a word play on the German words for choir (chor) and joy (freude) with the inspiration drawn from another German term, Vorfreude which can be loosely translate as happy anticipation.
ChorFreude is also the title for a new international choral festival that showcases a part of my native country that is rather unknown area outside of Germany, yet a gem to be discovered: the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. You may have heard of the rich natural beauty and cultural as well as historical significance of the Baltic Coast, but people rarely make the connection that there is also a German Baltic coast with - and that is most important to be the base for a choral festival - a very strong music making tradition. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV) state boasts hundreds for choirs and choral organization with many of them celebrating our countries heritage and traditions.
In the summer of 2011, MV is looking forward to hosting international choral groups for the very first time in quite unique settings. Venues range from ancient churches and haunted castles to elaborately decorated palaces and stunning cathedrals - all with wonderful acoustics and appreciative audiences that can't wait to embrace singers from the new world. ChorFreude is an initiative that was born to reach out and start a friendship between musicians from both sides of the big pond. Supported by the MV State Ministery of Culture and Education as well as the local tourism boards, ChorFreude2011 offers unique opportunities to connect through the universal language of music. Venues that are normally closed to performing groups or only available to professional ensembles will become available such as the former residence of Queen Charlotte in the beautiful village of Mirow.
And due to the special relationship between the county of Mecklenburg in the US where the city of Charlotte is located, the German Mecklenburg goes as far as offering the opportunity to singers from the Greater Charlotte area to perform a masterwork with professional symphony orchestra. Under the leadership of Prof. Ginger Wyrick from Queens University, efforts are on its way to form a multi-generational honor choir to prepare here in the US Mozart's Coronation Mass in C and then present the production at least twice in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern next June. The dates for this event are June 16 through June 20, 2011 and singers from all parts of life are invited to audition as well as already formed choral groups invited to join as well. Ensembles interested in joining the festival will be given multiple opportunities to perform on their own if they wish to do so, as well as meet fellow singers for musical and cultural exchanges. MV also invites friends of the singers to come along to enjoy the performances and experience German hospitality at its finest.
"We will be rolling out the red carpet for our visitors from the US" is a promise that Mecklenburg-Vorpommern made and is striving to keep with special receptions, media coverage for the performances and by doing everything possible to allow the guests to really connect with the locals. A final planning meeting and location visit is scheduled for June 11, 2010 and additional details will be released thereafter.
For more information and to be put on the ChorFreude2011 mailing list, please email to or simply become a follower on this blog.
Auf Wiedersehen in Mecklenburg 2011!

Incantato Concert Venue: Schwerin Cathedral

Schwerin Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint John, was built following the move of the seat of the Bishopric of the Abodrites, established by Henry the Lion, to Schwerin from Mecklenburg in the late 12th century. At first a timber construction served the city as a place of worship. The foundation stone of the cathedral of the former Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin was laid in 1172. After a construction period of seventy-six years, the cathedral was consecrated in 1248. The proto-cathedral is now a Lutheran church. In 1222 Count Henry of Schwerin had returned from a crusade with the Reliquary of the Holy Blood, an alleged drop of Christ's blood contained in a jewel. This was placed in the cathedral, and caused it to become a place of pilgrimage. A number of great churches served as models for Schwerin Cathedral: the Marienkirche in Lübeck, the Nikolaikirche in Stralsund and the cathedral of Ratzeburg. During the 14th century the nave and transept were completed, as well as the chapter buildings. At the end of the 15th century the cloister on the north side was finished. The tower, 117.5 meters high, was constructed between 1889 and 1893.
The pictures are from the website