What is it about Christian choral music that makes it so popular? Why does it carry so much weight in the choral repertoire? Does it conceal a spiritual mystery? Is it just good music written by ingenious composers, or were these composers inspired in a particular way? Does one have to be Christian to be
able to perceive or understand its mystery, or does the music's ability to move us transcend confession or religious affiliation? Together we will seek to uncover this mystery and to find answers to these questions by singing, listening to, analyzing, and conducting popular religious music from the 19th and 20th centuries.

VOLKER HEDTFELD & ANDREAS KLIPPERT, Germany

Mystery of Christian liturgy and choral music in the 19th and 20th century

Andreas Klippert

After his work as Second Conductor and Chorus Master at the Opera Aachen and the Sinfonic Choir Aachen Andreas Klippert now is Musical Director of the vocal ensemble „Vokalwerk Nürnberg“. He also teaches conducting at the University of Kassel. Klippert studied choral- and orchestra-conducting in Mannheim. After this, he was assistant conductor at National Opera Maribor (Slovenia) and National Theatre Weimar. In addition to this engagements, he conducted many concerts with „KonzertChor SüdHessen“ and „Cantus Hamburg“.  His special interest goes to sacred choral music, a capella and oratory. His work at several Opera Houses brought him a lot of experience in orchestral conducting, which is helpful to connect specific choir needs like sound and singing technique with the belongings of an orchestra.
 

Volker Hedtfeld

When a spark ignites, Volker Hedtfeld is in his element. "It is sublime to sense when something happens between me and the choir," says the Dortmund native. He knows that a spark between a choir and its conductor will ignite in the audience too, electrifying it and triggering an emotional response. His passion for music is almost as old as he is. While still a child, he learned to play not only the piano, but also the organ, violin, and viola. Later he studied music education at the Cologne Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, but it was working with voices that excited him the most. In the late 1990s he founded his first vocal ensemble, Opus 99, with which he performed concerts in the Ruhr Valley and in the Rhineland. Before long he turned up at Berlin's University of the Arts (UdK), where he studied orchestral conducting with Lutz Köhler. Later he supplemented his education at the University of the Arts at the Ecumenical Institute of Sacred Music and studied choral conducting with Jörg- Peter Weigle at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin.