Coming in April: A German Requiem by Johannes Brahms

On April 1 and 2, Bella Voce will present a rare opportunity to experience Brahms' A German Requiem as it originally reached England.   From 1865 to 1868, Brahms composed the work that he entitled Ein deutsches Requiem: a sacred but non-liturgical Requiem written not in the traditional Latin, but in the vernacular German.  It is a large-scale work for orchestra, chorus, and soloists, and in seven movements it comprises Brahms' longest composition.    In 1866 Brahms undertook a piano 4-hands arrangement that is not a reduction per se, but a creative new look at the musical material, in some ways quite reminiscent of the Liebeslieder-Walzer, Op. 52. In 1871 this version of the work travelled to England for its British debut at a private residence in London, presented in English (which Brahms preferred for an English audience!) and did not include the Fifth Movement.   Our unique historically-informed re-creation of this performance will feature 24 voices and the virtuosity of David Schrader and Stephen Uhl, pianists, and David Govertsen, bass soloist.  Conducted by Andrew Lewis.    Please join us.

March 26: ANnelies, A Holocaust Remembrance Concert

On March 26, Bella Voce Camerata--our one-part-per-voice ensemble--will perform in an event presented by Loyola University Chicago Music Program.    Loyola’s University Chorale and Chamber Choir will unite with our Camerata to perform James Whitbourn’s Annelies, a full-length choral setting of Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl. Accompanying the students will be faculty clarinetist Cory Tiffin, soprano Erica Schuller, and the Grammy-nominated Lincoln Trio. Additional choral works will be performed by Loyola’s Women’s Chorus and Senn Arts Advanced Chorus. The concert will be preceded by a talk featuring guest Holocaust survivor Aaron Elster at 2:00 PM. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, Hillel, Illinois Holocaust Museum, Campus Ministry, and the Gannon Center.

SAVE THE DATE for Bella Voce’s 2017 Gala!

Photo Credit:  Peter McCullough, © MCA Chicago.

Photo Credit:  Peter McCullough, © MCA Chicago.

We hope you’ll join in celebrating Bella Voce on Saturday, June 10.  We’ll cap our 34th season with an evening at the Museum of Contemporary Art, including drinks, hors d’ouevres, intimate musical performances, and a silent auction.  

Our guests will enjoy access to the galleries, a celebration in the beautiful atrium and newly-renovated event space, and soaking up the summer evening in view of the lake from the lovely garden patio.   You’ll also be the first to learn about our 2017 - 2018 season.   

Invitations will follow.   Tickets are limited and will go on sale officially on April 2, after our performance of Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem.   Be sure to follow our website, sign up for our email list, and like our Facebook page to keep updated on developments.  

We hope you’ll join us for a festive summer celebration!

Our Story

Bella Voce proudly enriches Chicago’s rich cultural tapestry through intimate, moving performances of vocal music.  Since 1983, our ensemble has enchanted audiences with historically informed presentations of vocal works, whether well-known, rare, or new.   We invite our audiences to join us in discovering artworks that have the power to lift us up, move us, and transform us.  Our concerts are crafted through research and careful attention to perfomance practices, and we partner with Chicago’s top period instrument ensembles to bring works for voice and orchestra to life.  Our repertoire and performance practices are rooted in the discipline of the English Renaissance and European Baroque traditions, and we boldly break boundaries to challenge our audiences to explore the expressive and artistic potential of the human musical imagination.  We are committed to Chicago and to making the world a safer, more peaceful, more beautiful place through art.

Bella Voce Documentary

In this brief documentary video, Bella Voce's Artistic Director Andrew Lewis reflects on the art and craft of singing and of making choral music.