It began with the place: Leipzig. The Saxon metropolis of music is not only home to the famous Gewandhaus but also a fertile cultural ground for other musical development. The longdistinguished Thomasschule with its graduates is a particularly abundant source of multifaceted vocal endeavors. One of the fruits of Leipzig’s recent past, the Calmus Ensemble was formed in 1999.
Five former members of the Thomanerchor Leipzig became a vocal quintet right after graduating. They soon had success performing concerts all over Germany. When they decided to become more flexible in their choice of repertoire, however, something was missing: the female touch in the upper register. So they searched and soon found Anja Lipfert. Since 2001 she has crowned the Ensemble’s sound with her bright soprano voice, cultivated in her years in the MDR Kinderchor (Children’s Choir of the Middle German State Radio Network) and which continues to be developed at the Leipzig Conservatory.
As they expanded the breadth of their range, the repertoire of the Calmus Ensemble was also expanded: its stylistic variety is almost unlimited. Whether it be music of the Gregorian period, of Machaut, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, J.S. Bach, Verdi or contemporary sacred music, or, the great variety of profane music extending from madrigals to folksongs or rock - these singers from Leipzig are at home in all styles but add their own personal touch as well. Not limiting themselves to traditional repertoire, they have a series of their own arrangements as well as commissioned works in their repertoire. Apart from a cappella music, they take active interest in breaking down barriers in the periods from the Baroque to experimental Jazz.
An active concert schedule has already led the Ensemble to all parts of Germany, as well as to Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, France, Ireland, Finland, Austria, Spain, Portugal and North and South america. The Ensemble has also participated in renowned music festivals such as the Bachfest Leipzig, the International a cappella Week in Hannover and the Schleswig-Holstein-Music Festival, where they gave a final polishing to their sound in the master-class of the King’s Singers. The astounding stylistic spectrum of the present Ensemble of five members, the flawless intonation, the vocal homogeneity, and last but not least the large palette of varied sonic colors, are documented in a series of CD’s. The young singers have received many well-known awards. The Calmus CD “Lied:gut!” which comprises folk songs, was honored in 2009 with the “ECHO Klassik” award in the category “Klassik ohne Grenzen”.
In 2002 the Calmus Ensemble was chosen to participate in the national »Konzerte Junger Künstler« (concerts of selected prize-winning young German musicians). At the »4th International Robert Schumann Choral Competition« they took the first place, just as they did in the finale of the national a cappella competition »Jugend Kulturell« (Cultural Youth), the »International Contest for Vocal Ensembles« in Tampere/Finland and the »37th Tolosa Choral Contest« in Tolosa/Spain.