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Maîtrise des Petits Chanteurs de Versailles (Choir)

Founded: 1946 - Versailles, France

Maîtrise des Petits Chanteurs de Versailles (The Choir School of the Petits Chanteurs de Versailles) (= PCV) is another in the long tradition of choir schools devoted to sacred music and liturgical practice. Founded in 1946 by Pierre Béguigné, organist and musical director at the church of Notre Dame at Versailles, it has been directed since 1980 by his successor, Jean-François Frémont. The education it offers follows three basic principles for the development of the child: musical education imparted through an in-depth practice of polyphonie singing; development of the personality through the demands and the rich experience of communal life; and enlargement of the spiritual dimension through a constant exposure to the beauties of the artistic heritage of the Christian faith. The soprano, mezzo and alto sections are made up of boys only, in the interests of homogeneity of vocal colour, while the men's voice sections - counter-tenors, tenors, baritones and basses - are made up of adults who, in addition to their work with the choir, receive a complementary musical training provided by professional singers. The choir school's repertoire extends from the 15th to the 20th century, with a marked preference given to works of the baroque period, several of which have been edited and published by the school. And despite the diversity of its occupations - week-ends, workshops, concerts both unaccompanied and with orchestra, tours in France and abroad, recordings - the choir school of the Petits Chanteurs de Versailles remains faithful to its liturgical vocation, focused essentially on its parish church, Notre Dame de Versailles, and on the royal chapel at the palace. In November 2003 it embarked on the complete church cantatas of JS Bach following the sequence prescribed in the Lutheran liturgical calendar, on the last Sunday of each month from September to June.

Day after day, awakening talent:

Since 1987, the France Telecom Foundation has been encouraging the collective practice of vocal music within the classical repertoire, jazz and the music from around the world. It has contributed to the discovery of new voices, the vocational training of young singers and the breakthrough of new vocal groups. It supports pedagogical projects intended to sensitise new audiences to musical creation. As the patron of several vocal ensembles and choirs, including Les Petits Chanteurs de Versailles, the France Telecom Foundation supports their activities in the fields of research, creation, distribution and recording.

Source: Clotilde Bertin (January 2005)
Contributed by
Clotilde Bertin (January 2005)

Jean-François Frémont: Short Biography | Petits Chanteurs de Versailles | Sinfonie Saint-Julien | Recordings of Vocal Works

Links to other Sites

Manécanterie des Petits Chanteurs de Versailles (Official Website) [French]


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