Leipzig in uproar over Swiss chorus chief

Leipzig in uproar over Swiss chorus chief


norman lebrecht

March 26, 2021

MDR reports much unhappiness in the choir at Bach’s church because the senior boys were not consulted over their new director.

The Swiss church musician Andreas Reize had already been chosen as the new director of the St Thomas’s Boys Choir and cantor of St Thomas’s Church in Leipzig in December 2020. The Leipzig City Council had approved the selection committee’s proposal and thus decided against the Thomaner’s preferred candidate, David Timm. Three months after the election, fierce opposition is now emerging from the ranks of the St Thomas’s choir, who are voicing massive criticism of the procedure for the replacement: The concerns of the seniors of the eleventh and twelfth grades of the St. Thomas Choir were not heard, they say in a public letter. The mayor and councillor for culture, Skadi Jennicke, firmly rejects the accusations.

Read on here.

Happy Easter ahead.


  • Bachlover says:

    A conflict between musicians and the town council in Leipzig? That could NEVER have happened in Bach’s time!

    Happy Easter everyone!

  • La plus belle voix says:

    It seems that a certain Daniel Knauft, a medic currently working at a vaccinating center in Leipzig, former “Thomaner”, and singer with some kind of a career to date, has quite a large axe to grind. There is more than one story to be told here.

  • La plus belle voix says:

    PS: Quite a lot on the story here:


    Anyone know who the editor is of this online magazine?

  • Tamino says:

    David Timm is a well known and connected local. That alone often in such procedures gives them an advantage with the choir/musicians, and a disadvantage with the local politicians (who want someone of “international format”, even if such a person could indeed be available locally with David Timm.)
    Really hard or impossible to say for outsiders, what the best course here is. The timing of the protests is indeed a bit strange.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      The issue might well be Andreas Reize’s modern pedagogical approach. He seems to have ruffled the feathers of the diehard traditionalists.

  • I know the Thomaner well and have watched from the sidelines how the appointment of a new Cantor comes about since 1990. The choir were LBS guests here for their UK debut in 1994. Outside comment or interference would not be welcome or helpful. They have to sort this out internally and working with the city council who makes the final appointment. I simply add this: the choir works with their Cantor a very high percentage of the year so their input as to who their Cantor might be matters, it matters hugely. These are not hardened professional singers but 9-18 year old boys who not only have to sing week in week out but attend to their school work as well, much like our own precious cathedral choristers.To be a Thomaner is a huge honour the boys take very seriously. Why then does it appear their opinion doesn’t count as to who their Cantor might be?