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About the choir

Mixed Chamber Choir KANTILA was founded by several local music enthusiasts in Křtiny in 1970. This small town is situated near Brno in a well-known nature reserve Moravian Karst. The first choirmaster became Mr. Alois Švenda. In 1978 responsibility for the artistic level of the choir was assumed by Mr. Bohuslav Navrátil, a student of Professor Karel Hradil. Professor Hradil was a conductor of famous Brno Glee Club Foerster.

The singing potential of the choir was soon strengthened by newly coming singers from close and distant neighbourhood. A lot of them arrived from Brno as well. Under the artistic leadership of a conductor Mr. Navrátil Kantila acquired its reputation not only in the region, but also in foreign countries the choir started to visit. Kantila took part in various occasional concerts and performances and gave a good account of itself at home choir presentations and competitions where it gained a lot of appreciation and awards.

The death of the conductor, Mr. Bohuslav Navrátil, in 2000 was a hard loss for the choir. At that time the choir was conducted for an interim period by MFA Dagmar Navrátilová and thereafter by a professor of Brno Music Conservatory MFA Petr Kolař. Since 2002 the artistic leadership of the choir has been taken up by a young Mr. Lukáš Sotolář, at the time student of Conservatory Brno.

The choir has made a lot of tours abroad and gave concerts mainly in Italy (Acqui Terme, Aosta, Bordighiera, Venice, Cuneo, Grosseto, Novara, Rome, Siena, Torino, Verona…). The choir performed also in Austria (Baden, Linz, Mistellbach, Salzburg…), Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad), France (Avignon, Baume les Dames, Besançon, Grenoble), Germany (Bad Salzdetfurth, Hannover, Leipzig…), Great Britain (Burton upon Trent, Cardiff, Royal Tunbridge Wells, York…), Greece (Athens, Patras, Preveza…) and The Netherlands (Hertogen Bosch, Nieuwendijk…). Kantila has taken part in several international choir presentations and competitions since 1985, for example in Acqui Terme and Montefiore dell´Aso (Italy), in Hannover (Germany) and in Preveza (Greece). Kantila choir established co-operation with Gewandhaus Chamber Choir in Leipzig, it recorded in a studio of a Roman radio station RAI in September 1985. Kantila also accomplished two CDs: together with Military Artistic Ensemble Ondráš the choir recorded a Christmas CD “Den přeslavný jest k nám přišel” (A Glorious Day Has Come to Us) in 1994 and “Musica sacra” in 1997. The third CD is being prepared at present time.

Kantila systematically and purposefully searches for new talents and in this way it continuously adds number of its singers. At the present time there are about forty singers in the choir. The choir is very active, apart from standard concerts it participates also on various festive occasions, thematic performances or Easter and Christmas concerts. The variable repertoire of Mixed Chamber Choir Kantila includes plenty of pieces of sacred and secular music for mixed choir, vocal polyphony of old masters (such as Adriano Banchieri, Giovanni P. da Palestrina, Orlando di Lasso, Jakob Gallus – Handel, Jan Kampanus – Vodňanský), musical work of Czech and world classics (for example W. A. Mozart, Carl Orff, Anton Bruckner, Antonín Dvořák, Bedřich Smetana, Leoš Janáček), compositions of contemporary authors (e.g. Petr Eben, Zdeněk Lukáš, Miroslav Příhoda, Maurizio Righes, Beppi de Marzi, Petr Řezníček, Antonín Tučapský) and arrangements of various folk songs of domestic and foreign origin. The choir performs mainly a capella, in some cases with an organ accompaniment or string quartet.

©2008 Míca