…at the very forefront of modern-day specialists in the performance of Renaissance vocal music. (International Record Review)
Comprising five professional singers from five European countries, Cinquecento takes its name from the Italian term for the sixteenth century. The pan-European structure of the ensemble (its members are from Austria, Belgium, England, Germany and Switzerland) harks back to the imperial chapel choirs of the sixteenth century, whose members would have been chosen for their musicianship from Europe’s most prized musical establishments.
Formed in Vienna in October 2004 the group quickly established itself as one of Europe’s premier vocal ensembles. Cinquecento aims to bring the lesser-known sixteenth-century choral repertoire from the courts of imperial Austria to a wider public, as well as performing a varied range of Renaissance polyphony with a view to illuminating to audiences the kaleidoscopic diversity of compositional styles operating within Europe over the period. Recent interest from modern composers has also seen the ensemble add a variety of contemporary works to its repertoire.
Aside from numerous performances in Austria, the ensemble continues to forge a busy international touring schedule. Performances abroad have taken them to Belgium, Holland, Poland, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Portugal, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Germany, the Czech Republic, as well as the USA, Canada and South Korea. Alongside the many accolades lavished on the group’s recordings, 2009 saw Cinquecento awarded the highly prized ‘Deutschlandfunk-Förderpreis’ for outstanding promise by the Musikfest Bremen. Since September 2005 Cinquecento has been ‘Ensemble in Residence’ at the church of St Rochus and Sebastian, Vienna, performing a polyphonic Mass-setting each week.
Since 2006 Cinquecento has been recording for Hyperion Records (UK), focusing on Habsburg court composers from the sixteenth century. Their latest recording “Jean Guyot: Te Deum laudamus and other motets” was given a Diapason d’Or, the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, and was nominated for a Gramophone Award.