Morrison Artists Series: Calmus

Friday, April 28, 2017, 8:00 pm
Photo of the Calmus quintet
The young a cappella quintet Calmus embodies the rich choral history of its hometown of Leipzig, Germany, synonymous with the great musical tradition of Bach and Mendelssohn. Pre-concert talk: 7pm. Master class, April 28, 10am - noon, Creative Arts Building, Knuth Hall. Free.
Creative Arts Building, McKenna Theatre
May T. Morrison Chamber Music Center
SF State Box Office
Event extras: 

“Calmus Ensemble is stunning in its vocal variety, mastery. … The group held the audience … spellbound with its artistry. … In matters of pitch, diction and musical shaping, I’ve never heard finer ensemble singing.”

— Washington Post

“The singers bring tremendous character and musical depth to their interpretations … transcends the language of the lyrics.”

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


  • Anja Pöche, soprano
  • Sebastian Krause, countertenor
  • Tobias Pöche, tenor
  • Ludwig Böhme, baritone
  • Manuel Helmeke, bass

“Nothing short of remarkable. … They, quite simply, bring whatever they sing to glorious life.” That is how the Deseret Morning News described a concert by Calmus, winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition. Whether singing music by those German masters or other works in its diverse repertoire, Calmus captivates both audiences and critics with its charming stage presence, flawless technique and entertaining presentation.

Comprised of graduates of Leipzig‘s renowned St. Thomas Church Choir School, Calmus offers the unique combination of a pure soprano voice with four male voices ranging from bass to countertenor. The seamless blend of these five voices lends itself to the almost limitless range of music the ensemble offers, from renaissance and baroque masters to great German romantic works, all the way to contemporary choral repertoire, as well as pop songs and jazz.

Recent North American highlights include Calmus’ New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and other New York City engagements at Lincoln Center Great Performers, Met Museum Presents, The Cloisters, Schneider Concerts at The New School and a special sacred program at Manhattan’s Holy Trinity Lutheran Church to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the St. Thomas Choir School.

Calmus’ Madrigals of Madness, was selected by The New York Times as among the best CD’s of 2014. Its latest release, Christmas Carols of the World, led to a special 2015 holiday concert at New York Public Radio’s The Greene Space, streamed on WQXR’s website. The quintet has released more than 15 recordings.

An active concert schedule worldwide has taken Calmus across Germany, Austria Belgium, Switzerland, France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and North and South America. Festival appearances include International a cappella Week in Hannover and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival. In addition to garnering first prize at the Concert Artists Guild Competition, Calmus also won first prizes at the fourth annual Robert Schumann Choral Competition, International Competition for Vocal Ensembles in Finland and the 37th Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain.


A rich and varied program of vocal settings from Gregorian chant to medieval, renaissance, romantic and contemporary works commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and musical connections to the songs of Martin Luther.