© Anna Reszniak
Gudrun Schröfel studied music education and conductorship under Eric Ericson as well as vocal pedagogy and English. She initially performed in concert as an oratorio singer and conducted the choir and orchestra at a music school.
In 1985, she took up a professorship in musical education, with a focus on conducting and the directing of ensembles, at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. In 1989, she moved to the Hanover University of Music and Drama, where she held the post of vice president from 1997 to 2011.
Gudrun Schröfel leads the internationally renowned Mädchenchor Hannover (the Hanover Girls’ Choir) and the Johannes Brahms Chamber Choir. With her ensembles, she has won countless first prizes and runners-up prizes at national and international competitions, including the BBC Awards, the Johannes Brahms Competition in Hamburg, the Competition of the European Broadcasting Union “Let the Peoples Sing” and the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf, the Certamen Coral de Tolosa, Guido d’Arezzo and the German Choir Competitions held in Cologne, Stuttgart and Kiel.
She has consistently succeeded in creating unique interpretations. These include a great number of highly-respected premiere performances of works by renowned composers such as Toshio Hosokawa, Peter Eötvös, Wilhelm Killmayer, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Vinko Globokar, Arvo Pärt, Steffen Schleiermacher, Alfred Koerppen, etc.
Numerous CD recordings attest to the stylistic breadth of this repertoire, stretching from the Renaissance to the 21st century, and covering both a cappella performances and those with orchestration (including the NDR Radiophilharmonic and the orchestra of the Hanover State Opera). In 2010, a recording of contemporary cantata compositions – on which these two choirs performed – received the recognition of an ECHO KLASSIK award. Invitations to festivals and concert tours have led Gudrun Schröfel across Europe, to the United States, Brazil, Chile, Russia and on numerous trips to Israel, Japan and China.
In demand as a jurist for international choral competitions, she served as the chairperson of the jury at the International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf from 2009 to 2013. A great many of those who have studied under her guidance have won first prizes or been runners-up at the national German competition "Jugend Musiziert".
In recognition of her extraordinary dedication, Gudrun Schröfel has received several honours, including the Lower Saxony Artistic Award for Music in 2012 and the Lower Saxony Cross of Merit in 2014. Gudrun Schröfel sits on the advisory board of the German Music Council’s choral activities.
© Bruno Meier
Andreas Felber was born in 1983 in Lucerne, where he grew up and was a long-term member of the Lucerne Boys’ Choir. He studied conductorship under Ulrike Grosch and Stefan Albrecht as well as vocal studies under Liliane Zürcher at the Lucerne School of Music, passing both with distinction.
Since 2004, he has led the Swiss ensemble molto cantabile, with which he achieved national and international success, including prizes at competitions in Tolosa, Cork und Spittal an der Drau. From 2007 to 2012, Andreas Felber was the musical leader of the Lucerne Chamber Choir and, between 2012 and 2016, conductor of the vocal ensemble ProMusicaViva.
From 2011 to 2015, he also conducted the Swiss Youth Choir, together with his college Dominique Tille. Among other awards, the choir won the runners-up prize at the International Chamber Choir Competition Marktoberdorf.
Andreas Felber is also the musical director of the professional chamber choir at the renowned Davos Festival and the permanent guest conductor of the Sing Academy in Zurich – the professional partner choir of the Tonhalle Zurich –, as whose director he served an interim basis during the 2016/17 season. Guest conductor positions have already taken him to Germany, China, Hungary, Belgium and Italy. Working with contemporary composers is a challenge which is particularly close to his heart.
In spring 2017, Andreas Felber took on the joint leadership of the Mädchenchor Hannover, together with Prof. Gudrun Schröfel, and became Professor for Choral Conducting at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.