The chamber choir at the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Cor de Cambra , is one of the most prestigious professional choirs in Spain. It was founded by the Orfeó Català in 1990 with the goal of sharing universal choral music, helping to recover Catalan musical heritage and encouraging new compositions. Former choir directors include Jordi Casas i Bayer, Josep Vila i Casañas and Simon Halsey. Xavier Puig currently heads the choir, while Jordi Armengol is the choir pianist.
All the choir members are required to have excellent vocal and artistic skills, which mean the group has the musical abilities of a truly great choir. The choir has been directed by musical greats such as René Jacobs, Marc Minkowski, Kent Nagano, Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim, Christophe Rousset, Vladimir Jurowski, Daniele Gatti, Simon Carrington and Fabio Biondi, and has collaborated with singers such as Philippe Jaroussky and Mark Padmore. The ensemble has been a member of The European Network for Professional Chamber Choirs (TENSO) since 2010.
Internationally, highlights include the choir’s 2017 début at the BBC Proms in London, a tour with Jean-Christophe Spinosi and the Ensemble Matheus in 2018, and the choir’s début at the MÜPA festival in Budapest in 2022, with a program of ensaladas and madrigals from the Catalan Renaissance. The St. John Passion by Bach, under the direction of Xavier Puig, and the première of Reconnaissance by Kaija Saariaho and Invocation to the earth by Xavier Pagès Corella , under the direction of Simon Halsey, were last season’s highlights. The most notable projects from the 2022-23 season include performing works by Palau de la Música Catalana guest composers Caroline Shaw and Ferran Cruixent (directed by Júlia Sesé, chorus master), the concert to commemorate the centenary of the Obra del Cançoner Popular de Catalunya , a second collaboration with Europa Galante and Fabio Biondi on Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria by Monteverdi, and a new collaboration with Franco Fagioli and L’Orchestre de l’Opéra Royal de Versailles , including two concerts in the French auditorium.