Erfurt choir marks 20+ year partnership with an 8-day tour of Yorkshire cathedrals, minsters and churches

The Augustinian Church Choir are visiting Yorkshire in mid-October for a week’s tour to mark over twenty years of the partnership between the Diocese of Bradford, and then the Diocese of Leeds with the Erfurt Kirchenkreis.

The tour will include visits to churches and cathedrals across the county including the Diocesan cathedrals of Bradford, Wakefield and Ripon, alongside Leeds Minster, Halifax Minster and St. Margaret’s Church in Ilkley. There will also be stops to visit York Minster and Ilkley Moor as part of the nine-day visit.

The tour will be bookended with services, starting at Bradford Cathedral on Sunday 13th October and finishing with Halifax Minster one week later. In between they will perform lunchtime concerts in Wakefield, Ripon and Leeds, and at the weekly organ recital at Bradford Cathedral. There will also be an evening concert on the penultimate day at St. Margaret’s Church.

The choir will perform various choral pieces over the tour, including work by Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Flor Peeters, Gustav Holst, Arvo Pärt and John Rutter.

The partnership between the two countries began formally on the 1st November 1997, growing out of an earlier civic link between Bradford and Erfurt that began even earlier, in the late 1980s.

Rosalind Beeson, chair of the Erfurt/Leeds link group, says of the tour:
“We are delighted to welcome the Augustinerkantorei to perform in venues across West Yorkshire. It will be wonderful to hear this massed choir perform sacred choral music from a wide range of composers from the 15th to the 21st centuries. This visit builds on two recent choir tours to Erfurt from the Bradford area in 2013 and Bradford Cathedral Choir’s centenary tour earlier in 2019. We are very glad to be able to reciprocate and to strengthen our partnership with Erfurt, recognising our shared musical heritage.”

Alex Berry, Director of Music at Bradford Cathedral, says:
“It’s a real joy to be working with the Augustiner-Kantorei who are a massive choir from Erfurt. They have 110-members and they are coming on an eight day tour of the UK. We took the Bradford Cathedral choir over to Erfurt earlier this year and they were our hosts, and welcomed us so generously, and we are very pleased to welcome them to our cathedral.”

More information on the choir tour can be found by visiting bradfordcathedral.org/music/visiting-choirs/augustinerkantorei-of-erfurt or the websites of the cathedrals and churches involved with the tour.

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