Conductor Thomas Hengelbrock founded the Balthasar-Neumann-Chor in 1991. Even its very first concerts garnered international praise as outstanding successes. It has been hailed as one of the best choirs in the world by the respected music magazine Gramophone.
In addition to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music, the choir performs contemporary compositions. It also devotes special attention to what it calls Vermächtnisse (or legacy) works by composers ranging from Perotin to Ligeti. The choir specialises in little-known church music and the Italian choral tradition.
Its music theatre and staged productions with the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, founded in 1994, including Italienische Karnevalsmusiken complete with costumes and masks and King Arthur adapted from John Dryden with music by Henry Purcell, have also showcased the extraordinary acting ability of a number of its members.