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Ensemble Nobile: an interview with the five 'noble lords'

Ensemble Nobiles was founded in January 2006. The five young singers met during their nine-year education as members of the St. Thomas Boys Choir Leipzig. Their repertoire ranges from late medieval mass songs to modern age works. They are: Paul Heller (*1991) - Tenor voice  + Christian Pohlers (*1989) - Tenor voice + Felix Hübner (*1991) - Baritone voice + Lukas Lomtscher (*1989) - Bass voice + Lucas Heller (*1991) - Bass voice

The five ‘Noble Lords’ present themselves in this interview (provided by Sascha Hille) published in the ABS Newsletter No. in February 2015

What was the reason for founding Ensemble Nobiles? 

Paul: As a special treat for one of our Thomaner teachers at a Christmas party, a few classmates got together to form a male-voice choir. 

How did you get the name ‘Ensemble Nobiles’? 

Paul: The name is a bit tongue-in-cheek. When looking for a name, we felt it should be something Latin. Assisted by our Latin teacher we started looking for a name and came up with Nobiles, which translates as ‘noble lords’. That what one day we will be aspiring to be.

Who are your musical influences?

Lukas: I would not say that we have direct influences, rather pioneer musicians and others who inspire us. The pioneers are groups like amarcord and the Calmus Ensemble, The King's Singers and the Comedian Harmonists who have popularized a cappella singing in small groups. We get influences from the whole world of music. Through our time in the St. Thomas Boys’ Choir, Bach's music is a strong, formative influence, and we learned a lot from Cantor Biller and singer and conductor Gottthold Schwarz. We have too many influences to mention them all.    

Do you prefer singing church music or secular music?  

Christian: It depends more on factors such as stylistics or harmony rather than secular or spiritual. The message behind the piece also affects my aesthetic appreciation of it. And of course it also depends very much on the type of venue we are performing in. 

How are you engaged musically? 

Felix: We all take singing lessons in order to advance our own vocal development. Some of us are permanent members in Leipzig choirs or are regularly requested to assist on projects with other local choirs. Some of us also give solo concerts in and around Leipzig. Paul and Christian also compose and have written many pieces for our ensemble. 

How often do you rehearse?

Christian: We aim for two to three rehearsals a week. Unfortunately, this almost never works out because our schedules rarely match. So, there are times when we rehearse every evening in a week, but also those in which we might manage only one rehearsal before a concert. 

Any great moments? 

Winning the German Vocal Music Competition in 2014! In our wildest dreams we did not expect winning an award at this great competition. This gave us a lot of confidence which propelled us forward. And we are looking forward to visiting Australia again, after the Thomanerchor’s visit in 2009 which is deeply etched in our memory.

HIP – another buzzword in musical performance? An ...
Thank you, Nikolaus Harnoncourt!