The Bangalore Men
The Bangalore Men – an all-male voices ensemble launched in January of 2016 consists of 16 singers, all with many years of previous experience singing in choirs. The group focuses on Western classical music, from eras ranging from medieval music to contemporary, and is conducted by Jonas Olsson, voice faculty at Bangalore School of Music.
The premiere season in 2016 saw a program of classical a cappella music, A cappella through the Ages, performed in Bangalore and Pondicherry, mainly focusing on renaissance and early baroque music. During 2016, the group’s tribute to the romantic music of Franz Schubert, SimplySchubert, has been performed, together with pianist Natallia Kapylova, to rave reviews in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mysore and Goa.
In April 2017, the group participated in the India-premiere of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony together with the Indian National Youth Orchestra, and the Vienna University Orchestra and Choir. In the autumn season of 2017, the group premiered Gustav Holst’s Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda, with performances in Bangalore, Cochin, Trivandrum and New Delhi.
The winter season of 2018, the concert series Cathedral Windows was presented to the audiences in Bangalore, Chennai and at the Monte Music Festival, Goa, to which the choir was invited to perform at the Chapel of our Lady of Mount. . This a cappella programme, celebrates some of the greatest composers of sacred music, such as Bruckner, Palestrina, Byrd and Tallis, but also more unknown yet equally talented composers. The programme is varied in style and era, ranging from medieval tunes to the romantics of Franz Schubert and Edvard Grieg.
In April 2018, the choir participate in a performance of Mozart’s Requiem, together with Goa University Choir, Luther King Choir (Brazil), Cantosospeso Choir (Italy) under the baton of Martinho Luthero, to a raving audience at St Andrew’s Church, Bangalore.
November 2018 saw another milestone, when the choir participated in the NCPA and Symphony of India Chamber Orchestra presentation of Martin Palmeri’s Misa Tango at Prithvi Theatre and NCPA Mumbai. The Men returned to NCPA Mumbai in February 2019 after having been invited to participate in the performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Choral Fantasy together with the Symphony Orchestra of India, under the baton of Martyn Brabbins, artistic director of the English National Opera. In February 2019 the choir was invited to the Ketevan Festival of Sacred Music, in Goa, and performed pieces from their broad repertoire at The Church of Immaculate Conception, Panjim, and also in a repeat performance of Palmeri’s Misa Tango, at the Church of St Francis of Assisi, Old Goa. In November the same year, the choir was one of few invited to Mumbai to participate in the celebrations of the 50th year anniversary of the NCPA.
During 2020, the choir performed the final from Beethoven's Choral Fantasy, with Vienna-based pianist Ms Marialena Fernandes, and also sang Faure's Requiem together with Cappella Bangalore. The pandemic period, the choir continued with virtual performances, and launched three online premieres - Lighten our Darkness, Days of Beauty and A Virtual Christmas - all available on YouTube.
2021 the choir works towards an online Bach-programme, and are also hoping to be able to have a regular concert end of June, same year.
More than bringing high-quality Western classical music in various concerts and performances, the aim of the group is also to preserve the heritage this music is, and also to give the members a holistic approach to singing in choir, including music history, music theory and vocal techniques. The group is coached by one of Scandinavia’s most sought-after vocal coaches, Ms Maria Forsström (Sweden).