Michel Corboz

Michel Corboz received his initial training at the Conservatoire in Fribourg (Switzerland), where he studied solo singing and composition. He was attracted to conducting, and soon began to devote himself to that art. His knowledge for and love of the human voice led him to turn his attention to the vocal repertoire: a cappella choral pieces, cantatas and oratorios.

After several years working in the field of modern and Renaissance music and a longstanding acquaintance with Monteverdi, Vivaldi and Bach, Michel Corboz successfully broadened his repertoire to embrace Classical and Romantic oratorios.

In 1961 he founded the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne, a handpicked group of singers. Press acclaim for his award-winning recordings of Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine and L’Orfeo in 1965 and 1966 marked the beginning of his international career.

Since 1969 he has been principal conductor of the Gulbenkian Chorus in Lisbon, with whom he explores the symphonic repertoire. These two ensembles are intimately linked with his professional career. It is with one or other of them that he has made most of his recordings, more than a hundred in all, which have received many accolades from the record academies of a number of different countries. From 1976 to 2004 he taught choral conducting at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique in Geneva.

Michel Corboz enjoys conducting pre-classical opera (Cavalli, Monteverdi, Charpentier), but it is above all the concert repertoire for chorus, soloists and orchestra that he performs and records. Among his most important recordings are Bach's Passions and B minor Mass, Mozart's C minor Mass and Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elias and Paulus, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, and the Requiems of Brahms, Verdi, Fauré and Duruflé. His discography also includes works by the Swiss composers Frank Martin and Arthur Honegger.

Michel Corboz received the Critics' Prize on the occasion of his two most recent tours of Argentina, in 1995 and 1996. The French Republic has honoured him with the title of Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He was decorated with the Order of the Infante Don Henrique by the Portuguese President in 1999, and was awarded the Grand Prix de la Ville de Lausanne in 1990.

Michel Corboz on medici.tv

Michel Corboz: Bach, Haendel
Annecy Classic Festival
Aug. 26, 2011, 7 p.m.
Watch an excerpt