In 1997, Hanno Kreft, a former member of the World Youth Choir and conductor, founded the “Nordic Chamber Choir”.
Under the direction of conductor Nicol Matt, the ensemble have become one the most established chamber choirs in Europe. In 2000, the choir was awarded the second prize at the International Chamber Choir Competition in Marktoberdorf.
When the choir performed at the 2002 Choral Conductors Conference in Limburg, the Nassau press wrote:”What was impressive was not only the choir’s undoubtedly excellent quality of sound, but also their articulation and intonation [.. .] the choir performed on stage to a sold-out concert hall with incredible vitality and presence, leaving their audience breathless ”.
The CD recordings of the CCE are not only highly praised by their audiences but also very popular with concert critics. In its 12/2000 issue, the classical music magazine Fono Forum gave their verdict on the CD of works by Morten Lauridsen: “The Nordic Chamber Choir presents itself as an outstanding ensemble. Perfection and vibrancy are completely balanced, the enjoyment of musicianship is unmistakable”. In the journal “Klassik Heute” (12/2000), the same recording also complimented: “The technical abilities of these 22 singers are unlimited; the beauty lies in the perfect combination of their sound.”
In March 2002 the choir changed its name to ‘Chamber Choir of Europe ‘(CCE), focusing more attention on its European character.
To date, the Chamber Choir of Europe have recorded several CDs under the baton of Nicol Matt, generating worldwide recognition. Choral recordings of note include the works of Mozart, Brahms, Mendelssohn and the chorales of Johann Sebastian Bach.
In 2011 The Chamber Choir of Europe and the European Chamber Soloists conducted by Nicol Matt were awarded the Diapason d’Or for the recording of motets by Johann Sebastian Bach. Alongside the German Record Critics and the British Gramophone awards, the Diapason d’Or is considered the most prestigious independent European record award for classical music.
Wolf Biermann, Gunnar Eriksson and Chamber Choir of Europe, 2011