Founded in 1933, the first year of the Maggio Musicale Festival, under the guidance of Andrea Morosini, the Chorus has always been one of the most prestigious Italian vocal ensembles for both opera and symphonic repertoire. The Chorus has had many important Masters including Adolfo Fanfani, Roberto Gabbiani, Vittorio Sure, Marco Balderi, José Luis Basso and, Piero Monti. The Chorus has also performed vocal chamber and contemporary music, with premieres by important 20th century composers such as Penderecki, Dallapiccola, Petrassi, Nono and Bussotti. Particularly significant is the collaboration with leading conductors such as Mehta, Muti, Claudio Abbado, Giulini, Bartoletti, Gavazzeni, Sawallisch, Pretre, Chung, Ozawa, Bychkov and Sinopoli. In recent years the Chorus has expanded its repertoire to include major symphonic-choral works. The Chorus participates in many major concert tours with the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale. Independently they have performed Turandot in concert form with the Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv and Haifa with Mehta to great critical acclaim,. The same opera was performed in Beijing in the Forbidden City in 1998, along with the Messa da Requiem by Verdi. The ability to interpret works of different periods and styles in the original language are features that have made the Chorus of one of the most admired by international critics and conductors. In 2003 it won the Grammy Award with Renée Fleming for the CD Belcanto. The Chorus had an intense collaboration with Lorin Maazel and the Symphonica Toscanini, performing Verdi's Requiem in Busseto, Morocco, Venice and Jerusalem and Aida in concert on tour in South America and Lake Maggiore, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Rome and the European Parliament in Brussels. In recent years it has developed a strong tie with Riccardo Muti and the Ravenna Festival, taking part in the Vie dell’amicizie with concerts in Tunisia, Morocco, Spain, Rome, Athens and Sarajevo, as well as with the Tuscany Regional Orchestra and the Camerata Instrumental Prato. In the fall of 2011, it inaugurated in Turin the MITO Settembremusica with Gustav Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, with a second performance in Rimini. Lorenzo Fratini has been the Chorus Master since January 2013.
Lorenzo Fratini, born in Prato in 1973, graduated in composition, polyphonic vocal composition, choral music and choir conducting, orchestration and clarinet at the Conservatories of Bologna, Ferrara, Florence and Milan, where he also completed his vocal and conducting studies.
He has attended various courses in conducting led by Gustav Kuhn, Gianluigi Gelmetti and Piero Bellugi and choral conducting with Roberto Gabbiani, Fabio Lombardo, Andrew Lawrence King and Diego Fasolis.
He has conducted various concerts with the Orchestra Regionale Toscana, Radio Orchestra of Bucharest, the Orchestra of the Theatre of Cluj-Napoca, the Orchestra of the Teatro Olimpico of Vicenza, the Orchestra of the Teatro Verdi of Trieste and the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna.
He has recorded several CDs for DIAPASON including one of music by twentieth-century composers in world premieres, one of the music of Mozart and one of Haydn's Die Schöpfung.
In 2003 he was invited as the only Italian teacher to the International Festival Europa Cantat in Barcelona where he taught a course on opera choruses with the final concert in the Gran Teatro del Liceu. He has taught at the Conservatory "Verdi" in Milan, the Conservatory " Tartini" of Trieste and the University of Siena. At Suntory Hall in Tokyo, he supervised the preparation of the choir for the staging of Turandot, the first Italian choir master to prepare a Japanese choir.
After a brief period at the Teatro Carlo Fenice of Genoa, from 2004 to 2010 was choirmaster of the Fondazione Teatro Lirico "Giuseppe Verdi" of Trieste. He directed, among other things, Carmina Burana at the Miramare Park, Mendelssohn’s Ein Sommernachtstraum at the Mittel Fest of Cividale in the integral version with the voice of Moni Ovadia, Haydn's Die Schöpfung during the symphonic season of 2006, the Messa di Gloria by Puccini, Il paese dei campanelli for the inauguration of the International Operetta Festival in Trieste in 2007, a concert with music by Italian opera composers in the presence of President of the Republic on a visit to Trieste, the operas Madama Butterfly during the lyric season and Andrea Chénier in the opera season at the Sejong Art Center in Seoul.
From January 2011 to December 2012 he was the Chorus Master of the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, where he conducted the Orchestra and Choir in Peer Gynt by Grieg in the 2011 season and Mendelssohn's Ein Sommernachtstraum for "Bologna Summer 2011". He also recently performed for the Bologna Festival, in the Il Nuovo-L'Antico series, a concert with music by Coppini-Monteverdi, Marenzio, Palestrina, Pizzetti, and one with the music of Bach and Schoenberg. In the Symphonic Season he conducted the orchestral version of the Petite Messe Solennelle by Rossini.
He has been Chorus Master for two summers at the Rossini Opera Festival, collaborating in the production of Moses in Egypt, winner of the Premio Abbiati. He has worked with distinguished conductors including Daniel Oren, Lorin Maazel, Christoph Eschenbach, Wayne Marshall, Nello Santi, Pinchas Steinberg, Roberto Abbado and Nicola Luisotti. He performed world premieres, working directly with the composers, of works of Fabio Vacchi, Giampaolo Coral, Randall Meyers, Tan Dun and Arvo Pärt. He was invited several times as chorus master by the National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome.