Swiss Conductor and Choirmaster Michel Corboz has Died

The 87-year-old passed away due to heart failure following an operation

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A graduate of Switzerland's Conservatoire in Fribourg, where he studied singing and composition, Corboz later found a passion for conducting.

He was known for leading a cappella choral pieces, cantatas, and oratorios — and in 1961, founded the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne. He conducted the group for 50 years and received wide acclaim for the recording of Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine and L’Orfeo.

Loussanne's Mayor Grégoire Junod stated that “the city will always be grateful to him for having carried the colours of Lousanne so high.”

Corboz also served as the principal conductor of the Gulbenkian Chorus in Lisbon and as a choral conducting professor at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique in Geneva.

As a composer, he wrote 20 motets, a mass, a cantata, and secular pieces for choir.

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.

Along with the French Republic's title of Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, he was awarded the Order of the Infante Don Henrique by the Portuguese President and was the Grand Prix de la Ville de Lausanne.

Our condolences to Mr. Corboz’ family, friends, students, and colleagues.