Born in Marsens in the canton of Fribourg (Switzerland), Michel Corboz owes much to his uncle André Corboz, who taught him singing, the piano, harmony, improvisation, and accompaniment. He trained at the Ecole Normale in Fribourg, then with Juliette Bise at the Conservatoire there ; he completed his studies as a conductor with Hans Haug in Lausanne and Paul Van Kempen in Siena. In 1961 he founded the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne (EVL). Press ac- claim 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 critics. He conducts the repertoire for chorus, soloists and orchestra. His recordings include Bach’s Passions and B minor Mass, Mozart’s C minor Mass and Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elias and Paulus, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, the Requiems of Brahms, Verdi, Fauré and Duruflé, and Schubert’s Mass in E flat major, not forgetting Frank Martin and Arthur Honegger. From 1976 to 2004 he taught choral conducting at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique in Geneva.
Michel Corboz received the Critics’ Prize in 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. This was followed by the Prix de la Ville de Lausanne in 2003 and the Prix Leenaards (Lausanne) in 2008. Several books have documented his career, including a series of interviews with Antoine Bosshard published by La Bibliothèque des Arts in 2001 and Au nom de la voix, Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne 1961-2011 (Editions Favre : 2011).”