Ama Deus Ensemble
Vocal and Instrumental Ensemble
• Founded 1991
The Ama Deus Ensemble is an early music specialist group based in Philadelphia, PA. It was founded in 1991 by Valentin Radu for the limited purpose of presenting some concert programs of Mozart's music in observance of the bicentennial of composer's death, but nonetheless has been around ever since. Over time, Ama Deus Ensemble expanded its repertoire to encompass music of the Baroque and Classical eras, starting with Johann Sebastian Bach and extending to the Missa Solemnis of Beethoven. Ama Deus Ensemble began its recording career with the Helicon label in 1993 with an acclaimed recording of Handel's Messiah featuring soprano Julianne Baird, and this led to a number of successful recordings, including a critically well-received outing in Handel's Acis and Galatea, also featuring Baird. The recorded output of the Ama Deus Ensemble is uncommonly extensive for an American group so locally defined. In 1995, the Vox label reissued most of its earlier Helicon label releases, and in the mid-2000s the group recorded with the Newport Classics label and with Lyrichord. The Ama Deus Ensemble presents the Mass in B Minor to Philadelphia audiences annually on Good Friday. Sometimes the group collaborates with an older Philadephia-based chorus, the Vox Renaissance Consort, to form a third ensemble, the Vox Ama Deus.