El Café Chorale is one of the most important choral groups in Costa Rica. Founded in March, 1994; this group has won the Costa Rican National Prize of Music on three occasions and has done 7 international tours to participate in contests and festivals of great reputation.
Since its origins it has been conducted by Maestro David Ramírez and it is part of the Instituto Costarricense Pro Música Coral (Costa Rican Institute Pro Choral Music)
In May, 1998, the choir made its first international tour representing Costa Rica as a finalist in the “7 Förderkreis Internationale Chortage” Festival in Mainhausen, Germany. There, the choir won a Second Place on the Renaissance, Romantic and Contemporary style.
In 1999, it represented Costa Rica on the “Harmonie Festival 99” competition in Lindenholzhausen-Limburg, Germany. This time it won First Place in the Folklore with Accompaniment Category, Second Place in a Cappella Folklore and Third Place in Renaissance, Romántic and Contemporary a Cappella style.
In 1999, the choir presented the Christmas Oratorio by Camille Saint Saëns for choir, orchestra and soloists, conducted by Maestro Herman Engels, renowned Belgian conductor.
During that same year, it obtains the Costa Rican National Prize of Music (“Premio Nacional de Música.”)
In 2000, it participated in the “American Choral Directors Association (Western Division Convention ACDA)” in U.S.A, Los Angeles, California. The choir became the first Costa Rican vocal group selected to this event, representing, besides, Central-America. It then receives, among other recognitions, the Consular Letters dedicated to Musical Excellence.
In August, 2001, the choir participated in the “Festival Choral International Neuchâte-Suisse”.
In December, 2002, it performed a special Christmas program with selections of Messiah by George Friedrich Händel; conducted by Doctor William Belan from California State University, as guest conductor.
In June, 2003, the choir participated as a finalist in the “8 Förderkreis Internationale Chortage” Festival in Mainhausen, Germany. There it obtained First Place and Gold Medal in a Cappella Mixed Choir Category. The tour also included several concerts in Germany and Belgium.
The choir finished this season with a Christmas concert, conducted by the Belgian Master Herman Engels, performing the Noël Oratorio by Camille Saint-Saëns.
The Costa Rican newspaper “La Nación” honored El Café Chorale as a Cultural Character of the year 2003, acknowledging its excellent performance during the entire season.
El Café Chorale received for second occasion the National Prize of Music in 2003.
Beginning 2005, the choir was distinguished by “La Nación” newspaper with the Ancora Biannual Prize (“Premio Bienal Áncora”) in the Music Category for its work and contribution to Costa Rican Musical Culture during 2003 and 2004.
In May 2005, it participated together with 70 other choirs from around the world in the final competition of “Harmonie Festival 2005” in Lindenholzhausen, Germany. The choir competed in diverse styles, winning First Place and Gold Medal in a Cappella Folklore Category.
The choir also made a tour of 17 concerts through several cities in Germany and England.
In 2006 it was invited to participate in the "IV Latin-American Composition Seminary" in Costa Rica, performing the "Jorge DeBravo Cantata, Premiere" by Costa Rican composers.
In the year 2007, performed the “Sinfonía de las Humanidades, Premiere” of the Costa Rican composer Marvin Camacho who received the "Aquileo J. Echeverría Prize of Music".
In October, 2007, it participated in the “5 Internationales Chorfestival Ruhr” a Cappella in Bochum, Germany. There, the choir had the honor of alternating with the Stuttgart Kammerchor, conducted by Frieder Bernius in the Audimax of Bochum. The choir traveled as well to Prague, Czech Republic to offer several concerts.
During that same year, El Café Chorale won for the third time the National Prize of Music, which constitutes the highest honor of arts in Costa Rica.
The choir belongs to the “Instituto Costarricense Pro-Música Coral” Foundation, a non profit organization, which promotes and develops the Choral Singing in Costa Rica.
El Café Chorale has made more than 400 concerts along its musical career in Costa Rica, The United States and Europe.