Rundfunkchor Berlin - Choir
With around 60 concerts annually, numerous CDs and three Grammys, Rundfunkchor Berlin is one of the world’s foremost choruses. Its wide-ranging repertoire, flexible and richly nuanced sound, flawless precision and enthralling delivery have made it the chosen partner of the major orchestras and conductors in its home city but also internationally, where it functions as a musical ambassador for Berlin in the great concert halls of the world. It is so much more than just a concert and studio chorus.
Along with its symphonic choral central repertoire, Rundfunkchor Berlin is constantly forging new paths by means of projects that burst the bounds of the classical concert format and allow choral music to interact with other art forms. The choreographic realization of the Brahms Requiem as “human requiem” by Jochen Sandig with Sasha Waltz & Guests represents a milestone. Following acclaimed performances in Brussels, Taipei and Hong Kong, the work was performed during the 2016-17 season in Berlin, New York and South America. In Christian Jost’s LOVER, a music-theatre piece premiered in 2014 in Berlin’s Kraftwerk, Western symphonic choral music meets a traditional Asian percussion ensemble. In its most recent project, “cosmic lights”, in 2016, Rundfunkchor Berlin presented a multimedia programme based on celestial phenomena including the Northern Lights.
Rundfunkchor Berlin is constantly developing new and unusual ways of experiencing choral music and stimulating choruses all over the world to follow its lead. In formats such as the Sing-Along Concert in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Liederbörse (Song Exchange) for Berlin’s school choirs and the project Hand in Hand, it is working intensively with committed amateur choirs. With its International Master Class for choral conducting and the Academy and Schola for young singers, it is fostering the next generation of professionals. And to help make singing an intrinsic component of the primary school day, it created the initiative SING! in 2011.
Founded in 1925, the chorus celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015. Since its inception, it has been shaped by conductors like Helmut Koch, Dietrich Knothe (1982-93), Robin Gritton (1994-2001) and Simon Halsey (2001-15). At the beginning of 2015-16 season, Gijs Leenaars assumed the position of Principal Conductor and Artistic Director. Simon Halsey retains his ties to Rundfunkchor Berlin as Conductor Laureate and Guest Conductor. Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre GmbH Berlin and is sponsored by Deutschlandradio, the German Federal Republic, the state of Berlin and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.