With round about 60 concerts per season and international guest performances – thereunder a celebrated residency at the White Light Festival of New York’s Lincoln Center in October 2016 as well as the first South America tour – Rundfunkchor Berlin is of the world’s outstanding choral ensembles. Three Grammy® Awards alone mark the success of the ensemble.
The exceptional breadth of its repertoire, an unmistakable warm, richly nuanced sound, absolute precision and delight in experimentation all contribute to making it one of the chosen partners of international orchestras and conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Christian Thielemann or Yannick Nézet-Séguin. It is the permanent partner of the Berliner Philharmoniker as well as of Berlin’s Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester.
Rundfunkchor Berlin’s experimental project series has attracted great worldwide attention. In collaboration with artists from diverse disciplines, the chorus breaks down the classical concert formation and adopts new modes of choral music for a new audience. Some prime examples: the interactive scenic version of Brahms’ »Ein deutsches Requiem« staged by Jochen Sandig / Sasha Waltz & Guests – »human requiem« – toured to New York, Hongkong, Paris, Brussels, Athens, Hong Kong a.o. and was chosen among »The Best Classical Music 2016« of The New York Times. The music-dance-theatre »LOVER« by Christian Jost premiered in Berlin in 2014 and toured to Taipei and Hong Kong in 2016. In October 2017 the concert-performance »LUTHER dancing with the gods« by Robert Wilson with music from Bach, Nystedt and Reich will celebrate its premiere at Berlin’s new Pierre Boulez Hall.
With its annual activities for various target groups – the big Sing-along Concert in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Festival of Choral Cultures for international choirs and the Liederbörse (Song Exchange) for children and young people – Rundfunkchor Berlin invites people of all ages and walks of life to become immersed in the world of professional choral music. Its long-term education programme SING! encourages singing in Berlin’s elementary schools.
With its Academy and Schola for young professional singers as well as the Berlin International Masterclass for highly qualified young choral conductors it supports the next generation.
Founded in 1925 the choir celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015. Since its foundation the ensemble was shaped by conductors including Helmut Koch, Dietrich Knothe, Robin Gritton and Simon Halsey. As of season 2015/16 Gijs Leenaars has taken up his post as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of Rundfunkchor Berlin. Simon Halsey was appointed Conductor Laureate and will retain his ties to the ensemble as regular guest conductor. Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre GmbH Berlin (Shareholders: Deutschlandradio, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin and Radio Berlin-Brandenburg).