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Rundfunkchor Berlin

Rundfunkchor Berlin © Jonas Holthaus


Rundfunkchor Berlin

With round about 60 concerts per season along with CD recordings and international festival appearances, Rundfunkchor Berlin is one of the world’s outstanding choral ensembles. Three Grammy® Awards alone mark the quality of its recordings, the choir is one of the chosen partners of leading orchestras and conductors, including the Vienna, New York and Berlin Philharmonic.

This professional chorus has also attracted international attention for interdisciplinary projects that have transformed the concert experience of performing and listening to choral music. Its scenic realization of the Brahms Requiem by Jochen Sandig and the dance company of Sasha Waltz & Guests has become a landmark with acclaimed performances on tour to New York, Hong Kong, Brussels, Paris and Athens, among other cities. In its latest project “LUTHER dancing with the gods” the choir is collaborating for the first time with director Robert Wilson.

Rundfunkchor Berlin’s community projects are another point of entry into the Berlin social fabric. Every year, the Sing-along Concert brings together some 1300 amateur vocal-music lovers from all over the world in the Berlin Philharmonie to learn and perform a demanding choral work alongside the professionals of Rundfunkchor Berlin. Its educational initiative SING!, which Rundfunkchor Berlin conducts in cooperation with the Berlin primary schools, district music schools and the Berlin State Music Academy, aims to restore singing to its intrinsic place in the daily school curriculum. The Liederbörse is the Sing-along concert for Berlin’s schoolchildren. Every year over 1000 children and young people take part and sing together with Rundfunkchor Berlin.

Fostering the next generation of singers is a deeply cherished objective of Rundfunkchor Berlin. Its Academy was created to form a bridge between conservatory vocal training and a professional career choral. Every semester, four students – one from each vocal section – have the opportunity to experience the workings of a top-flight choir close up. The Schola offers capable and qualified singing students a very special intensive course: in a concentrated rehearsal phase, participants all come together for a large-scale symphonic choral work and additionally prepare a demanding a cappella programme for performance in concert.

Highlights 2017 / 2018

As its latest interdisciplinary project, RundfunkchorBerlinis collaborating for the first time with the celebrated American director Robert Wilson. Together they are creating “LUTHER dancing with the gods” for the 500th anniversary of Reformation, a genre-crossing collaboration to be premiered on 6 October 2017 in Pierre Boulez Hall at theBarenboim-SaidAcademy. Further performances will take place on 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 October.

The musical centrepiece is Johann Sebastian Bach’s four motets based on Luther’s translation of the Bible and Protestant chorales. Robert Wilson’s physical theatre will create a space for them to radiate and resonate. In the 360-degree layout of Pierre Boulez Hall,Wilson’s associative, highly stylized theatre will undergo a fascinating synthesis with Bach’s lofty choral music, opening up new ideas and perceptual spaces. 


Location: Berlin
Legal status: Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre gGmbH Berlin (Shareholders: Deutschlandradio, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin and Radio Berlin-Brandenburg).
Year of founding: 1925
Sphere of activities: Berlin plus international touring venues
Audience reach: 75,000-100,000 listeners per season worldwide
Annual appearances: approx. 60 concerts of which 15-20 per season are events organized by the choir itself
Sources of financing/sponsorship: Contributions from the shareholders (see above) as well as third-party funding from foundations, sponsors, donors and partners. Income from ticket sales and concerts with partnering orchestras and organizers.
Sponsors and supporters (selection): Federal Commission for Culture and Media, Bühler-Bolstorff Foundation, The Friends and Sponsors of Rundfunkchor Berlin, Kryolan GmbH, procuratio GmbH, Berlin Senate Department of Education, Youth and Family, German Lottery Foundation, Wall AG
Awards: including three Grammys; 2016 Classical:NEXT Innovation Award with the “human requiem”, Junge Ohren Preis 2017 and »listen to Berlin Award« 2017
  • Sing-along-Concert
  • Rundfunkchor Berlin
  • Human requiem, Rundfunkchor Berlin
  • Luther Dancing with the gods stick people