Boasting around 60 concerts a year, CD recordings, and international guest appearances, the Rundfunkchor Berlin is one of the world’s most outstanding choirs. Three Grammy Awards alone represent the quality of its recordings. Its broad repertoire, flexible and richly nuanced sound, flawless precision and enthralling appeal make the professional choir into a partner of major orchestras and conductors, including Kirill Petrenko, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In Berlin, the choir cooperates intensively with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and their chief conductors.
The Rundfunkchor Berlin also attracts international attention with its interdisciplinary projects, which break open the classical concert format and make choral music into an innovative experience. The scenic realisation of the Brahms Requiem as a »human requiem« by Jochen Sandig and a team from Sasha Waltz & Guests has been a milestone. Guest performances have taken place so far in New York, Hong Kong, Paris, Adelaide and Istanbul, for example. In autumn 2017, in the project »LUTHER dancing with the gods«, the choir reflected on Luther's impact on and in the arts with a genre-bending concert performance together with Robert Wilson, featuring music by Bach, Nystedt and Reich. For the transdisciplinary concert installation, THE WORLD TO COME, the Rundfunkchor Berlin created a Berlin festival mass inspired by Beethoven's »Missa solemnis« in the 2020/21 season. Based on a concept by its director Tilman Hecker, here contemporary musical currents entered into dialogue with Beethoven's masterpiece. The musical journey into the world of tomorrow brought together national and international artists such as Birke J. Bertelsmeier, Colin Self, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, Moor Mother and Planningtorock. This centrepiece of the 2020/21 season premiered at the Vollgutlager Berlin.
Through its community projects for different target groups – the huge sing-along concert in the Berlin Philharmonie, the Festival of Choral Cultures for choirs from all over the world, and the Liederbörse for Berlin schoolchildren – the Rundfunkchor Berlin intends to get as many people as possible singing. Its broad-based educational programme SING! aims to network various partners permanently in order to promote singing as a natural part of everyday life in Berlin’s primary schools. The ensemble is also committed to the next generation of professional singers and conductors with its Academy and Schola as well as the International Master Class Berlin.
Founded in 1925, the Rundfunkchor Berlin celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2015. The choir has been shaped by conductors such as Helmut Koch, Dietrich Knothe, Robin Gritton and Simon Halsey. Since the 2015/16 season, Dutchman Gijs Leenaars has been at the helm of the ensemble as principal conductor and artistic director. Simon Halsey remains associated with the choir as an honorary and guest conductor. The Rundfunkchor Berlin is an ensemble of the Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre gGmbH Berlin, sponsored by Deutschlandradio, the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Berlin, and Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg.