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Singeing in a Choir © Getty Images, Foto: Hill Street Studios

Rundfunkchor Berlin

Oldest radio choir in Germany

World-renowned and winners of three Grammys: Rundfunkchor Berlin. This chorus not only features choral singing, but also a multimedia show.


Rundfunkchor Berlin is well-known at home and abroad and also very busy, performing 60 concerts a year. They have also recorded several CDs, three of which have been awarded Grammys, making this chorus one of the world's best known. The choir is mixed and has 64 members.

The radio orchestras and choirs of Berlin are closely linked to the history of radio broadcasting in Germany and continue to play a key role in continuing the tradition of public concerts in Germany. The Rundfunkchor is one of the two radio choirs that work with Rundfunkorchester Berlin.

Rundfunkchor Berlin profile and projects

The chorus' wide-ranging repertoire focuses on choral-symphonic works from the Renaissance to the present day. Gijs Leenaars has led the chorus since 2015 and the chorus collaborates with leading orchestras and conductors from around the world. In Berlin, it regularly appears with the Berlin Philharmoniker, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, and the Rundfunk Sinfornieorchester Berlin.

But that's not all: Rundfunkchor Berlin is always setting off on new and exciting paths that take it beyond classical music. One goal is for music to be in dialogue with the other arts. Human requiem, a staged production of Brahms' German Requiem with Jochen Sand and the Sasha Waltz & Guests team took audiences in New York, Paris, Brussels, Taipei and Hong Kong by storm andn is touring Istanbul in the summer of 2019.

  • In Berlin the choir performs regularly with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester and the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
  • In 2014, the musical dance piece LOVER had its world première at Kraftwerk Berlin. This work combines Western choral music and the music of a traditional Asian percussion ensemble.
  • In April 2016 the Rundfunkchor Berlin performed cosmic light in April 2016, a multimedia programme about celestial phenomena such as the Aurora borealis.
  • In 2017 the choir once again combined various musical genres, drawing from composers such as Robert Wilson, Bach, and Nysted for the piece LUTHER dancing with the gods.
  • In 2019/20 the choir transforms the Berlin Radialsystem into a walk-in time tunnel. Films, images, performances and music blend into an interactive choral experience based on the composition of Jonathan Doves' The Passing of the Year.

Reaching out to the community

With its community projects the Rundfunkchor Berlin wants to inspire as many people as possible to sing out loud. Examples include the Berliner Philharmonie's sing-along concert, the Festival of Choir Cultures for choirs from all over the world and the Liederbörse for Berlin schoolchildren. With SING! the radio choir itself goes to primary schools. The promotion of young talent is a top priority. Young professional singers and conductors will find a demanding vocal training program at the Academy, the Schola as well as in Berlin's International Master Classes.

The history of Rundfunkchor Berlin

In 2015, Rundfunkchor Berlin celebrated its 90th anniversary. Founded in 1925, the choir has since been led by such renowned conductors as:

  • Helmut Koch
  • Dietrich Knothe (1982 – 1993)
  • Robin Gritton (1994 – 2001)
  • Simon Halsey (2001 - 2015)
  • Gijs Leenaars (2015 – heute)

Since its inception, the Rundfunkchor Berlin has appeared in both concert performances and in full opera and operetta productions under the baton of Walter Felsenstein, Joachim Herz, Götz Friedrich, Ruth Berghaus, and Harry Kupfer.

Concerts of the Rundfunkchor Berlin take place in different locations. For example: