©Matthias Heyde

Berlin Radio Choir – a musical institution

The Berlin Radio Choir is Germany's most successful mixed choir. It has numerous recording prizes to its name, including three Grammys and multiple ECHO Klassiks, which are testament to its international calibre. Since 2001 the British conductor Simon Halsey has been the choir's chief conductor and artistic director.

Founded as the Berliner Funkchor in 1925, the choir was reborn in 1973 after the merger of two separate choral groups. From the beginning, it carved out a reputation for performing premieres and German and Berlin first performances. These included works by Milhaud and Weill and, after the war, by Bartók, Boulez, Henze, Orff, Penderecki, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky and many others. The major choral works from Bach to Schoenberg form the choir's core repertoire. Since the 1990s the Berlin Radio Choir has also been a commissioning choir. It has a strong tradition of working with the great Berlin orchestras and the world's best conductors – from Klemperer to Salonen. Recently the choir has developed a programme of including amateur musicians in particular projects, for instance the singalong concerts.

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