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Rundfunkchor Berlin

About Rundfunkchor Berlin

For many decades the Rundfunkchor Berlin has been working closely together with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and it is now a sought after partner for nearly all the top European orchestras. Concert tours in recent years have taken it to Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and several times to the United States. The repertoire of the Rundfunkchor Berlin includes the classics of choral symphonic music, spanning from Bach and rediscovered oratorios by Handel by way of concert performances of forgotten operas to rarely heard a cappella music from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries.
The Rundfunkchor was founded in 1925 as the Berliner Funk-Chor, disbanded by the National Socialists in 1943, and revived after the war by Helmut Koch. Conductors such as Heinz Rögner, Wolf-Dieter Hauschild, and, beginning in 1982, Dietrich Knothe turned the choir into one of the most sought after concert choirs in Europe. In 1994 the Englishman Robin Gritton took over as director of the choir. He systematically expanded its repertoire and worked to develop a transparent choral sound that was open to modulation. The Rundfunkchor Berlin is indebted to him for the subtle shaping of its tonal image. Sigurd Brauns has been working with the Rundfunkchor Berlin since 1979 as assistant to the principal conductor.
Since 2001 Simon Halsey has been principal conductor of the Rundfunkchor Berlin. A long-standing director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus for many years and artistic partner of Sir Simon Rattle, Halsey expanded the repertoire of the Rundfunkchor Berlin to include the great choral traditions of the English-speaking world. He considers it important to have direct, intense contact to his audience, and so presents so-called “sing along” concerts, regularly.