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About the Bavarian Radio Chorus

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks 2018 (Foto: Astrid Ackermann)

The Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Chorus) was founded in 1946. Its artistic advancement has run in close parallel with the growth of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra). Since 2003, Mariss Jansons has served as the Chief Conductor of both ensembles, supplemented by Howard Arman, who was appointed Artistic Director of the chorus in 2016. Here, he has worked in close collaboration with both BR orchestras, along with other ensembles, in a wide variety of programs throughout the subscription series. Among the main points of concentration in the chorus’s work are contemporary music as well as its collaborations with such early music ensembles as Concerto Köln and the Akademie für Alte Musik in Berlin.

Thanks to its remarkable stylistic versatility, which covers every area of choral singing from mediæval motets all the way to contemporary works, from oratorio to opera, this ensemble enjoys the highest regard world-wide. Guest appearances have taken the chorus to Japan as well as to such top European festivals as the ones in Lucerne and Salzburg. Major European orchestras like the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam and the Sächsische Staatskapelle in Dresden hold their collaborations with the BR-Chor in high regard. The chorus has performed in the past under the direction of such distinguished conductors as Andris Nelsons, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Riccardo Muti, Riccardo Chailly, Thomas Hengelbrock, Robin Ticciati and Christian Thielemann.

In the BR’s modern music series’, musica viva and Paradisi gloria, as well as in its own subscription concerts, the chorus has regularly set itself apart in the presentation of world premières. It has been awarded a vast number of prestigious accolades for its CD recordings, among them the ECHO Klassik in 2014 (“Ensemble of the Year”). The BR-Chor also received the 2015 Bayerische Staatspreis für Musik in the category: “professional music making”.

The DVD release of Bach’s St John Passion entered the “Best of February 2017” list of the German Record Critics Prize; the CD with Rachmaninoff’s The Bells was awarded the 2018 Diapason d’Or.

“Die Engel muss man fliegen hören”

The Bavarian Radio Chorus backstage and in rehearsal with Peter Dijkstra
(by Stephanie Reinke and Stefan Brainbauer; video in German)

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