WDR Radio Choir Cologne

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WDR Radio Choir Cologne
WDR Rundfunk Chor Logo 2018.svg
Seat: Cologne / Germany
Carrier: West German Broadcasting Cologne
Founding: 1947
Genus: Radio choir
Head : Chief conductor Stefan Parkman, choir director Robert Blank
Voices : 43 ( SATB )

The WDR Rundfunkchor is the radio choir of the West German Radio based in Cologne .


It was founded in 1947 as the Kölner Rundfunkchor , the first rehearsal of which began on September 1st of the same year at 10 a.m. in the parish hall of St. Agnes .

A forerunner was the "Kammerchor des Kölner Sender", founded in 1927. In 1940 the entire orchestra of the "Reichssender Köln" was disbanded.

Musical focus

The repertoire of the choir, which consists of 43 singers, includes music from the Middle Ages, contemporary composition, sacred music, operettas, a large oratorio with orchestra, computer games and film music. A special focus is the choir's preoccupation with contemporary music: more than 170 world premieres were on the programs, including many commissioned compositions by the WDR. Notable world premieres were Schönberg's Moses und Aron , Henze's Laudes , Stockhausen's Momente , Nono's Il canto sospeso , Boulez ' Le Visage Nuptial , Zimmermann's Requiem for a Young Poet , Penderecki's St. Luke Passion , Xenakis' Nuits , Berios Coro , Höller's The Eternal Day , Eötvös ' IMA , Hosokawa's The Lotus Flower etc.

From 2004 to 2011 Rupert Huber was chief conductor. His creative, transnational program concepts resulted in unique concerts that opened up new perspectives of listening to the audience. Various CD publications document this work.

In 2012 the WDR Rundfunkchor received the Echo Klassik for the best choral work for György Ligeti's Requiem . In the 2012/2013 season the choir worked with various guest conductors, Nicholas Kok, the principal guest conductor, and its permanent choirmaster David Marlow. In 2013, Robert Blank took over the permanent position of choir director, mainly as a rehearsal for the WDR radio choir. In the 2014/15 season the Swedish choir conductor Stefan Parkman became chief conductor of the WDR radio choir.

In regional terms, the choir regularly performs cantatas, motets and especially a cappella literature in the North Rhine-Westphalian churches and, together with the WDR symphony orchestra or orchestras of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, choral symphonic works. The free music at noon concerts in the Minoritenkirche in Cologne are particularly close to the audience . The radio choir is also in demand internationally: in the summer of 2013, the WDR radio choir accompanied the choir under the direction of Mariss Jansons with Mahler's 2nd Symphony to the Salzburg Festival , the Lucerne Festival and the Proms in London. In October 2013 the WDR Rundfunkchor sang together with the Rundfunkchor Berlin with the Berliner Philharmoniker under the direction of Sir Simon Rattle in Schönberg's Gurre songs . During the opening weeks of the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie , the WDR Radio Choir and the NDR Choir took part in Mahler's 2nd Symphony . This cooperation takes place regularly, e.g. B. 2018 in Honegger's Jeanne d'Arc under the direction of Thomas Hengelbrock . Together with the SWR Vocal Ensemble , the WDR Rundfunkchor 2018 in the Elbphilharmonie realized Hans Werner Henze's Das Raft der Medusa .


Chief conductor


Recordings (selection)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b The history of the WDR Radio Choir ( Memento from February 16, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  2. ^ First guest conductor ( Memento from February 22, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3. WDR press release on April 26, 2013: Stefan Parkman is the new chief conductor of the WDR Rundfunkchor , accessed on April 28, 2013
  4. ^ Choir director Robert Blank
  5. Presto Classical: Künneke, Eduard: Die luring Flamme , accessed on November 12, 2016.
  6. Presto Classical: Straus, O: Die Lustigen Nibelungen (The Merry Nibelungs) , accessed on November 12, 2016.
  7. ^ Presto Classical: Weill, K .: Kuhhandel (Der) (Opera) Capriccio: C60013-1 , accessed on November 12, 2016.