MDR Leipzig Radio Choir (English version)
The MDR RADIO CHOIR is the largest and most traditional public service broadcasting choir and is regarded by experts as one of the best. It is a musical ambassador for central Germany and its rich musical history.
When major orchestras in Germany or abroad plan to perform a choral work it is invariably the MDR LEIPZIG RADIO CHOIR that comes at the top of their wish list. As the largest concert choir within the German Broadcasting Corporation (ARD), the MDR LEIPZIG RADIO CHOIR is widely regarded among experts as one of the best. World famous conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Claudio Abbado, SirSimon Rattle, Sir Neville Marriner, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Georges Prêtre and Sir Roger Norrington have all paid tribute to the ensemble. The choir also regularly performs with the MDR SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA.
Not only an excellent partner for major orchestras, the ensemble regularly demonstrates its expertise with highly acclaimed a cappella performances. Secular and sacred music, wide-ranging ensemble singing and choral symphonic works complete a repertoire that encompasses practically a thousand years of musical history. Numerous world premieres attest to the 73 choir members' reputation as a specialised ensemble for contemporary music.
From the season 2015/2016 the Estonian conductor Risto Joost has assumed the post of artistic director of the MDR LEIPZIG RADIO CHOIR. His innovative a cappella programmes as well as performances of choral symphonic works have a particular impact on the choir's profile. The line of his predecessors includes names such as Herbert Kegel, Jörg-Peter Weigle and Gert Frischmuth, and in the fifteen years of his tenure from 1998 Howard Arman - who also created the highly successful format of the ‚Nachtgesänge‘, late-night a cappella concerts in Leipzig‘s Peterskirche - lastingly consolidated the reputation of this acclaimed world-class ensemble. He was succeeded in 2013 by Philipp Ahmann who held the post of principal guest conductor until 2016 and continues to work regularly with the choir.
Nearly 200 LPs and CDs – many of them award-winning – have been recorded by the ensemble during its more than 70-year history. In 2017 the choir was awarded the International Classical Music Award for its recording of Max Reger's Motets op. 110, and in March 2018 the Diapason d‘Or for its recording of Rachmaninov‘s Vespers conducted by Risto Joost. Whether via the European Broadcasting Union, through touring or in guest performances worldwide, the MDR LEIPZIG RADIO CHOIR, which was awarded the European Cultural Prize in 2013, acts as a supreme musical ambassador for central Germany.