Photo by Jonas Holthaus
Though Berlin is the mecca of all things electronic, a decidedly more low-tech (and family-friendly) festival has its sights set on the human voice. In its sixth year, CHOR@BERLIN, organised by the German Choral Association, showcases some of Germany’s finest choirs and ensembles.
In addition, the festival invites visiting choirs, vocalists, organists, composers or the curious to workshops (in German) for Scandinavian choir music, vocal training, fundraising and more.
The festival begins on February 25 with a performance of minimalist composer Arvo Pärt’s Kanon Pokajanen by Leipzig’s renowned MDR Rundfunkchor (20:00).
On February 26, the festival plays host to a cappella ensemble Sjaella, also from Leipzig (19:00), six young German women whose vocal acrobatics are sure to dazzle in pieces ranging from contemporary classical and experimental jazz to pop. Later that night (22:00), the German Youth Choir’s performance, Nacht Lieder, will explore the search for peace within the city, contrasting pieces from Johannes Brahms and Max Reger with video installations and electronics.
The Sonux Ensemble, from Uetersen in Schleswig-Holstein, performs twice on February 27 (at 15:00 and 20:00) with their innovative all-male arrangements of selections from Handel, Mendelssohn and contemporary composers like Jakub Neske and Gary Jules.
For all you shower singers out there, the festival closes on February 28 (17:00) on a high note with an invitation to the Ich-Kann-Nichtsingen-Choir, welcoming the vocally impaired and choir regulars alike to share a night of singing in German, English, Arabic and more. There’s your chance to get over that crippling anxiety of singing in public. For sure, it’ll save you at least a couple of therapy sessions.
See the full programme at choratberlin.de.
CHOR@BERLIN Feb 25–28 | Radialsystem V, Holzmarktstr. 33, S+U-Bhf Jannowitzbrücke
Originally published in issue #146, February 2016.