Music & clubs

Inherent voice: Chor@Berlin

The eighth Chor@Berlin celebrates choir music for singers and non-singers alike is back for four days at Radialsystem and Universität der Künste starting Feb 22.

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Rundfunkchor Berlin. Photo by Jonas Holthaus

The eighth Chor@Berlin celebrates choir music for singers and non-singers alike.

Held at Radialsystem and Universität der Künste, the four-day festival goes beyond classical choral concoctions to feature plenty of pop and jazz, starting with Berlin’s vocal band Onair taking the stage together with the 50-singer-strong Slovenian ensemble Perpetuum Jazzile (Feb 22, 20:00). They join forces again for a more elaborate concert at Universität der Künste a day later (Feb 23, 20:00). That same evening sees an attempt to drag the 18th-century church music of Giovanni Battista Pergolesi into the 21st century, as the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin’s girls’ choir performs a slightly updated version of the composer’s “Stabat Mater” accompanied by two hip-hop dancers (19:00). If that’s got you curious about the performers’ rehearsal process, stick around for the premiere of Mit starker Stimme, a documentary about the 30-strong female ensemble (21:00).

A wide range of workshops for vocal pros and amateurs and a crash course in choir conducting give attendees the chance to participate in the festival. Even non-singers can flex their vocal chords when the annual Ich-kann-nicht-singen-Chor (“I-can’t-sing choir”), comprising Berliners and refugees, invites people to join them for songs in a variety of languages from English to Farsi (Feb 25, 11:00). In the evening, the open-for-all Sing Dela Sing event also urges everyone to sing along to all-time favs (20:00). You’d like to ring out the festival on a more serious, less active note? Then don’t miss the Grammy-winning Runfunkchor Berlin’s performance presenting Brahms’ musical rendering of Hölderlin’s “Schicksalslied” (“Song of Fate”, 18:00).

Chor@Berlin Feb 22-25 Radialsystem V/Universität der Künste, full programme at