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The WDR Radio Choir Cologne, which was founded in 1947, is equally present in its home region of North Rhine-Westphalia and in the great concert halls around the world. This professional ensemble currently comprises 48 singers who perform a repertoire ranging from music of the Middle Ages up to contemporary works and from sacred cantatas to operettas. The Choir gives a cappella concerts and also partners with orchestras, especially with the ensembles of WDR Radio, to perform oratorios and choral symphonic literature, while also devoting itself to such special projects as film music and even music for computer games. Their “Music at Midday” series is especially popular and is offered free of charge in Cologne’s Minoritenkirche. Throughout the course of its history, the WDR Radio Choir has given more than 150 world premieres and first performances, including of Arnold Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron, Luigi Nono’s Il canto sospeso, Pierre Boulez’s Le Visage nuptial, Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Requiem für einen jungen Dichter, Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion, and Luciano Berio’s Coro. From 2004 to 2011 Rupert Huber served as Chief Conductor of the Choir; currently Nicholas Kok holds the position of First Guest Conductor and David Marlow that of Choir Director. In 2012 the WDR Radio Choir Cologne won the Echo Klassik Award for its recording of the Requiem by György Ligeti, which was named best recording of a choral work. Together with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir under Mariss Jansons, the singers are also appearing at the Salzburg Festival and the BBC Proms in London this summer. In the fall they will then join with the Berlin Radio Choir, the Berlin Philharmonic, and Simon Rattle to perform Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 4 September 1969 in works by Krzysztof Penderecki and Andrzej Markowski; last appearance on 9 September 1976 in Falla’s Atlántida under Jesús López-Cobos.