Berlin International Masterclass

Every other year, Rundfunkchor Berlin offers the Berlin International Masterclass to support the training of choral conductors at conservatories and universities. The students are exposed to the essential skills for professional choral work and given the opportunity at the beginning of their careers to gain practical experience with a world-class ensemble.
The masterclass also presents a real chance to enter the professional field: several participants of previous masterclasses have already assisted Simon Halsey in rehearsals.


The masterclass is aimed at young conductors (up to the age of 40) who are in the final years of their studies, have already graduated or actually begun their careers.


From 25 September to 1 October 2016, Rundfunkchor Berlin hosted the fourth Berlin International Masterclass for highly qualified young choral conductors. Over the course of a week, Gijs Leenaars and Simon Halsey worked with active master students, three days individually, then for three days together with Rundfunkchor Berlin. The results were presented in the final concert.


In 2011, Halsey published his knowledge and experiences in his book Schott Master Class: Chorleitung. The accompanying DVDs are largely based on film material from the first Berlin International Masterclass, held in 2010.

Final Concert 2016
Kampagnenbild Internationale Meisterklasse 2016

Aims of the Berlin International Masterclass

Young choral conductors are introduced to all aspects of professional choral work. During the 2016 Berlin International Masterclass, they learned:

  • how to learn a score thoroughly and prepare most efficiently for rehearsals
  • what they can expect from the singers
  • what the singers will expect from them
  • which skills are required for ideal collaboration with orchestral conductors and managers

What awaits you?

Eight master students are selected for active work from the list of applicants.


The public masterclasses with Rundfunkchor Berlin take place over the following four days. During this time, the active master students are joined by the non-conducting master students, who offer them constructive feedback, for example, how to translate ideas and actions into musical and sung form.


Each day ends with a round of feedback. In this session, with the active and non-conducting master students on an equal footing with the master teachers as well as the singers, the day’s acquired knowledge and experiences are discussed, elucidated and analyzed.

On the last day, the public final concert takes place at St. Elisabeth’s Church in central Berlin. The active master students each conduct a work from the Berlin International Masterclass repertoire.


All active and non-conducting master students receive a certificate of participation in the Berlin International Masterclass.