Productions & Initiatives | Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting

Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting

Every other year, Rundfunkchor Berlin offers the Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting 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.

On a par with the pros

Every two years since 2010, the Rundfunkchor Berlin has been inviting young choral conductors from all over the world to a one-week masterclass in Berlin. Eight master students study challenging choral literature and present the results of their work in a public final concert.

The Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting is led by two master teachers: the Principal Conductor of Rundfunkchor Berlin and a top-class guest. In this way the participants get to know two different perspectives and approaches.

The first three days of the course are reserved for individual lessons, the following three days are devoted to working with the Rundfunkchor Berlin. During the sessions, the young conductors communicate at eye level with the singers of the ensemble, the master teachers and the non-conducting students, who join in the second half of the week.

The masterclass is aimed at young conductors (up to the age of 35) who are in the final years of their studies, have already graduated or actually begun their careers. The masterclass presents a real chance to enter the professional field: several participants of previous masterclasses have already assisted in rehearsals with Rundfunkchor Berlin.

 

Aims of the Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting

Young choral conductors are introduced to all aspects of professional choral work. During the Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting, you learn:

  • 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
Foto Workshop, Internationale Meisterklasse Berlin für Chordirigieren 2016
© Peter Adamik

2018 Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting

From 17 to 24 August 2018, Rundfunkchor Berlin is hosting the fifth Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting. Highly qualified young choral conductors are invited to work with master teachers Gijs Leenaars, Principal Conductor of Rundfunkchor Berlin, and the internationally renowned swedisch Choral Conductor Stefan Parkman. For three days they will meet individually, then for three days together with Rundfunkchor Berlin. The results will be presented in the final concert on 24 August at St. Elisabeth’s Church in central Berlin.

Current event
Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting 2018

What awaits you?

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

 

During the first three days, the focus lies on the preparation and stocktaking of the selected active master students. The active master students have prepared the entire masterclass repertoire well. This will be acquired in these three days at the piano under the direction of the master teachers.

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.

Foto Abschlusskonzert in der St. Elisabeth-Kirche, Internationale Meisterklasse Berlin für Chordirigieren
© Peter Adamik

 

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

 

Repertoire

  • Anton Bruckner: Messe Nr. 2 in e-moll für achtstimmigen gemischten Chor und Blasorchester (excerpts)
  • Jonathan Dove: »The Passing of the Year« Liederzyklus für Chor, zwei Klaviere und Schlagzeug
  • Alfred Schnittke: Drei geistliche Gesänge für Chor a cappella
  • Igor Strawinsky: Anthem (»The dove descending breaks the air«) für Chor a cappella
  • Giuseppe Verdi: »Quattro pezzi sacri« für Sopran, Chor und Orchester (»Stabat Mater« and »Te Deum«)

Course languages

German and English

Travel and accomodation

All master students are responsible for arranging their own travel and accomodation. Lunch will be provided for all master students during the 2018 Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting.

Information on application

Active master students

Eligibility to apply

Young conductors in their final years of study, graduates and professional conductors up to the age of 35.

Costs

Application fee (payable until 1 April 2018): 75 EUR
Registration fee (upon acceptance for active participation payable until 30 June 2018): 450 EUR

Banking details

Payee: roc berlin
Re: 74 3 18 009 and name of the applicant
Bank: Deutsche Bank
IBAN: DE33 1007 0848 0510 0938 00
BIC: DEUTDEDB11

Please ensure that possible bank charges will not be deducted from the application or registration fee (in the case of foreign transfers). Please also take note of the other conditions of application and participation.

Application procedure

Stage 1 – Online application form

Via online application form from 9 January 2018 until 1 April 2018.

In addition to the completed online application form you must also submit the following:

  • Motivation letter
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Brief biography
  • Current photo
  • Video link
  • Explanation of the video
Stage 2 – conducting audition

After all received application materials have been reviewed by a jury, 20 applicants will be invited to stage 2, which consists of live auditions. These will take place in Berlin on 25 May 2018. The candidates will work for c.20 minutes with a chamber chorus of c.16 singers and conduct a work at sight.

From this group 8 active master students will be selected.

All conductors will receive detailed feedback from the jury on their auditions, so that every applicant benefits from the selection process.

Repertoire
  • Johannes Brahms: »Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herz« op. 29 Nr. 2 für fünfstimmigen Chor
  • Friedrich Cerha: »Vier Hölderlin-Fragmente« für Chor a cappella
  • Jonathan Dove: »The Passing of the Year« Nr. 1 und 6 für zwei Chöre und Klavier
  • Giuseppe Verdi: »Ave Maria« aus »Quattro pezzi sacri« für Sopran, Chor und Orchester

 

Non-conducting master students

Eligibility to apply

all interested individuals, no age restriction

Costs

Participation fee: 200 EUR

Banking details

Payee: roc berlin
Re: 74 3 18 009 and name of the applicant
Bank: Deutsche Bank
IBAN: DE33 1007 0848 0510 0938 00
BIC: DEUTDEDB11

Please ensure that possible bank charges will not be deducted from the application or registration fee (in the case of foreign transfers). Please also take note of the other conditions of application and participation.

Preparation

In order for non-conducting master students to obtain the greatest possible benefit from the Berlin Masterclass for Choral Conducting, we reommend a thorough study of the entire repertoire. Your opinions and ideas will represent a vital contribution to the feedback sessions.

Application

Via online application form from 9 January 2018 on.

In addition to the completed online application form you must also submit the following:

  • Motivation letter
  • Brief biography
Contact

Media

The book of the Berlin International Masterclass for Choral Conducting