Heaven is Open
INTERKULTUR: A "Global Player" of Choral Music
Tensions in the competitions, cheers and relief, triumphant teams enjoy in the electric atmosphere of the Awards Ceremony. The experiences of thousands of young people at the World Choir Games, the world's biggest choir competition go far beyond the simple pleasures of singing. They share unforgettable moments of excitement and fascination!
The organization that makes all this possible is called INTERKULTUR and is dedicated to the goal of bringing people of all nations, cultures and ideologies together in peaceful competition.
Günter Titsch, who founded the organization and arranged the 1st International Choir Competition in Budapest in 1988, was convinced right from the start of the power of his idea “building bridges between people”. All people involved share their enthusiasm for choral music. It makes prejudices disappear, opens eyes and hearts for friendship and lays the groundwork for a convivial and peaceful co-existence, free of ideology or doctrine that goes beyond music. Within a short period of time, this philosophy has made INTERKULTUR an international top address for major musical events in the choral scene. Today INTERKULTUR organizes every year up to 14 international choir competitions and festivals around the globe.
Among its members the organization counts leading personalities from culture, politics and business, as well as choirs and orchestras, clubs and cultural organizations: the "World Choir Council", a kind of United Nations of choral singing, is made up of renowned choral experts from 80 countries. They represent no less than 120,000 choirs with 4.8 million singers, making INTERKULTUR's musical network a truly global one. The organization has offices and representatives in numerous countries and is supported by culture ministries, town authorities and countless organizations.
A "Quality Seal" for Fairness and Transparency
The World Choir Games – inspired by the ancient Olympic ideal – are INTERKULTUR's flagship event. They take place every two years in different partner cities around the world. As in sports, the singers compete on behalf of their nations for gold, silver and bronze medals in roughly 30 different categories – the ultimate goal is the coveted title of "Champions of the World Choir Games". No matter what category they compete in – from children's, women's or men's choirs, through folklore and jazz to Gospel – all are judged fairly and impartially by an international jury. The jurors work according to a finely-tuned evaluation system that INTERKULTUR developed over many years as a seal of quality “MUSICA MUNDI” and that guarantees maximum fairness and transparency.
Everybody can be part of it
INTERKULTUR's activities do not stop at the World Choir Games. In addition to a range of regional competitions and festivals, the organization also arranges continental-wide events, such as the European and Asian Choir Games. It’s according to INTERKULTUR’s philosophy that these events are not just for the best choirs in the world, they are open to all ensembles in the musical world. They discover a new, diverse world of choral song: cheerful and uplifting, full of the unique joys of singing together in a team. Friendship concerts, competitions and festivals nurture mutual respect and understanding between cultures, therefore giving a new quality to our common future in a world that is growing smaller.
Altogether, more than 7.000 choirs made up of more than 300.000 singers and musicians from 100 nations have taken part in 139 choir competitions organized by INTERKULTUR so far.
During the last years the idea of competing has been expanded by several pedagogical offers. Almost every INTERKULTUR event includes the opportunity for participants to get personal advice by international choral experts and to join workshops about vocal and performance techniques and choral music from all over the world.
The singers´ success – To Everyone´s benefit
INTERKULTUR has set itself the highest standards, aiming for constant development and improvement in the interests of its participants and partner cities and organizations: because INTERKULTUR also contributes to the success of its partners wherever its events are held: at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati the local Convention & Visitors Bureau noted an economic impact of $ 73.5 million. The event also brought considerable image benefits in terms of international media coverage and attention with a publicity value of $ 30 million.
While INTERKULTUR, with its events in Germany, Austria, the Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malta, Spain, Serbia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Hungary, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, and the U.S., has become an unmistakable prominent player in international cultural exchanges, its founder is pressing ahead with his next vision: INTERKULTUR president Günter Titsch aims to connect his competition with the Olympic Games by having both events held in the same place. After all, both ideas are inspired by the same principles: peaceful competition for the laurels of victory in a spirit of mutual respect, regardless of color or ideology. Uniting the world's sporting and musical youth would be meaningful and conceivable – an ideal that is within our reach.