The History of the World Choir Games

LINZ 2000 - FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA

The young history of the Choir Olympics begins with a drum-roll in the Upper Austrian provincial capital of Linz: For the first time in the history of the international choral movement, so many choirs from numerous nations come together to participate in a universal choir competition and at the same time celebrate a great festival of choral music. The Choir Olympics are born and are from now on firmly established in the diaries of many choirs from all over the world.
Patron: Dr. Thomas Klestil, Federal President of the Republic of Austria

BUSAN 2002 - REPUBLIC OF KOREA

The Choir Olympics go to Asia for the first time. Busan, the South Korean port metropolis, is an outstanding host, giving the event an unmistakably Asian face and proving that the Choir Olympic Idea could also finds adherents in the Far East, resulting in enthusiasm all over the world.
Patron: Kim Dae-jung, President of the Republic of Korea

BREMEN 2004 - FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY

The Hanseatic city of Bremen continued the success story of the Choir Olympics, proving to be an excellent host of the world’s biggest choir competition. The closeness of the event locations and the compact setting of the city center created an unbelievable atmosphere. Music was made and sung on every street corner of the city center, so that one could truly take the Choir Olympic Idea completely literally: singing together brings nations together.
Patron: Dr. Henning Scherf, President of the Senate of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen

XIAMEN 2006 - PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

The Choir Olympic Idea reached a further apogee in the up-and-coming South Chinese metropolis of Xiamen. With their perfect organization and identification of the populace with the World Choir Games, the hosts offered an event of superlatives in every sense of the word. Never before was an event of the international choral scene given such attention by politics and the media as in Xiamen. For the first time a choir of ambassadors from 80 countries sang at the opening ceremony.
Honorary President: Walter Scheel, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany

GRAZ 2008 – FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA

The biggest and most successful choir competition of the world found its continuation in Austria. Graz, capital city of the province of Styria, is at the crossroads between different European cultures from the east and west, north and south. The unique old city center is one of UNESCO's world cultural heritage sites. In the year 2003, Graz was the spectacular cultural capital of Europe and in 2008 it was the world's capital of choral singing.
Patron: Dr. Heinz Fischer, Federal President of the Republic of Austria
Honorary President: Walter Scheel, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany

SHAOXING 2010 – PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

The 2010 World Choir Games were held as part of the 2500th anniversary of the Chinese city of Shaoxing, close to the metropolis of Shanghai. The world’s biggest choir competition had been fascinating visitors from near and far for 12 days. The host city presented itself as a unique venue and participants and guests from all around the world experienced the Chinese hospitality. The venue for main events holding 80.000 people and also six competition venues were filled to capacity. All competitions featured a high artistic level.
Honorary President: Walter Scheel, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany

CINCINNATI 2012 – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

For the first time the 2012 World Choir Games were held in the United States and the event exceeded expectations for attendance, cultural impact and awareness-building. Cincinnati residents were highly engaged in the Games, shining examples are 4600 volunteers and the Parade of Nations when roughly 30 000 people lined up on the streets.
A special part of the success proceeded from the variety and high quality of choirs from around the world, among them also more than 150 choirs from the United States.
Honorary President: Walter Scheel, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany

RIGA 2014 – LATVIA

The 8th World Choir Games returned back to Europe and were organized as part of the European Capital of Culture year in Riga, Latvia 2014. With 460 choirs from 74 nations and 27.000 participants these were the biggest World Choir Games in the history of this event.
Riga was a brilliant host for the event, offering top venues and concerts on a high artistic level. One of the highlights was the Great Celebration Concert of the 8th World Choir Games featuring 10 000 singers from Latvia and 5000 internationals, which took place on the Latvian Song Celebration Grounds in the Mežaparks.
Honorary President: Walter Scheel, former President of the Federal Republic of Germany