President of INTERKULTUR & World Choir Council, founder and president of the World Choir Games
It all begins in 1990 with the foundation of the INTERKULTUR association, which Günter Titsch, born in 1946 and a passionate choir singer, brought into being at that time. He is driven by the vision to connect people from all over the world through music and to bring together choir singers across all borders and differences in peaceful competition.
After various professional stations and experiences, the first International Choir Competition initiated by Titsch in 1988 in Budapest acted as an igniting spark. Such a competition across the East-West divide is an absolute novelty and the foundation stone for the association founded two years later, which is dedicated to establishing international choral events.
In the decades that followed, Günter Titsch and his competent international team develop the INTERKULTUR choral events into the largest and most successful cultural event series in the world. Under the motto Singing together brings nations together, Titsch's organizing team brings together nearly 10,500 choirs with almost 450,000 active singers from 108 countries to this day (11/2022). INTERKULTUR events become magnets on all continents.
Openness for everyone, equality of opportunity in access as well as in competition - these are the principles followed by the ancient Olympic Games. They constituted participation as the highest honor. The INTERKULTUR events inspired by Titsch also follow these principles. They are open to all choirs, regardless of their previous competition experience.
An outstanding international success in the 2000s is the idea of the "Choir Olympics" based on the ancient model of the Olympic Games of sports. This event, which later becomes known as the "World Choir Games", surpasses anything that has ever been seen before in the field of choral music and, after its launch, goes on a successful course around the world: Austria, the Republic of Korea, Germany, China, the USA, Latvia, Russia, South Africa and Belgium are stations of this unique event until 2021. Future hosts will be the city of Gangneung, Republic of Korea in 2023 and Auckland in New Zealand in 2024.
Competitions like the World Choir Games bring together people of different cultural, political and religious backgrounds on the common denominator of enthusiasm for singing in choirs. This creates opportunities to test stereotypes and replace them with self-gained judgments, sometimes spectacularly. Choirs from South and North Korea, from Israel and Iran perform together on stage, setting signs for peace in friendship concerts.
Titsch's vision is understood and appreciated. In the universal choral community as well as by outstanding representatives of culture and among state leaders. His achievements as a developer of new ideas and his successes as an entrepreneur are exemplarily confirmed by awards at home and abroad. In 2012, Federal President Joachim Gauck awards him the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his credits as a "voluntary ambassador of culture". In 2009, he becomes one of the first Europeans to be made an honorary citizen of Xiamen, China. This is an extremely prestigious recognition of his commitment to the cultural exchange of the People's Republic of China on an international level. In 2006, he accepts the European Culture Award on behalf of INTERKULTUR, once established by former German Interior Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher.