Johannes Brahms Int. Choir Festival & Competition

Foretaste of international choir sounds

Opening concert as prelude to the Johannes Brahms Choir Festival and Competition 2019

45 choirs from 17 nations represent the international choir world in Wernigerode this year. Four of them from Hong Kong, Germany, Russia and Hungary solemnly opened the 11th edition of the International Johannes Brahms Choir Festival and Competition yesterday evening in the completely sold out St. Sylvestrikirche in Wernigerode. The audience was thrilled and visitors described the event as “… the best Opening Concert I’ve ever seen.”

Prof. Dr. Armin Willingmann, Minister for Economy, Science & Digitalization of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, welcomed the singers from all parts of the world and thanked all parties involved: "I would like to thank the city of Wernigerode and INTERKULTUR for organizing this festival of music in a very proven way. Above all, I would like to thank the numerous volunteers without whom such an event cannot be realized at all. [...] I wish the participants of the competition all the best. However, much more important is the participation itself and the joy of singing together. You are offering a great gift to many people in this city."

The "Music Office Youth Choir" from China/Hong Kong under the direction of Angelina Au opened the event. The choir's repertoire ranges from sacred to secular, from classical to popular and from Chinese to international and thus inspired a large spectrum of choral music fans. The "Girls Choir of Gnesins College of Music" from Russia with Oksana Glazeva, who has been successfully performing at national and international competitions for many years, subsequently inspired the varied audience. With ARS NOVA, a chamber choir from Hungary, and conductor Dr. Katalin Kiss, a real "gold choir" showed its skills - at all INTERKULTUR events in which the ensemble took part, the group won gold and so far four category victories. Last but not least the local host choir, the Rundfunk-Jugendchor Wernigerode, appeared on stage under the direction of Peter Habermann and inspired the audience with two South African pieces, which were intensively rehearsed earlier at the International Conductor‘s Seminar.. The repertoire of the Rundfunkjugendchor Wernigerode includes more than 2,000 pieces recorded and performed on the radio, more than 30 records and CDs as well as international appearances and tours in Japan, Italy, Liechtenstein, the USA and Vietnam.

The official opening with a large choir parade and the subsequent welcoming of the choirs on the market square will take place tomorrow, Thursday afternoon - more information about the program and the participants of this year's Brahms Festival can be found at www.interkultur.com/events/2019/wernigerode/. For daily updates, photos and videos of the event follow us on Facebook and Instagram!