With nearly 70 vocalists, The Netherlands Radio Choir (Groot Omroepkoor) is the largest professional choir of the Netherlands. Since its founding in 1945, the choir has performed a broad repertoire. The choir is closely connected with the Dutch Public Broadcasting Organization (Nederlandse Publieke Omroep). The majority of its concerts are staged as part of the broadcast series in Utrecht (TivoliVredenburg) and Amsterdam (e.g. NTR ZaterdagMatinee in The Royal Concertgebouw), often in cooperation with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as a cappella. The very extensive repertoire in these series spans classical to contemporary music, with commissioned works by Dutch composers as well as premieres by foreign composers including Adams, Glanert, Gubaidulina, Henze, Kancheli, MacMillan, Widmann and Whitacre. The program also includes “classical” twentieth-century works, opera and romantic music. The Netherlands Radio Choir has also been invited regularly by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest), the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest) and the Berlin Philharmonic (Berliner Philharmoniker). Annually, The Netherlands Radio Choir organizes the Groot Meezing Concert: a tremendous event with a choir of 1000-1200 amateur singers (preceded by workshops), open to anyone who loves singing.
The first official chief conductor of The Netherlands Radio Choir was Kenneth Montgomery. He was followed by Robin Gritton, Martin Wright, Simon Halsey, Celso Antunes and Gijs Leenaars as chief conductors of the choir. Since 1 March 2015, Klaas Stok has been the choir director of The Netherlands Radio Choir. Michael Gläser has been the permanent guest director since September 2010. In September 2018, Peter Dijkstra will become the first guest director of The Netherlands Radio Choir. In September 2017, The Netherlands Radio Choir – together with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic Orchestra – received the Concertgebouw Prize for the important contribution the choir has made to the artistic profile of the Amsterdam concert hall.
Photo by Daniel Forniés Sòria
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