Berlin's RIAS Kammerchor Begins North American Debut Tour

Classic Arts News   Berlin's RIAS Kammerchor Begins North American Debut Tour
The who? For those who don't know their recordings, that's the RIAS Kammerchor, and it's one of Europe's most acclaimed chamber choirs. The "RIAS" stands for Rundfunk im amerikanischen Sektor (Radio in the American Sector), from the days of divided Berlin. While RIAS itself may have passed into history along with the Berlin Wall, its Kammerchor survives and thrives (sometimes under the name Berlin Radio Choir), with sheaves of good reviews and a recording contract with Harmonia Mundi. (The old RIAS orchestra lives on as well, by the way, as the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin; Kent Nagano was its principal conductor until June of this year.)

The RIAS Kammerchor opens its first tour of North America tonight in Atlanta, giving ten concerts in 17 days. The program for the US concerts includes German Romantic choral works (Brahms, Schubert, Schumann) and three pieces by the late modernist Gy‹rgy Ligeti; Canadian audiences will hear newer works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Brian Cherney and Vito Zuraj added to the mix. Toronto will get a second concert: a joint appearance with the Studio de musique ancienne de Montr_al, each choir singing its repertoire in alternation from opposite sides of the venue. For yet more variety, the Kammerchor's new recording — of Stravinsky's hair-raising Les Noces and majestic Mass — should be available at the concerts.

The itinerary for the RIAS Kammerchor's tour is as follows:

November 11 :: Atlanta, GA :: Spivey Hall (
November 13 :: Oxford, MS :: University of Mississippi
November 14 :: Nashville, TN :: Vanderbilt University
November 16 :: San Francisco, CA :: Herbst Theatre
November 18 :: New York, NY :: The Temple of Dendur,
Metropolitan Museum of Art (
November 19 :: Rochester, NY :: Kilbourn Hall,
Eastman School of Music (
November 21 :: Montreal, QC :: Christ Church Cathedral
(benefit concert for Studio de musique ancienne de Montr_al)
November 24 :: Toronto, ON :: Metropolitan United Church
(joint concert with Studio de musique ancienne de Montr_al)
November 26 :: Toronto, ON :: Metropolitan United Church
November 27 :: Kitchener, ON :: Centre in the Square

More information about the RIAS Kammerchor, including concert dates and recordings, is available at

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