The choir was founded in 1946 as the first of Bavarian Broadcasting’s musical ensembles. Starting in 1949, its artistic upswing initially ran parallel to the development of theSymphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, whose Chief Conductor has beenMariss Jansons since 2003.
From the beginning both ensembles have been linked in intensive concert activities and Mariss Jansons has repeatedly presented both ensembles together at the Lucerne Festival, the Prom Concerts in London, and in December 2012 Beethoven´s 9th symphony in acclaimed concerts in Tokyo and Yokohama. In 2005 Peter Dijkstra was appointed the Artistic Director. As an avowed anti-specialist he has presented a wide variety of programmes. These have includeda cappella productions as well as collaborations with the two Bavarian broadcasting orchestras and such period ensembles as the Concerto Köln, B’Rock and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. This position will be taken over by Howard Arman in 2016.
Because of its special sound quality and stylistic versatility, which ranges through every aspect of choral singing from the medieval motet to contemporary works, from oratorio to grand opera, the ensemble enjoys the highest worldwide reputation. This has brought the chorus regularly to such eminent festivals as the Lucerne Festival, the Salzburg Festival and the Rheingau Music Festival, as well as to collaborations with top European orchestras like the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam or the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden.
The chorus has performed with such distinguished conductors as Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Bernard Haitink, Daniel Harding, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christian Thielemann, Giovanni Antonini, Andris Nelsons, Riccardo Muti, Simon Rattle, Herbert Blomstedt and Robin Ticciati. In themusica viva and Paradisi gloriaseries as well as in its own subscription series, the choir regularly shines in world premieres. The choir has received a number of major prizes for its recordings: the 2009, 2012 and the 2014 ECHO Klassik for its recording with works ofAlfred Schnittke and Arvo Pärt on the BR-KLASSIK label. The choir was awarded the 2015 Bavarian State Prize for Music in the “Professional Musicianship” category.