As soon as he was founded in 1948, the RIAS-Kammerchor played a decisive part in the revival of the musical life of Berlin. Before becoming a partner of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Berliner Philharmoniker, the choir participated along with the RIAS-Kammerorchester and well-known soloists not only in Karl Ristenpart’s J.S. Bach Cycle (68 cantatas, the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) and the Saint-John Passion (BWV 245) were recorded between 1947 and 1952) but in works of 28 other composers under this same conductor.
Conductors like Ferenc Frisay, Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan and Lorin Maazel were closely associated with the Choir, and in more recent years special mention may be made of its collaboration with Claudio Abbado, James Levine and Daniel Barenboïm. However, the RIAS-Kammerchor developed its specific artistic profile out of its own independent existence as a chamber ensemble and established an international reputation as one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, owing the lustre of its name especially to its performances of the a cappella repertory. In this respect the Choir occupies an unrivalled position among German professional choirs. Under its principal conductor, Marcus Creed, the Choir has gone from strength to strength. At the same time, the Choir has broadened its repertory to include performances of early music, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt, John Eliot Gardiner, Frans Brüggen, Roger Norrington and René Jacobs.