The Flemish Radio Choir is a professional chamber choir whose programme includes works from the entire repertoire, with particular attention to Flemish and contemporary music. Each season the choir also commissions works from a number of Flemish composers. Since the 2005-2006 season, the Flemish Radio Choir once again makes its home in the Flagey building.
The Flemish Radio Choir was founded in 1937 by what was then the NIR/INR (the Belgian national broadcasting corporation). Since 1998, the year when it became independent from the network, the choir has grown from a studio ensemble into a concert ensemble. The 24 professional singers are under the baton of chief conductor Johan Duijck. Other leading international conductors also appear at the helm of the Flemish Radio Choir: eminent guest conductors such as Kaspars Putnins, Bo Holten, László Heltay, Paul Hillier and Hervé Niquet enjoy working with the choir.
Always in search of unique locations for its various regular performances, the Flemish Radio Choir appears on stages throughout Flanders. Over the years the choir has been able to work out regular collaboration with partners in Antwerp (ANUZ), Bruges (Hospital Museum OLV-ter-Potterie), Ghent, Leuven (30CC), Hasselt (Hasselt Cultural Centre), Brussels (Flagey and De Maalbeek Cultural Centre) and Mol (’t Getouw Cultural Centre for the abbey concerts series). In addition, the choir is frequently invited to take part in the performances of renowned ensembles such as the Flemish Radio Orchestra, the Beethoven Academy, deFilharmonie, Prima La Musica, the Belgian National Orchestra and the Flemish Opera.
The Flemish Radio Choir has maintained its unique status as a radio choir. Its close ties with public broadcasting can be seen through numerous studio productions and participation in events organised by radio and television. Moreover, virtually every concert is taped by Klara, thus allowing the choir to build up a unique collection of recordings that include work by Flemish composers.
Since the 2004-2005 season, the Flemish Radio Choir has been bringing out a collection of CDs with the Glossa label made up of the major repertoire for chamber choir. The first recording, the ‘Missa brevis’ of Zoltán Kodály conducted by Johan Duijck, was received with enthusiasm by critics abroad. With the help of BMG Music Publishing, the choir is working on the worldwide development of its collection of scores, while its partnership with Klara focuses on exploring Flemish music. Within the latter venture, the choir is recording a series of monographs of Flemish composers.
The Flemish Radio Choir is supported by the Flemish Community and the National Lottery.