INTERKULTUR is the world’s leading organizer of international choir competitions and festivals, bringing together more than 10,000 choirs and nearly half a million singers over the last 30 years. People of all countries, cultures and worldviews come together in peaceful competition, celebrating the motto: “Singing together brings nations together”.
“Singers and choirs are very eager to travel and we like to work with cities around the world on forward-looking ideas for them,” Hans-Robert Dapprich Director Communications, Marketing and Sales, INTERKULTUR told Host City in an exclusive video interview.
“Our unique events are not only a wonderful experience for singers from all over the world but also for the welcoming host cities and their citizens.”
Cultural events of this kind benefit the host cities in many ways: marketing, business, networking and contributing to the urban development.
“The host cities and regions are the focus of the events. They are the greatest incentive for the choirs to make the sometimes very long journeys,” Dapprich explained.
Cities vibrate with music and life
A major event like the World Choir Games can attract more than 70 nations, 30,000 participants and an additional 300,000 visitors.
“They bring money to your city, visit the restaurants and connect with your citizens. This of course does not only apply to the big events, but also to the smaller festivals and competitions, to which numerous singers from all over the world travel and fill your city with life.
“The host cities are transformed into a wonderful, colourful spectacle where singing and sound are everywhere. The cities vibrate with music and life. The streets, restaurants and squares are filled with international sounds and spontaneous singing.”
For the host cities, these experiences are reflected in the far-reaching economic impact in tourism, culture, retail and hospitality – and of course, a large international media presence.
Andris Berzins, former president of Latvia put it this way after hosting the World Choir Games 2014 as well as the European Choir Games in 2017 in Riga: “Of course, this is the best marketing for a country – showing our strengths and actually expanding our international contacts.”
Reuniting the world
Another high-profile endorsement comes from Barack Obama, former President of the United States, who said in support of the World Choir Games 2012 in Cincinnati: “Events like the World Choir Games remind us of choral music’s power to transcend languages, cultures and borders to reveal our shared humanity.”
INTERKULTUR’s founder and president, Günter Titsch, was driven by the idea of a worldwide connection of people from all cultures on the wings of music – bringing together choirs and singers of all ages, colour or ideology in peaceful competition. Such ideals should resonate with audiences who are becoming increasingly concerned about the values of the events they support.
“By bringing people together – regardless of their origin, religion or world view, united by the universal language of music – we, the singers and the host cities and citizens contribute to bringing the world a little closer together,” said Dapprich.
“This is the essence of our work: it's not just about a competition or an event, it's about the people from all over the world, the exchange, the friendship and community – and of course a unique experience for locals and participants celebrating with the world together on one stage.”
Music, singing and live events have a great power to connect people, giving a sense of community. “That was missing last year and is still missing: the closeness to each other, concerts, singing together, but also travelling.”
While choral communities have taken many creative approaches to connect virtually, singing and performing together cannot be replaced.
“The choral world wants to sing again and to stand together on one stage. They want to meet again with singers from all over the world, they want to travel and explore new cultures and cities. And, together with you, we are ready to offer them exactly what they are looking for.”
With vaccination programmes well underway and many countries planning outdoor and cultural events in the summer, the indications are that the world will soon get a grip on the pandemic and that life will resume in some sort of new normality.
The 11th World Choir Games, which had to be postponed from last summer, are taking place in Flanders, Belgium on 30 October to 7 November 2021. The upcoming World Choir Games in Gangneung, Korea 2022 and Auckland, New Zealand 2024 are also on the horizon. And there are regional events to attract choirs from every nation, every size and interest.
“The choral world wants to travel again and sing on the beautiful and appealing stages of this world. And for this, we would like to engage in conversation with cities around the world, whether you might be interested in a smaller competition to present your city or region, or it’s about the big events like the European Choir Games or Asia Pacific Choir Games.
“The target group of choirs and singers is very open and eager to travel, and we would like to show them the world together with you. Get in touch with us and send us an email. We are looking forward to it!”
To find out more about hosting and staging INTERKULTUR events, contact Hans-Robert Dapprich on firstname.lastname@example.org