Music at the HU

Klangkörper der HU in der Philharmonie
(© Matthias Heyde)

Three choirs, two symphony orchestras, one big band: under the umbrella of “Music at the HU” (Musik an der HU), the Humboldt-Universität offers the public a broad musical programme with concerts at various Berlin venues – large churches, the Konzerthaus or the Philharmonie. The students in these ensembles have the opportunity to be musically active in a variety of ways.

Humboldt Student Philharmonic Orchestra and HU Symphony Orchestra

From Bach to Duke Ellington, from Schubert symphonies to Britten’s “War Requiem”: every semester, the two orchestras rehearse an exciting programme under the direction of University Music Director Prof. Constantin Alex – a variety of symphonic works, as well as oratorios, or even an opera, once in a while, with the Humboldt Philharmonic Choir. Some of the highlights of orchestra life include the rehearsal weekends in Neuendorf/Brandenburg, concert tours – and our basement party room, with drinks at cost price and table football, ensuring a jovial end to rehearsals!

Humboldts Studentische Philharmonie
Symphonisches Orchester der HU

Orchester bei einem Konzert
(© Valentin Donath)

Humboldt Philharmonic Choir

170 singers on one stage – that’s quite something to behold! The Humboldt Philharmonic Choir devotes itself to the great choral symphonic works under the direction of University Music Director Prof. Constantin Alex. A musical highlight of recent years has been Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” together with the Choir of the HU and the two student symphony orchestras. The annual performance of the “Christmas Oratorio” in the Gethsemanekirche in Prenzlauer Berg is also a fixed date in the calendar for participants and the public alike! And, like in the orchestras, rehearsal weekends in Neuendorf/Brandenburg, concert tours, and ending rehearsals in our basement party room are a part of choir life.

Humboldts Philharmonischer Chor

Humboldts Philharmonischer Chor
(© Bernhard Schmidt)

Humboldt Philharmonic Choir

The Choir of the Humboldt-Universität was founded in 1975 and has one of the richest traditions of all ensembles of the HU. It does not hold back from pretty much anything that can be sung “a cappella”, that is, without instrumental accompaniment. Under the direction of Carsten Schultze, works from the 16th to the 21st century grace the programme, from Johann Sebastian Bach to Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to Jaakko Mäntyjärvi. International folk songs, Christmas carols and spirituals are also a part of the repertoire. The 80 members of the choir encompass not only HU students, but also those of “more mature vintages” – but there are no generation gaps! The fine-tuning is done at the annual rehearsal weekends in Schorfheide, during which the choir’s sound is intensively honed. Multi-faceted choir life includes summer and Christmas concerts and exciting choir trips.

Chor der Humboldt-Universität

(© Benjamin Wagner)

Chamber Choir

The Chamber Choir is an a cappella ensemble. Its repertoire is diverse and includes choral music from the Renaissance to the present. The programmes of recent years have been shaped by contemporary music and exciting arcs between stylistics and the sonic worlds of today and earlier epochs. Suggestions and new interesting compositions are very welcome.

Each member can contribute his or her vocal and musical qualities to a flexible sound, also taking on solo parts. There are about five to six concerts a year in Berlin and the surrounding area, and two to three rehearsal weekends. The Chamber Choir goes on concert tours at regular intervals, which always provides for a lot of fun, both on an individual level and as a group.


(© Danya Kats)

Humboldt Big Band

“We’re the Humboldt Big Band, and we’re good”. The Humboldt Big Band has been rehearsing under the motivating direction of Armando Carillo Zanuy since 2012, and it impresses not only itself, but, above all, its audience, whether at the jazz club, on the festival stage or in the concert hall. In addition to classic jazz standards, ballads and funk numbers, it increasingly plays its own creations, taking its listeners on musical journeys. The Big Band rehearses on a weekly basis, has already performed on international stages several times, and repeatedly enters into exciting collaborations with other musicians. It is therefore not just a part of “Music at the HU”, but also at home in Berlin’s jazz scene.

Humboldt Big Band

Humboldt Big Band
(© Bernd Kumar)



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Eva Blaskewitz

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Dorotheenstr. 24, 10117 Berlin

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