The year is coming to an end, time to pause and review the past months – the experiences, successes and achievements.
2019 was an exciting and eventful year! At almost 20 events this year we were able to meet over 500 choirs from all over the world and had fantastic moments in so many countries: Netherlands, USA, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Sweden, Vietnam, Spain, Austria, Germany, Greece, Portugal and the Czech Republic.
The 2019 choir season opened with a premiere event in no other place than the cradle of the European Union, the Dutch city of Maastricht. The first INTERKULTUR choir event in the Kingdom of the Netherlands – the first edition of the International Choir Competition Maastricht – brought together almost 30 choirs from seven nations in February. With the next premiere – Riga Sings – the 1st International Choir Competition & Imants Kokars Choir Prize, we continued our wonderful cooperation with the Latvian capital after the extremely successful 8th World Choir Games 2014 and the Grand Prix of Nations Riga 2017 & 3rd European Choir Games.
Another highlight of the year was the Grand Prix of Nations Gothenburg 2019 & 4th European Choir Games. Outstanding choirs from Europe and the whole world made the Swedish host city Gothenburg sing in August – the sound of choral music from four continents floated through the whole city for 8 days. The second edition of the big TV show Eurovision Choir took place during the opening of the festival. 10 choirs from 10 different European choral nations competed in Gothenburg for the title “Eurovision Choir 2019” and millions of viewers followed their prime time performances live in front of TV screens all over Europe.
I was particularly pleased with the records we were able to break this year. By the end of the Early-Bird registration period at the beginning of October, more than 350 choirs with 14,000 participants had already registered for the World Choir Games Flanders 2020. By the registration deadline at the beginning of December, these figures had risen to another record level. With 542 registered choirs from 69 countries and a total of 21,000 singers, the WCG in Flanders will definitely be the biggest and best World Choir Games we have ever held.
With these record figures, our overall statistics have also broken a record. After 30 years of existence and with over 230 events, we have now passed the 10,000 mark this year – 10,137 choirs and almost half a million singers have already been brought together from all over the world at our competitions and festivals.
I thank all our partners and especially the choirs, singers, conductors and lovers of choirs all over the world for their trust and support. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, relaxed holidays and a Happy New Year!
In 2020 there are many exciting new and well known projects waiting for us and we are looking forward to bringing together many people from all over the world in singing again in 2020.