The Norddeutsche Figuralchor was founded by Jörg Straube in 1981 and rapidly developed into one of the leading chamber choirs in the German Federal Republic. In 1985 the mixed choir of ca. 35 trained singers won third prize in the German Choral Competition (specialist category), and five years later they were awarded first prize for their outstanding performance at the same competition. The Norddeutsche Figuralchor were also winners of the 1992 international chamber choir competition in Takarazuka (Japan), where a German choir was participating for the first time, and in the 1997 Brahms Competition in Hamburg. At the 31st International Choral Competition in Tolosa (Spain, 1999), the choir won first prize in the category of polyphony and second prize in the folk music section. The group’s repertoire extends from 16th-century works to contemporary music, with particular emphasis on the exploration and performance of the romantic choral literature as well as so-called early music. The ensemble’s high artistic and technical standards are documented on numerous recordings – including radio productions with North German Radio, West German Radio, SFB and Radio Bremen – and confirmed by prestigious awards: the German Record Critics’ Prize for Peter Cornelius’s Choral Works (1988) and Frank Martin’s Mass and Ariel choruses (1996), and the ECHO Klassik Record Prize in 1998 and 1999 for Max Reger’s Sacred Choral Music (1998) and Brahms’s Complete Sacred Works (1998), respectively. In addition to a-cappella projects, the choir regularly collaborates with such notable ensembles as Musica Alta Ripa, Musica florea (Prague), Concerto Palatino, or with the renowned harpsichord player Andreas Staier as soloist. The Norddeutsche Figuralchor has undertaken concert tours in Europe and has returned to Japan, partly at the invitation of the Ministry for External Affairs and the German Music Council.