The Choir

Few choirs are as easily recognizable as the Männerstimmen Basel: With their knickerbockers and their suspenders, they stand out immediately. They belong to a rare species of men’s choir which is young (the majority of the singers is under 35) and able to perform with both precision and verve. When the choir was founded in 2008, many of its initial members came from the Knabenkantorei Basel, the local boy’s choir. Many of the singers that have found their way to the Männerstimmen Basel since then, however, have their musical roots elsewhere.


The choir balances ambition with enjoyment. As any viewer of their performances will be able to see, the singers are friends who can not only rely on one another when on stage, but also know how to have fun together. What is essential for that community are the yearly concert tours, as well as the internal distribution of tasks  - almost every single member of the choir has some additional responsibility. The music that results from this mixture has repeatedly impressed international juries, as shown by the prizes that the choir has received at various competitions.


It is the ambition of the Männerstimmen Basel to be constantly working on their repertoire and to include also pieces and composers that are not well known. In addition, the choir regularly commissions pieces by leading composers in the Swiss and the national scene. Some of the names in this illustrious list are Eric Whitacre, Ēriks Ešenvalds, Ivo Antognini and Carl Rütti.


The choir is always thinking about the next project, which has so far resulted in five CDs and a multitude of unforgettable concerts and tours. Some of the moments that still stand out are “tongedrøn” (2010), a concert with video installation, the first prize in the category men’s choirs at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati (2012), participation in the Lithuanian “Laulupidu” in Tallinn (2014), the main concert for the album “pilagímr” in the cathedral of Basel (2016) and the associated concert tour to the Faroes and Iceland, the concerts themed “Helden” (“heroes”) together with the symphony orchestras of Chernihiv and Kyiv in Ukraine (2018), the project “Diluvium” which was centered on the great flooding of the rive Rhine that occurred in the year 1480, and most recently “Time is a river” (2023), for which Eric Whitacre composed and conducted the eponymous piece.


The Männerstimmen Basel are conducted by David Rossel, choir conductor and composer from Basel. Adrian Borter is the vice conductor. Rossel took over conducting duties from Oliver Rudin, who had been central to the choir since its foundation, in the fall of 2022. The conducting team is supported by a board of six choir members who volunteer their time to plan and shape the present and the future of the choir.