Girl seeking to join renowned Berlin boys choir loses lawsuit

Posted on: August 20, 2019

“A court Friday blocked a 9-year-old German girl from joining Berlin’s oldest cultural institution, its all-boys’ choir, after she sued to be allowed to sing with the chorus, in a case that pitted a push for gender parity against centuries of musical tradition,” writs Melissa Eddy in Friday’s (8/16) New York Times. “The suit argued that because the choir—the State and Cathedral Choir, part of Berlin’s University of the Arts—is a publicly funded cultural institution, its high-quality, intense musical education, voice training and performance opportunities must be made available to everyone, regardless of gender…. The 9-year-old girl … … first tried to enter the choir in 2016…. The judge described the case as a test case and allowed for an appeal…. Founded in 1465 [the choir] has grown into a public institution that includes more than 250 singers in 11 ensembles…. All-girls’ choirs exist in Germany…. But in Berlin, the girls’ choir is only organizationally linked to the State and Cathedral Choir. The ensemble’s website does not advertise a superior music educational opportunity for girls. Instead, there are links to PayPal and details about the foundation that parents can join to support the choir.”

Posted August 20, 2019