Founded by Jörg Straube in 1981, the Norddeutscher Figuralchor soon became one of the leading semiprofessional chamber choirs in the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1985 the choir won third prize in the Deutscher Chorwettbewerb (German National Choir Competition) (special category), and in 1990 its outstanding performance was honoured when it won first prize. Following this, the choir continued to win competitions, including international ones.
The repertoire of the Norddeutscher Figuralchor ranges from pieces from the 16th century to contemporary music; it specializes in the performance of romantic choral literature as well as in early music.
The high artistic and technical standard of the choir is documented in numerous CD recordings (some of them award-winning) and radio productions with NDR, WDR, SFB and Radio Bremen, both a capella as well as in co-operation with well-known ensembles such as Musica Alta Ripa, Musica florea (Prague), Concerto Palatino or Andreas Staier as soloist.
The Norddeutscher Figuralchor have made concert trips to Poland, France, the Czech Rebublic, Portugal, Spain and several times to Japan. In 1994 and 1995 the choir was invited by the Deutsches Auswärtiges Amt (German Foreign Office) and the Deutscher Musikrat (German Music Council) to give concerts in Romania, Albania, the Slovak Republic an Macedonia.