Former New College chorister Simon Halsey has been honoured with the prestigious Bundesverdienstkreuz 1. Klasse, Germany’s Order of Merit. This is in recognition of his outstanding services to choral music in Germany since being appointed Principal Conductor of the Rundfunkchor Berlin in 2001. He has not only positioned the Rundfunkchor Berlin as an internationally renowned and Grammy-winning chorus, but has also acted as an ambassador for choral music in Germany. With the projects in the series Broadening the Scope of Choral Music, and the Festival of Cultures he has revolutionised choral activity in Berlin. The Bundesverdienstkreuz (Officer's Cross) – Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany – is awarded for exceptional political, economic, cultural and intellectual achievements. Significant figures to have received this award include the musicians Karlheinz Stockhausen and Hildegard Knef, journalists Helmut Markwort and Peter Scholl-Latour, politician Gesine Schwan and the industrialist and humanitarian Oskar Schindler. It will be presented to Simon Halsey by State Cultural Secretary André Schmitz on 25 January 2011 in Berlin.