Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales
Chorus Master: Gavin Carr
Accompanist: Timothy End
Arts Council England
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    Sir Stephen Cleobury 1948-2019

    We were deeply saddened to hear of the death of Sir Stephen Cleobury, with whom the Philharmonia Chorus enjoyed a relationship lasting 35 years. He first conducted the Chorus for a Christmas Concert in 1984 with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge. The last time was on Good Friday this year, for a performance of Verdi's Messa da Requiem at the Easter at King's Festival, which he founded, and to which he invited the Chorus every year. Sir Stephen conducted the Chorus over 30 times. Our sympathies are with his widow and his family.

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    Messiah at Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall

    On Wednesday 18 December the Philharmonia Chorus will be taking part in two performances of Handel's Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall. The Chorus will be joining soprano Natalya Romaniw, mezzo-soprano Katie Bray, tenor Elgan Llŷr Thomas - tenor, and bass William Thomas. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Christoph Altstaedt.

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    Philharmonia Chorus singers appointed ENO Harewood Artists 2019/20

    Three Philharmonia Chorus singers have been appointed to the prestigious ENO Harewood Artists for 2019/20. Each Harewood Artist undertakes a programme of vocal and language training, is coached by experts in their repertoire and is fully supported through auditions for career-building performance opportunities with ENO, around the UK and abroad. Mezzo-soprano Claire Barnett-Jones and tenors William Morgan and John Findon were among the first singers who auditioned for the Philharmonia Chorus Professional Singer Scheme, and have joined the Chorus for many concerts. We congratulate them and wish them well at ENO.

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    Philharmonia Chorus at the Proms

    On Thursday 8 August the Philharmonia Chorus appeared at the BBC Proms in performances of Rachmaninov's The Bells and Borodin's Polovtsian Dances. The Chorus was joined by soprano Natalya Romaniw, tenor Oleg Dolgov, baritone Iurii Samoilov, the BBC National Chorus of Wales and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. The performance was be conducted by Tadaaki Otaka.

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    Philharmonia Chorus soprano takes solo role in Mahler's Eighth Symphony

    The Philharmonia Chorus took part in the culmination of the Orchestre National de Lille's 2019 Mahler cycle with two performances of the mighty Eighth Symphony in the Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille on 20 and 21 November. The Chorus joined sopranos Daniela Köhler, Yitian Luan and Elena Gorshunova, mezzo-soprano Michaela Selinger, alto Atala Schöck, tenor Ric Furman, baritone Zsolt Haja, bass Sebastian Pilgrim, the Jeune Choeur des Hauts-de-France, Orchestre National de Lille and the Orchestre de Picardie. The performances were conducted by Alexandre Bloch. The second performance on 21 November was broadcast live on the orchestra's Facebook page.

    In the second performance on 21 November, the first soprano part was shared between Daniela Köhler, who had developed some vocal problems, and Eleanor Ross (far right in the photograph), a soprano in the Philharmonia Chorus, who stepped in at extremely short notice to share the part with Daniela.

    The second performance is available on You Tube until next April. The Philharmonia Chorus has already taken part in the performances of Mahler's Second and Third symphonies in the Orchestre National de Lille 2019 cycle, both of which can be seen on You Tube.

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    Mahler's Third Symphony in Lille and Amiens

    On Wednesday 3 April the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Mahler's Third Symphony, with mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, the Choeur Maîtrisien du Conservatoire de Wasquehal, and the Orchestre National de Lille conducted by Alexandre Bloch. This performance can be seen on You Tube here.

    The concert was repeated on Thursday 4 April in the Maison de la Culture, Amiens.

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    Mahler's Second Symphony in Lille

    On Thursday February 28 the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Mahler's Symphony No.2 'Resurrection' in Lille's Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle. Soprano Kate Royal, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn, the Philharmonia Chorus and the Orchestre National de Lille were conducted by Alexandre Bloch. The concert formed part the Orchestre National de Lille's current Mahler cycle, and was broadcast live on the orchestra's You Tube channel here.

Concerts & Recordings

2:30pm Wednesday 18 December 2019

Handel - Messiah

Natalya Romaniw - soprano
Katie Bray - mezzo-soprano
Elgan Llŷr Thomas - tenor
William Thomas - bass

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Christoph Altstaedt

Royal Albert Hall, London

7:30pm Wednesday 18 December 2019

Handel - Messiah

Natalya Romaniw - soprano
Katie Bray - mezzo-soprano
Elgan Llŷr Thomas - tenor
William Thomas - bass

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Christoph Altstaedt

Royal Albert Hall, London

7:30pm Thursday 20 February 2020

Mahler - Symphony No.2 'Resurrection'

Joélle Harvey - soprano
Jennifer Johnston - mezzo-soprano

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Philharmonia Orchestra
conducted by Jakub Hrůša

Royal Festival Hall, London

Recent Reviews

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Handel - Messiah
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev
Royal Albert Hall, London, 21 December 2018

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The most engaging music-making of the evening came from the Philharmonia Chorus, over a hundred-strong, offering an unfailingly solid sound that rose to the acoustic challenges presented by the venue. With precise, clipped diction and lots of articulation the chorus brought bags of energy to the big numbers: "And with his stripes" had contrapuntal intensity, and "He trusted in God" bristled and burned. "Surely he hath borne our griefs" and "Since by man came death" had expressive range and striking emotional colouring.

Benjamin Poore,, 23 December 2018


Amadeus Live!
Academy of St Martin in the Fields conducted by Ludwig Wicki
Royal Albert Hall, London, 2 November 2018

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The Philharmonia Chorus was on top form with a well-judged mixture of power and pathos. In particular, the heartbreaking Lachrimosa from the 'Requiem' was both haunting and sublimely beautiful.
Alija Al-Hassan,, 3 November 2018

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Brahms - Ein deutsches Requiem
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Karl-Heinz Steffens
Royal Festival Hall, London, 25 March 2018

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The Philharmonia Chorus had been superbly prepared by Gavin Carr and delivered a clear, lean sound with faultless intonation. There wasn't a hint of strain to the heftier contrapuntal passages and the text was projected with admirable directness.
Peter Reed,, 26 March 2018

First and foremost, my praise goes to the chorus – and chorus master Gavin Carr – for their outstanding singing. It was one of the best choral singing of the Brahms Requiem I've heard. They sang with a perfect balance of compassion, warmth and clarity of text, and the fugal sections were executed with precision and conviction. Stefan Bevier would have been very proud. Five stars.
Nahoko Gotoh, https//, 29 March 2018


Walton - Belshazzar's Feast
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner
Royal Festival Hall, London, 5 November 2017

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The surtitles were not entirely necessary, as virtually every word could be heard from this wonderful body of singers.
Robert Matthew-Walker,, 6 November 2017

The Chorus is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary this season: the original 1957 body of singers set new standards in its day, and on this evidence standards are again very high under the leadership of the current Chorus Master Stefan Bevier. The quality of singing in Belshazzar's Feast was in fact wonderfully high, both technically and in terms of tone quality.
Alan Sanders,, 6 November 2017

The choir rewarded Gardner with with singing as poetic in By the Waters of Babylon as it was punchy in the terrifying cry of 'Slain'.
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 19 November 2017


Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius
Symphoniker Hamburg conducted by Paul McCreesh
Kloster Eberbach, Eltville, 2 September 2017

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The Philharmonia Chorus was the star of the evening. The chorus of around a hundred men's and women's voices pulled out all the stops, sounding now celestially transported, now devilishly sinister. The top symphony chorus from London, guests for the first time at the Rheingau Music Festival, gave us goose pimples with their piano and their forte had powerfully resonating energy. Together with the orchestra they created an unparalleled apotheosis of sound. Long, refreshing applause from the enthusiastic audience.
Manfred Mertz, Gießener Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 September 2017

Supremely good were the Symphoniker Hamburg and the powerful Philharmonia Chorus from London.
Bernhard Uske, Frankfurter Rundschau, 9 September 2017

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Music from the English Musical Renaissance
Marktkirche, Wiesbaden, 31 August 2017

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'...Vaughan Williams' Te Deum set the direction towards total vocal magnificence'.
Axel Zibulski, Wiesbaden Kurier, 2 September 2017