Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales
Chorus Master: Gavin Carr
Accompanist: Timothy End
Arts Council England
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    Revelatory Beethoven 9 recording released

    In March 2017 the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a recording of Beethoven's Symphony No.9 'Choral' with soprano Rebecca Evans, mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon, tenor Robert Murray, bass Derek Welton and the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Zander at the Watford Colosseum. The recording has now been released by Brattle Media. It is available on CD here, or can be dowloaded or streamed from here.

    Conductor Benjamin Zander took particular care to incorporate faithfully all the instructions that Beethoven left, as explored in the accompanying accompanying discussion disc. He explains his approach here.

    The whole project was followed by a film crew, and clips of the preparation, rehearsals and recording sessions can be seen here, and as a Gramophone podcast here.

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    Gavin Carr appointed as Chorus Master

    The Philharmonia Chorus has appointed Gavin Carr as its Chorus Master, in succession to Stefan Bevier.

    Gavin Carr has established a reputation as one of the UK's leading choral conductors, and has been Chorus Director of the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus since 2008. He has prepared the BBC Symphony Chorus for the Vaughan Williams' Dona nobis pacem with Sakari Oramo, the Dvořák Requiem with Jiří Bělohlávek, and for the première recording of Sir Arthur Sullivan's oratorio The Light of the World. Earlier this year he prepared the London Symphony Chorus for a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

    He was a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge before commencing an international career as a baritone. He performed lead roles with English National Opera and other major companies before taking up conducting in 2001. He has held conducting positions at the Cantiere d'arte di Montepulciano and the Wexford Festival, and was invited to found the Wexford Festival Opera Chorus in 2011. He started working with the Philharmonia Chorus in the same year. In September 2017 he was appointed to the vocal faculty of the Royal Academy of Music, where he gives classes in song and oratorio repertoire.

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    Haydn's Creation in Bath Abbey

    The Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Haydn's Creation in Bath Abbey on Saturday 30 June with soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, tenor James Oxley and baritone Benjamin Bevan. The Bath Philharmonia was conducted by Jason Thornton.

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    Poulenc and Rossini in Lille

    On 15 March 2018 the Philharmonia Chorus made its second visit this season to Lille's Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle for performances of Poulenc's Sept répons des ténèbres and Rossini's Stabat Mater with the Orchestre National de Lille. The concert was conducted by our chorus master for this concert, Nicholas Jenkins.

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    Mozart with Itzhak Perlman

    In a rare visit to London, the legendary Itzhak Perlman conducted the Philharmonia Chorus and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with soprano Ailish Tynan, mezzo-soprano Renata Pokupic, tenor Luis Gomes and baritone Duncan Rock in a performance of Mozart's Requiem at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 6 May. In the first half of the concert, he conducted Mozart's Symphony No.29.

Concerts & Recordings

7:30pm Friday 2 November 2018

Amadeus Live!

A showing of the Milos Forman film Amadeus with live music

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Academy of St Martin in the Fields
conducted by Ludwig Wicki

Royal Albert Hall, London

2:00pm Friday 21 December 2018

Handel - Messiah

Anna Devin - soprano
Anna Harvey - mezzo-soprano
Nick Pritchard - tenor
Benjamin Appl - bass

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Maxim Emelyanchev

Royal Albert Hall, London

7:30pm Friday 21 December 2018

Handel - Messiah

Anna Devin - soprano
Anna Harvey - mezzo-soprano
Nick Pritchard - tenor
Benjamin Appl - bass

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Maxim Emelyanchev

Royal Albert Hall, London

8:00pm Thursday 28 February 2019

Mahler - Symphony No.2 'Resurrection'

Miah Persson - soprano
Christianne Stotijn - mezzo-soprano

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Orchestre National de Lille
conducted by Alexandre Bloch

Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille

8:00pm Wednesday 3 April 2019

Mahler - Symphony No.3

Christianne Stotijn - mezzo-soprano

Choeur Maîtrisien du Conservatoire de Wasquehal

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Orchestre National de Lille
conducted by Alexandre Bloch

Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille

8:30pm Thursday 4 April 2019

Mahler - Symphony No.3

Christianne Stotijn - mezzo-soprano

Choeur Maîtrisien du Conservatoire de Wasquehal

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Orchestre National de Lille
conducted by Alexandre Bloch

Maison de la Culture, Amiens

Recent Reviews

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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, www.classicalsource.com, 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//bachtrack.com, 29 March 2018

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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, www.classicalsource.com, 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, www.seenandheard-international.com, 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

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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

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Beethoven - Symphony No.9 'Choral'
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Zander
Royal Festival Hall, London, 18 March 2017


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...this was singing of the highest quality, powerful, controlled, overwhelming

Anthony Hodgson, www.classicalsource.com

The Chorus was staggeringly good throughout.

Colin Clarke, http://seenandheard-international.com

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Beethoven - Missa Solemnis
Hamburger Symphoniker conducted by Sir Jeffrey Tate
Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg, 17 January 2017


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Above the introductory Kyrie in his Missa Solemnis Beethoven wrote that it should speak from one heart to another. This wish was fulfilled in the first concert given by Sir Jeffrey Tate and the Hamburger Symphoniker in the Elbphilharmonie. The music sang and breathed, although often challenged by hall's to some extent problematic acoustic, obstinate and dry. It reached the soul, comforting and shattering at the same time. The rest of the audience probably felt the same – for a long time they dared not applaud, and then broke the inner tension with great waves of rejoicing. The great Philharmonia Chorus from London, a top class quartet of soloists, and the orchestra on splendid form roused overwhelming emotions.

www.welt.de, 19 January 2017