Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales
Chorus Master: Gavin Carr
Accompanist: Timothy End
Arts Council England
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    Walton - Belshazzar's Feast
    Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 75th Anniversary Concert

    The Philharmonia Chorus was very proud to take part in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's 75th Anniversary Concert on Tuesday 21 September at the Royal Albert Hall. The Chorus joined bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel in a performance of Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, which was conducted by the orchestra's Music Director, Vasily Petrenko. In the first half of the concert, Sheku Kanneh-Mason played Elgar's Cello Concerto. The concert was relayed live on BBC Radio 3, and can be heard again on BBC Sounds for 30 days.

    The Philharmonia Chorus has enjoyed a long and close association with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, having taken part in over 40 performances with them over the last 20 years alone. Our first concert together was on 28 September 1971, in a performance of Mahler's Second Symphony conducted by Rudolf Kempe that marked the opening of their Silver Jubilee season, so this performance of Belshazzar's Feast marked our 50th anniversary of music making with this wonderful orchestra, almost to the day.

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    The Dream of Gerontius with Vasily Petrenko

    On Thursday April 7, the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The Chorus was joined by mezzo-soprano Kai Rüütel, tenor Ed Lyon, and baritone Derek Welton. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Vasily Petrenko.

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    Mahler 2 with Santtu-Matias Rouvali

    On Wednesday 8 June the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Mahler's' Second Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall with soprano Mari Eriksmoen, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. The performance was conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali, and it was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3.

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    Britten's War Requiem with Vasily Petrenko

    On Thursday 26 May, sixty years after its premiere in Coventry, the Philharmonia Chorus joined soprano Lyubov Petrova, tenor Andrew Staples, baritone Dietrich Henschel, the Temple Church Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall. Vasily Petrenko conducted. All proceeds from the performance were donated to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.

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    Mozart Mass in C minor on Good Friday

    On Good Friday, 15 April, the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Mozart's Mass in C minor, K427 in the Chapel of King's College Cambridge. The Chorus joined sopranos Carolyn Sampson and Ruby Hughes, tenor Daniel Norman, bass David Shipley, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. The performance was conducted by Daniel Hyde, and the concert forms part of this year's Easter at King's Festival.

    The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.


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    Jack Lee joins the Young Artist Programme at Wiener Staatsoper

    Jack Lee, who has been a member of the Philharmonia Chorus Student Scheme since 2017, has accepted an invitation to join the highly prestigious Young Artist Programme of the Wiener Staatsoper in September. A recent graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Jack has taken part in many concerts with the Chorus over the past few years, and took part in the Chorus's Masterclass on Handel with Ann Murray DBE in 2018. We wish him every success in Vienna.

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    Alexandria Wreggelsworth at La Fenice

    Soprano Alexandria Wreggelsworth took part in a streamed performance of opera scenes live from the stage of La Fenice, Venice, at 18.00 on Wednesday 26 May. Alexandria is a member of the Philharmonia Chorus Student Scheme, and has taken part in many performances with the Chorus over the past five years.

    Alexandria sang Mimi and Tatyana in scenes from La Bohème and Eugene Onegin respectively. The whole performance is available on You Tube.

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    Messiah at Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall

    The Philharmonia Chorus was back in the Royal Albert Hall on Wednesday 15 December 2021 with two seasonal performances of Handel's Messiah. The Chorus was joined by soprano Masabane Cecilia Rangwanasha, alto Claire Barnett-Jones, tenor Thomas Atkins, and bass Simon Shibambu. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Sian Edwards.

Concerts & Recordings

8:00pm Thursday 13 October 2022

Mozart - Mass in C minor, K427

Lydia Teuscher - soprano
Ruby Hughes - soprano
Andrew Tortise - tenor
Andreas Wolf - baritone

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Orchestre National de Lille
conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend

Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille

8:00pm Friday 14 October 2022

Mozart - Mass in C minor, K427

Lydia Teuscher - soprano
Ruby Hughes - soprano
Andrew Tortise - tenor
Andreas Wolf - baritone

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Orchestre National de Lille
conducted by Jan Willem de Vriend

Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille

3:00pm Sunday 23 October 2022

Mahler - Symphony No.8

Sarah Wegener - soprano
Jacquelyn Wagner - soprano
Regula Mühlemann - soprano
Jennifer Johnston - mezzo-soprano
Claudia Huckle - alto
Vincent Wolfsteiner - tenor
Michael Nagy - baritone
Shenyang - bass

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Bournemouth Symphony Chorus
City of London Choir
Tiffin Boys' Choir
Schola Cantorum of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Vasily Petrenko

Royal Albert Hall, London

7:30pm Thursday 30 March 2023

Mahler - Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

Elizabeth Watts - soprano
Jennifer Johnston - mezzo-soprano

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Vasily Petrenko

Royal Albert Hall, London

7:30pm Thursday 27 April 2023

Mahler - Symphony No.3

Hanna Hipp - mezzo-soprano

Tiffin Boys' Choir

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Vasily Petrenko

Royal Albert Hall, London

Recent Reviews

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Mahler - Symphony No.2 'Resurrection'
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Santtu-Mathias Rouvali
Royal Festival Hall, London


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'The chorus was marvellous, the pianissimo words crystal-clear, the German 'schhhh' sounds like puffs of air elevating Mahler's huge structure away from the gravity of the here and now to another realm.'
Peter Reed - www.colinscolumn.com, 9 June 2022

'This was a hugely impressive performance that seemed to shake the very foundations of the Royal Festival Hall...(the choir's) impeccable intonation and scrupulous attention to dynamics made it as impressive as it could be - it was as if time stood still. The Philharmonia Chorus's contribution was outstanding - thanks to chorus master's Gavin Carr's expert tutelage'
Keith McDonnell, www.musicomh.com, 13 June 2022

'And the Philharmonia Chorus were superlative, pressing forward and with the tempo unconstrained so the effect of their singing so wonderfully articulated with the rainbow of basses stretching across to sopranos became a drama within the performance.'
Marc Bridle, www.operatoday.com, June 2022

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Britten - War Requiem
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko
Royal Albert Hall, London


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'The performance was clearly prepared by conductor Vasily Petrenko and the performers with a care and love that aren't always evident in London's crowded orchestral scene. The Philharmonia Chorus were unfailingly eloquent, whether in the agonised, lost-sounding plea of the Quid sum miser or the tender Lacrimosa, where the choral chant was intertwined with soprano Lyubov Petrova's plaintive descents.'
Ivan Hewitt - The Telegraph, 27 May 2022

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Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko
Royal Albert Hall, London


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'The Philharmonia Chorus, ranged across the top of the platform, was superb in diction, sonority, accuracy and engagement. Their soft singing had a tangible presence despite their great distance from most of the audience. They made an infernal bunch of demons, encouraged by their impish Lord of Misrule, Petrenko. The conductor paced his tension-filled approach to "Praise to the Holiest in the height" so that it burst forth in splendour, and then cued every subsequent choral entry with a stab to the relevant section, each one in the coda growing ever more fervent. Such rousing singing, playing, and conducting, not least from the mighty RAH organ (Richard Pearce in the loft) led to one of those "we don't know if we should clap here but some of us really want to" from some audience members.'
Roy Westbrook, www.bachtrack.com, 8 April 2022

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Walton - Belshazzar's Feast
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko
Royal Albert Hall, London


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The Philharmonia Chorus sounded as if they were relishing every note.
Jessica Duchen, The Arts Desk, 22 September 2021

The Philharmonia Chorus, at full strength, seemed thoroughly delighted, whether they were impersonating wailing Hebrews or decadent Babylonians.
Neil Fisher, The Times, 22 September 2021

This concert was so gloriously enjoyable, it is hard to know where to begin. Gavin Carr is an admirable chorusmaster and Osbert Sitwell's words (selected from the Books of Daniel, Psalms and Revelation) were beautifully articulated.
Jack Buckley, Seen and Heard International, 23 September 2021

The Philharmonia Chorus mustered 112. Apparently, Petrenko felt they needed some help at the Royal Albert Hall, so microphones were dotted across the platform. The effect was startling, with the voices disconcertingly pushed right to the front of the sound. While this undoubtedly enhanced the choir, it also made them very exposed. There was nowhere to hide, so it's to their credit that they sang so well, telling of the downfall of Babylon with exciting verve and crystal-clear diction.
Stephen Pritchard, The Observer, 25 September 2021

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Handel - Messiah
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Eduardo Strausser
Royal Albert Hall, London


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The chorus were in bright, bouncy voice, crisp and very far from woolly in All we, like sheep
Neil Fisher - The Times, 16 December 2020

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Berlioz - Grande Messe des Morts
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by John Nelson
St Paul's Cathedral, London - Erato DVD


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Four hundred performers shake the pillars of St Paul's Cathedral and set the dome ringing in this immense live recording which blazes with hell-fire and brimstone.
Alexandra Coghlan, The Spectator, 2 May 2020