Patron: The Former HRH The Prince of Wales
Chorus Master: Gavin Carr
Accompanist: Timothy End
Arts Council England
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    Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

    Following the screenings of the second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy in September last year, the Philharmonia Chorus will again take part in screenings of this film classic in the third showing of the trilogy, The Return of King. There will be six showings over four days, 14-17 March at the Royal Albert Hall. Middle-earth will come to life in Howard Shore's epic score, for which he won his second Oscar for Best Original Score, performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, the Philharmonia Chorus, and Trinity Boys Choir. The performances will be conducted by Ludwig Wicki.

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    Christmas Classics at the Royal Festival Hall

    On Friday December 15 and Sunday 17 December, the Philharmonia Chorus took part in three performances of Christmas Classics at the Royal Festival Hall, London. The Chorus joined Marisha Wallace, the London Youth Choirs, and presenter YolanDa Brown for a programme of Christmas favourites. The Philharmonia Orchestra was conducted by Michael England.

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    Philharmonia Chorus opened the Philharmonia Orchestra London season with Verdi's Messa da Requiem

    On Thursday 21 September, the Philharmonia Chorus took part in the opening concert of the Philharmonia Orchestra's 2023/24 London season at the Royal Festival Hall, a performance of Verdi's Messa da Requiem. The Chorus joined soprano Susanne Bernhard, mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill, tenor Stanislas de Barbeyrac, and bass Tareq Nazmi. The performance was conducted by the Philharmonia Orchestra's principal conductor, Santtu-Matias Rouvali.

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    Philharmonia Chorus at the Proms

    On Wednesday 23 August the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Handel's Samson at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the 2023 BBC Proms. The Chorus joined sopranos Jacquelyn Stucker and Joélle Harvey, contralto Jess Dandy, tenor Allan Clayton, bass-baritone Jonathan Lemalu and bass Brindley Sherratt. A member of the Chorus, baritone Will Pate, sang the part of the Messenger. The Academy of Ancient Music was conducted by Laurence Cummings. The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

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    Mahler's Third Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall

    On Thursday 27 April, the Philharmonia Chorus joined mezzo-soprano Hannah Hipp, the Tiffin Boys Choir, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of Mahler's Third Symphony. The performance was conducted by orchestra's principal conductor, Vasily Petrenko.

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    Rachmaninov and Scriabin at the Royal Festival Hall

    On Thursday 11 May, the Philharmonia Chorus took part in performances of Rachmaninov's The Bells and Scriabin's Prometheus, the Poem of Fire at the Royal Festival Hall, London. The Chorus joined the Philharmonia Orchestra, pianist Alexei Volodin, soprano Anush Hovhannisyan, tenor Toby Spence, and baritone Yuriy Yurchuk. The performances were conducted by Stanislav Kochanovsky.

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    The Planets at Bold Tendencies

    On Saturday June 3 the Philharmonia Chorus made its debut at Bold Tendencies, a performing space in a former multi-story car park in Peckham. The Philharmonia Chorus joined the Philharmonia Orchestra in a performance of Holst's The Planets, conducted by young Finnish conductor Emilia Hoving.

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    Tchaikovsky's Iolanta with Vasily Petrenko

    A blind princess, a doting father, and a miracle cure that can only act through the power of true love. No composer knew how to tell stories and tug at the heartstrings better than Tchaikovsky, and his melodious, fairytale one-act opera Iolanta leaves audiences reaching for their handkerchiefs every time. For this one-off semi-staged revival at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 November, the Philharmonia Chorus joined a world-class cast of singers who have known Tchaikovsky's music all their lives. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Vasily Petrenko.

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    Mahler's Second Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall

    On Thursday 30 March the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Symphony No.2 'Resurrection', as part of the orchestra's Mahler's cycle. The Chorus joined soprano Elizabeth Watts and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston, and the performance was conducted by the RPO's principal conductor, Vasily Petrenko.

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    Easter at King's
    Dvořák's Stabat Mater on Good Friday

    On Good Friday, 7 April, the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Dvořák Stabat Mater in the Chapel of King's College Cambridge. The Chorus was join soprano Ailish Tynan, mezzo-soprano Catherine Wyn Rogers, tenor Daniel Norman and bass William Thomas, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. The performance was conducted by Daniel Hyde, and the concert forms part of the 2023 Easter at King's Festival.

    The concert was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and will be available on BBC Sounds for 30 days after the concert.

Concerts & Recordings

7:00pm Thursday 14 March 2024

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King in Concert

Trinity Boys Choir
Chorus Master - David Swinson

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
conducted by Ludwig Wicki

Royal Albert Hall, London

7:00pm Friday 15 March 2024

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King in Concert

Trinity Boys Choir
Chorus Master - David Swinson

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
conducted by Ludwig Wicki

Royal Albert Hall, London

1:00pm Saturday 16 March 2024

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King in Concert

Trinity Boys Choir
Chorus Master - David Swinson

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
conducted by Ludwig Wicki

Royal Albert Hall, London

7:00pm Saturday 16 March 2024

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King in Concert

Trinity Boys Choir
Chorus Master - David Swinson

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
conducted by Ludwig Wicki

Royal Albert Hall, London

12:00pm Sunday 17 March 2024

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King in Concert

Trinity Boys Choir
Chorus Master - David Swinson

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
conducted by Ludwig Wicki

Royal Albert Hall, London

6:00pm Sunday 17 March 2024

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King in Concert

Trinity Boys Choir
Chorus Master - David Swinson

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
conducted by Ludwig Wicki

Royal Albert Hall, London

7:30pm Thursday 11 April 2024

Rachmaninov - The Bells

Mirjam Mesak - soprano
Pavel Petrov - tenor
Andrei Kymach - baritone

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Vasily Petrenko

Royal Festival Hall, London

7:30pm Tuesday 23 April 2024

Verdi - Messa da Requiem

Miah Persson - soprano
Jennifer Johnston - mezzo-soprano
Stefano La Colla - tenor
Alexander Vinogradov - bass

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Vasily Petrenko

Royal Albert Hall, London

8:00pm Thursday 4 July 2024

Puccini - La Bohème, semi-staged

Mimi - Nicole Car
Rodolfo - Joshua Guerrero
Musetta - Andrea Carroll
Marcello - Etienne Dupuis
Benoît - Marc Labonnette
Colline - Edwin Crossley-Mercer
Parpignol - Abel Zamora

Le Jeune Chœur des Hauts-de-France
Chorus Master - Pascale Dieval-Wils

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Orchestre National de Lille
conducted by Alexandre Bloch

Director - Grégoire Pont

Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille

8:00pm Friday 5 July 2024

Puccini - La Bohème - semi-staged

Mimi - Nicole Car
Rodolfo - Joshua Guerrero
Musetta - Andrea Carroll
Marcello - Etienne Dupuis
Benoît - Marc Labonnette
Colline - Edwin Crossley-Mercer
Parpignol - Abel Zamora

Le Jeune Chœur des Hauts-de-France
Chorus Master - Pascale Dieval-Wils

Philharmonia Chorus
Chorus Master - Gavin Carr

Orchestre National de Lille
conducted by Alexandre Bloch

Director - Grégoire Pont

Auditorium du Nouveau Siècle, Lille

Recent Reviews

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Tchaikovsky - Iolanta
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko
Royal Albert Hall, London


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The Philharmonia Chorus sang with admirable focus.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 9 November 2023

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Verdi - Messa da Requiem
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Santtu-Matias Rouvali
Royal Festival Hall, London


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...but even more impressive was the Philharmonia Chorus. Sometimes a British performance of this piece leaves me longing for an Italian chorus, but not here. They were simply superb, whether in the cries of terror of the Dies Irae, or the consoling Agnus Dei.
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 22 September 2023

The Philharmonia Chorus were weighty in the Confutatis, and the enormity of their entry in the Libera Me was monumental.
Marc Bridle, Opera Today

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Handel - Samson
Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Laurence Cummings
Royal Albert Hall, London


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This spellbinding rendition of Handel's great oratorio came to the Proms as a heartwarming and uplifting blaze of glory. Vital to the success of the evening was the Philharmonia Chorus, who were on absolutely thrilling form.
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 24 August 2023

Allan Clayton's rich tenor defied the tricksy acoustics of the great hall, while the Philharmonia Chorus were truly outstanding. .....the Israelites' prayer in Act 2, its chewy harmonies sung with relish as part of an outstanding performance by the Philharmonia Chorus.
Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 24 August 2023

There's much to be said for performing Handel oratorios with a chorus several times bigger than expected. The Philharmonia Chorus numbered more than 100, and what a difference their weight and attack made. Using this chorus was a bold decision by the conductor Laurence Cummings and the Academy of Ancient Music. But it paid off in a work that depends so much on choral battles between the Philistines and Israelites.
Richard Morrison, The Times, 24 August 2023

The Academy of Ancient Music under Laurence Cummings for Handel's Samson so far, so promising. But full symphony chorus and the cavernous Royal Albert Hall? It shouldn't have worked, but the Philharmonia Chorus' performance was totally convincing. Delivering a majestic sound in big numbers like "Then round about the starry throne" and "Let their celestial concerts all unite", their touch was also light when required. Cummings' energetic attention helped, almost stabbing out their "Samson" entries in "Weep Israel", holding them to a dramatic pause after "strength" before they declare the hero slain.
Nick Boston, Bachtrack, 24 August 2023

A phenomenal evening which despite the odd hiccup attained a level of musical excellence available to very few performances, anywhere. These forces would surely provide a recording of great note.
Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 25 August 2023

From the opening notes of the first chorus, the fast and brilliant 'Awake the trumpet's lofty sound', the Philharmonia Chorus impressed. They made Act One end on a positive note with a strong account of the finale chorus, whilst Act Two ended in a more complex manner as the chorus' vividly urgent 'To song and Dance we give the day' gave way to the great double chorus hymning both Dagon and Jehovah. This was grand indeed, but Cummings also brought out the underlying dance-rhythm of the music. In Act Three, 'With thunder arm'd' was bravura indeed, with the chorus seemingly following Cummings' fast pace with ease.
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 25 August 2023

The Philharmonia Chorus, under chorus master Gavin Carr, was on wondrous form, whether capturing the solemn gravity of the Israelites' proclamations, or the carefree, hedonistic feel of many of the Philistine choruses.
Sam Smith, Music OMH, 27 August 2023

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Holst - The Planets
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Emilia Hoving
Bold Tendencies, Peckham


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When the hidden choir of women's voices (Philharmonia Chorus) joined in for the final bars of Neptune, to a ripple of harps, organ and celesta, the effect was ethereal, if not extraterrestrial. Some of the many children present - lasting only an hour and in daylight, the event was ideal for a trial concert run - looked round and up in astonishment to see where the sound came from. (In fact the singers had gathered, walking up and down to create a near-far effect, on the car park's level 7 ramp, alongside the ever celestial Sevenoaks via Nunhead train line.)
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 10 June 2023

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Rachmaninov - The Bells and Scriabin - Prometheus, Poem of Fire
Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Stanislav Kochanovsky
Royal Festival Hall, London


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Not to be left out of the carnival, the fastidious conductor Stanislav Kochanovsky and the constantly rippling pianist Alexei Volodin ditched part of their traditional black for open white shirts. So did half of the Philharmonia Chorus, a formidable force both here and in Sergei Rachmaninov's The Bells, the first half's more tuneful option.
Geoff Brown, The Times, 12 May 2023

The Philharmonia Chorus had that mystically intense quality the music needs.
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 12 May 2023

The Philharmonia Chorus provided a mighty sound in Loud Alarm Bells, their solo movement, but also backed the three soloists stoically.
Mark Pullinger, bachtrack.com, 12 May 2023

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Mahler - Symphony No.2 'Resurrection'
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vasily Petrenko
Royal Albert Hall, London


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The choir, who have to wait patiently until half way through the fifth movement for their entry, were sensational; intonation was immaculate, ensemble was spot on, words were intelligible in spite of being sung at the quietest of pianissimi (and, for the basses, going down to an impossibly low B flat below the stave).
David Karlin, bachtrack.com, 31 March 2023

Beginning with a whispered mantra, massed ranks of the Philharmonia Chorus built up to the quiveringly evocative finale with heft and ardour.
Neil Fisher, The Times, 31 March 2023