Under the current national circumstances, it is no surprise that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has announced that the planned performances of Mahler's Second and Third Symphonies with the Philharmonia Chorus at the Royal Albert Hall in March and April will not go ahead. We are delighted that the performances have been re-scheduled, and that the details will be announced shortly
On Thursday 20 February the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Mahler's Second Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall, London. The Chorus joined soprano Camilla Tilling, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston and the Philharmonia Orchestra with its Principal Guest conductor Jakub Hrůša.
We are greatly saddened to hear of the death at 92 of Norbert Balatsch. While chorus master at both the Vienna State Opera and the Bayreuth Festival, he was appointed to the Chorus in 1975. Over the next five years he prepared the Chorus for over 50 concerts and recordings with some of the most outstanding conductors of the time. During this period the Chorus appeared in concerts and performances of staged opera at the Roman Théâtre Antique in Orange, and the 1979 recording of Mozart's Requiem conducted by Guilini won the 1981 Grammy award for best choral performance. The Chorus flourished under him, and we are both grateful and fortunate to have benefited from his leadership.
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.
On Thursday 8 August 2019, the Philharmonia Chorus made an appearance at the 2019 BBC Proms in performances of Rachmaninov The Bells, and Borodin's Polovtsian Dances in the Royal Albert Hall. The Chorus joined 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 conducted by Tadaaki Otaka.
On Good Friday, 19 April 2019 the Chorus took part in a performance of Verdi's Messa da Requiem in the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge, conduced by Stephen Cleobury. The Chorus joined soprano Gweneth Ann Rand, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson, tenor Brenden Gunnell, bass James Platt, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. The concert formed part of the 2019 Easter at King's Festival, and was broadcast live by BBC Radio 3.