The Philharmonia Chorus performed the St John's Passion by James MacMillan in King's College, Cambridge, with Mark Stone (baritone), the Choir of King's College, Cambridge, and the BBC Concert Orchestra was conducted by Stephen Cleobury in the Chapel of King's College, Cambridge on Friday, 2 April, Good Friday. James MacMillan's St John Passion is a large scale, dramatic presentation of the passion story. It is scored for two choruses - a Narrator Chorus (sung by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge), and Large Chorus (Philharmonia Chorus). The Chorus was prepared by Nicholas Chalmers. This is the first time the Chorus has worked with Nicholas, who is Assistant Chorus Master at English National Opera. King's College Cambridge was the perfect setting for the work, this being the culmination of this year's Easter at King's Festival in which MacMillan's music featured strongly. The performance was be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, the work's first broadcast performance.
The Philharmonia Chorus has launched its Professional Singers Scheme. Applications were invited from singers in the first 10 years of their careers, and those successful at audition will be singing as members of the Chorus in concerts later this year. Auditions were held January 13-15 at the Music Studios in Marylebone Lane, London, and singers were heard by chorus masters Stefan Bevier and Deborah Miles-Johnson, with chorus accompanist Steven Rose.