On Saturday 3 June at the Royal Festival Hall, London, the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a Grand Opera Gala with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Stefan Bevier, Chorus Master of the Philharmonia Chorus, with soprano Natasha Jouhl, tenor Peter Auty and baritone David Kemster.
The Chorus performed masterpieces from the world of opera, including Wach Auf! from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Entry of the Guests from Tannhäuser, the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore, the Grand March from Aida and the Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana.
We are immensely saddened to hear of the death of the Chorus's President, Sir Jeffrey Tate. Sir Jeffrey sang as a member of the Philharmonia Chorus when he was a student in London in the 1960s. He had a long and distinguished career as both a symphonic and opera conductor, appearing in all the major opera houses of the world. Earlier this year, in the opening festival of Hamburg's new Elbphilharmonie, we were honoured to be conducted by Sir Jeffrey in a performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, a work he had first encountered in the Chorus under the baton of Otto Klemperer. The Philharmonia Chorus has lost its President, and a great friend.
On Friday 28 and Saturday 29 April the Philharmonia Chorus took part in two performances of Mahler's Symphony No.8 in the Palau de la Música in Valencia. The Philharmonia Chorus sang Chorus 2, and Chorus 1 was sung by the Cor de la Generalitat Valenciana and the Orfeó Valencià.
The choruses joined sopranos Ricarda Merbeth, Julia Novikova and Ofelia Sala, mezzo-sopranos Theresa Kronthaler and María Luisa Corbacho, tenor Nicolai Schukoff, baritone Jose Antonion López, bass Alfredo García, the Escolanía de Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados, and the Orquesta de Valencia. The performances were conducted by Yaron Traub.
The Philharmonia Chorus was proud to be taking part in these special concerts commemorating the 30th Anniversary of the Palau de la Música.
On Saturday 18 March the Philharmonia Chorus took part in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No.9 'Choral' at the Royal Festival Hall, London. The Chorus joined soprano Rebecca Evans, mezzo-soprano Patricia Bardon, tenor Robert Murray and bass Derek Welton. The Philharmonia Orchestra was be conducted by Benjamin Zander.
This concert followed a studio recording of Beethoven's 9th Symphony at Watford Colosseum on Saturday 11 March.
This recording and performance was the culmination of many years of exploration by Benjamin Zander of the right tempi for Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. Musicologist Stewart Young's commentary on recording process and performance is here.