MAHLER CYCLE 2011
The Philharmonia Chorus was founded by Walter Legge in 1957 to record Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Otto Klemperer. It quickly established itself as one of Europe's premier choruses and has worked with many leading conductors and orchestras, both in the UK and overseas.
Notable performances over the past decade include Verdi's Requiem with both Valery Gergiev and Riccardo Muti; Mozart's Requiem, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Weber's Der Freischütz all with Sir Charles Mackerras; Wagner's Lohengrin at the Edinburgh Festival with Donald Runnicles; Bernstein's Kaddish Symphony (Lucerne Symphony Orchestra/Axelrod); James MacMillan's St John Passion in King's College, Cambridge (BBC Concert Orchestra/Cleobury); Mahler's Second Symphony (Philharmonia Orchestra/Inbal); and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in London and Spain (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Volkov).
In 2011 the Chorus gave the UK première of Sinfonia da Requiem by Jeajoon Ryu (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Nowak) and performed Frank Martin's Golgotha on Good Friday (King's Easter Festival, BBC Concert Orchestra/Cleobury). The Chorus has also recorded the choral music for three series of BBC Television's Merlin. Concerts in the 2011/12 season include Britten's War Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Lorin Maazel and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.
Chorus Master Stefan Bevier studied singing and double bass at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin, and obtained a scholarship from the Herbert von Karajan Foundation. He was a member of the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra as well as a regular deputy for them under Herbert von Karajan. He studied singing with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Schuch-Tovini and Aribert Reimann; and conducting with Sergiu Celibidache. He has worked closely with many conductors of international stature, including Herbert von Karajan, Eugen Jochum, Karl Böhm, Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Ricardo Muti, Claudio Abbado and Sir Simon Rattle. He is Chief Conductor of the Festival Orchestra Berlin and the Baroque Orchestra Berlin, and is the founder and conductor of the European Vocal Soloists. He gives masterclasses, singing lessons and conducting courses, and provides musical instruments to young musicians from his extensive private collection. He started working with the Philharmonia Chorus in 1999 and was appointed Chorus Master in 2010.