Under Esa-Pekka Salonen the choir has enjoyed several notable triumphs, particularly in 20th-centuryand contemporary repertoire. These have included performances of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (after which a Sunday Times review described the choir as ‘spectacularly good’); Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, subsequently released as a critically lauded live recording; and an acclaimed performance of Dallapiccola’s neglected one-act opera Il Prigioniero. Philharmonia Voices have also worked with conductors including John Wilson, Kent Nagano, Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Christoph von Dohnányi. Highlights of the choir’s early history included memorable performances with the Philharmonia of Britten’s Death in Venice and Vaughan Williams’s The Pilgrim’s Progress under Richard Hickox.
The members of Philharmonia Voices are drawn from some of the finest young singers in the country, most of them either at the start of their professional careers or completing their conservatoire studies. Working exclusively with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the size and make-up of the choir is able to be tailored precisely to the varying demands of each collaboration by Chorus Master Aidan Oliver, providing the Orchestra with a choral partnership of unique flexibility.