Founded by Walter Legge in 1957 to record Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Otto Klemperer, the Chorus quickly established itself as one of Europe’s premier choruses. Over the succeeding decades, the Chorus has worked with many of the leading orchestras in Europe, and most of the leading conductors of the day.
Over the past few years, the Chorus's repertory has encompassed Der fliegende Holländer and Die Fledermaus in concert performance, Mahler’s Second Symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra (in concert and in the recording studio), James MacMillan’s St John Passion, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with both the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. There has been a rare performance of Frank Martin's Golgotha, and the UK premier of Jeajoon Ryu's Sinfonia da Requiem. The Chorus has accompanied Opera's Greatest Stars at London's Royal Albert Hall, performed Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts in the composer's birthplace, and sung Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by the President of the Chorus, Jeffrey Tate.
The Chorus combines amateur singers drawn from all walks of life, young professional singers from our own Professional Singers Scheme, and students from our Student Scheme. This structure generates the high quality sound for which the Chorus is famous.