The Philharmonia Chorus is an independent symphony chorus based in London. Originally founded in 1957 by Walter Legge, who had founded the Philharmonia Orchestra 12 years earlier, it quickly established itself as one of Europe’s leading symphony choruses.
Notable performances in the past few years have included Bernstein’s Kaddish Symphony (Lucerne Symphony Orchestra/Axelrod), James MacMillan’s St John Passion in King’s College, Cambridge (BBC Concert Orchestra/Cleobury), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Volkov), the UK première of Sinfonia da Requiem by Jeajoon Ryu (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Nowak), Frank Martin’s Easter oratorio Golgotha (BBC Concert Orchestra/Cleobury), Mahler’s Second Symphony (Philharmonia/Salonen), Mahler’s Eighth Symphony and Britten’s War Requiem (Philharmonia Orchestra/Maazel), and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/ Noseda).
Concerts in 2013 have included a rare performance of Herbert Howells Stabat Mater at the Easter at King’s Festival in the Chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, later broadcast on BBC Radio 3, Verdi’s Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Danielle Gatti, and a concert of Verdi and Wagner opera choruses in with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Stefan Bevier. Plans for 2014 include Poulenc’s Gloria and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit, and three performances of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem, one in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Andries Nelsons, and two with the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jeffrey Tate in the Laeiszhalle, Hamburg.
Stefan Bevier originally 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 the former Chief Conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Sergiu Celibidache. He has worked closely with many conductors of international stature, including Herbert von Karajan, Eugen Jochum, Karl Böhm, Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Colin Davis, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Sir Simon Rattle, Christoph von Dohnányi and Esa-Pekka Salonen.
He is the Chief Conductor of the Festival Orchestra Berlin, the Baroque Orchestra Berlin, and is the founder and conductor of the European Vocal Soloists. He started working with the Philharmonia Chorus in 1999, and was appointed Chorus Master in 2010.