The Philharmonia Chorus was founded by Walter Legge in 1957 to record Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Philharmonia Orchestra. During its existence it has appeared with many of the world's leading conductors and orchestras, made more than 50 classic recordings and received five awards from the American National Academy of Recorded Arts and Science for the best choral recording of the year. Its varied repertoire encompasses both the great classical and romantic works, as well as those of the 20th century.
The founding Chorus Master, Wilhelm Pitz, was succeeded by a distinguished line, which includes Walter Hagen Groll, Norbert Balatsch, Horst Neumann, David Hill and now Robert Dean, who was appointed Artistic Director and Chorus Master in April 1998.
THe Chorus has taken part in many historic performances throughout Europe and has had the honour of appearing at La Scala, Milan, with Carlo Maria Giulini, at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam with Bernard Haitink and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with Sir Simon Rattle.
Recent performances include Handel's 'Messiah' with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Richard Hickox, two concerts at the Royal Albert Hall with Lesley Garrett and a performance of Verdi's 'Requiem' with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Paul Daniel. There have also been concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Sir Simon Rattle, a performance of Disney's 'Fantasia' with the Philharmonia and James Levine at the Royal Albert Hall and performances of Verdi's Aïda with Paolo Olmi in Italy.