The Munich Philharmonic Choir is one of the leading concert choirs in Germany and the partner choir of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. It was founded in 1895 by Franz Kaim, the founder of the Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 1996, it is being conducted by choir director Andreas Herrmann, professor for choral conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich. The repertoire ranges from baroque oratorios to a cappella and choral-symphonic literature to operas in concerto form and the large choral works of the present.
Magnificent choral works
The musical spectrum includes numerous well-known, but also lesser-known works by composers from Mozart to Verdi, Puccini, Wagner, and Strauss to Schönberg's "Moses and Aaron" and Henze's "The Bassarids". The choir cultivates this literature the same way it does the many magnificent choral works by the eminent masters Bach, Händel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner, Reger, Stravinsky, Orff, or Penderecki. In this process, it has performed under the direction of such distinguished composers and conductors as Gustav Mahler, Hans Pfitzner, Krzysztof Penderecki, Rudolf Kempe, Herbert von Karajan, Sergiu Celibidache, Seiji Ozawa, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, and the current chief musical director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Christian Thielemann.
Both early music and 20th century classical music are gaining in importance
There has been a great boom in the area of early music in the last years. For example, following the successful performance of the St. John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach conducted by Frans Brüggen, the choir was invited to participate in the Dresden Music Festival with Bach's Mass in B minor in May 2008. The fact that current plans of collaboration with conductors now include names of celebrities such as Christopher Hogwood, Ton Koopman and Thomas Hengelbrock speaks for itself. The situation is the same regarding 20th century classical music: The Munich Philharmonic choir and its ensembles could repeatedly be heard in premieres and first performances. Together with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the choir performed in Krzysztof Penderecki's "The Seven Gates of Jerusalem", George Crumb's "Star Child" and in the premiere of the 2nd Symphony by Peter Michael Hamel at the "XI. Munich Biennale 2008" in the 2008/09 season.
Concert and opera
In addition to covering the entire concert choir repertoire, the Munich Philharmonic Choir is also in demand as interpreter of opera choirs and continues the tradition of performances in concerto form of "Fidelio", "Idomeneo", "Otello", "Parsifal", or "Moses and Aaron" started under James Levine under Christian Thielemann with "Elektra" and excerpts from the "Mastersingers". The choir is also successful outside of the Gasteig's walls, for example with the Amsterdam Companions Opera and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Verdi's "Aida" in the Munich Olympiahalle and the Mannheim SAP Arena in 2006. The choir is a welcome guest at concert events and festivals in Germany, Europe and beyond. The choir is represented by all major labels (Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Sony).You can find more information on the Munich Philharmonic Choir, its concerts, projects and members at