The Philharmonic Chorus of Munich is one of the leading large scale concert choruses in Germany and partner chorus of the Munich Philharmonic. Its repertoire ranges throughout the choral music of every period, from early polyphonic works all the way to the music of the present day. It comprises any number of well-known and lesser-known works: demanding a-cappella literature of all eras and concert versions of operas from Mozart to Verdi, Puccini, Wagner and Strauss all the way to Schönberg's "Moses und Aron" and Henze's "Die Bassariden". The Philharmonic Chorus of Munich sings this literature along with the many magnificent choral works of such significant masters as Bach, Händel, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner, Reger, Stravinsky, Orff and Penderecki. It has performed under such major composers and conductors as Gustav Mahler, Hans Pfitzner, Krzysztof Penderecki, Rudolf Kempe, Herbert von Karajan, Sergiu Celebidache, Seiji Ozawa, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Mehta, Mariss Jansons, James Levine, Christian Thielemann and the current Chief Director of the Munich Philhatrmonic, Lorin Maazel.
To be able to present audiences outstanding performances, whatever the musical style, the Philharmonic Chorus of Munich performs both in its regular complement of some 200 singers in Munich's Philharmonie on the Gasteig, as well as in smaller, or even, when necessary, in larger forces. The additional work in changing chamber chorus and vocal ensemble configurations puts it in a position to give top-level performances in suitable formation, whether the work to be tackled is a baroque masterpiece or a complicated New Music composition. And so the Munich Philharmonic Chorus and its ensembles have taken part time and again in first performances and world premières. In the Early Music field, the successful presentation of the St. John Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach under Frans Brüggen was followed by an invitation to the Dresden Music Festival. New Music is continuously gaining in status: in this context, the chorus collaborated with the Munich Philharmonic in the world première of the 2nd Symphony by Peter Michael Hamel as part of the "XIth Munich Biennale in 2008".
Meanwhile, the Philharmonic Chorus of Munich is also a much sought-after interpreter of operatic choruses. A tradition introduced by James Levine with memorable concert performances of "Fidelio", "Idomeneo", "Otello", "Parsifal" and "Moses und Aron", has been continued: in cooperation, among others, with the Amsterdam Companions Opera and the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, most recently with five performances of Verdi's "Aida" in the Summer of 2006 at Munich's Olympia Hall and the SAP Arena in Mannheim. Under Christian Thielemann, Zubin Mehta and Mariss Jansons, the Chorus teamed up with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Bavarian State Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic, as well as the choruses of Bavarian Broadcasting and the Bavarian State Orchestra to perform, among other works, great operatic choruses by Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi at the unique "Three Orchestras" with Plácido Domingo event in Munich's Olympic Arena in commemoration of the 2006 Soccer World Cup that took place in Germany. But in addition to these gala events, there were also performances of operatic choruses in the concert hall: in 2007 there was a grand evening of operatic choruses from Verdi operas with the Munich Philharmonic on the program, and selections from Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger" were recently performed under the baton of Christian Thielemann. The chorus, which defines itself by its collaborations with the Munich Philharmonic, was further able to round off its schedule with concerts and recordings of its own, which enjoyed great public appeal. Beyond this, the Philharmonic Chorus of Munich is a welcome guest at concert events and festivals in Germany as well as in other parts of Germany and overseas.
The ensemble, in its meanwhile over 110-year history, has been directed by such renowned choral music experts as Rudolf Lamy, Dr. Hans-Rudolf Zöbeley, Josef Schmidhuber, Prof. Joshuard Daus, Prof. Michael Gläser and the Dresden Kreuzkirche Cantor Prof. Roderich Kreile. Since 1996, Andreas Herrmann, Professor of Choral Conducting at the Munich Academy of Music and Theatre, has assumed the artistic direction in his capacity as Choral Director of the Munich Philharmonic.
To find out more about the Philharmonic Chorus of Munich, its concerts, projects and members, please check out the Chorus?s home page (www.philchor.net) or subscribe to the newsletter.