Philharmonic Choir Bonn
The Philharmonischer Chor der Stadt Bonn (City of Bonn Philharmonic Choir) , founded in 1852 as the Städtischer Gesangsverein (Municipal Singing Association), is now a leading secular oratorio choir in Bonn. 120 active singers form a semi-professional ensemble. Participation in the city’s choral concerts, primarily under the direction of Bonn’s musical director general, is the choir’s main remit.
Since 1983, the church director of music Thomas Neuhoff has been the artistic director. Under his leadership the ‘Philchor’ has become a sought-after ensemble in Germany and other countries. Besides nurturing the traditional repertoire, the choir has worked on great choral works of the 20th century, such as by Edward Elgar, Michael Tippett and Frank Martin, that are not often heard. In 2012 the choir worked on a CD production of Gustav Mahler’s ‘Symphony of a Thousand’, with the Gürzenich Orchester under Markus Stenz.
In 2013 the choir was involved in the performance of Hector Berlioz’s ‘Roméo et Juliette’ with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, conducted by Esa Pekka Salonen as part of the Lucerne Festival. The highlights of the musical works of the recent parts also include the performances of William Walton’s ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’ and Arthur Honegger’s ‘Une Cantate de Nöel’ in the Cologne Philharmonie. This was preceded by a rarely heard composer portrait of Arnold Schoenberg in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven Haus, coupled with his early work ‘Pierrot Lunaire’.
In addition to the large choral concerts, the Philharmonic Choir focuses on chamber music concerts with changing musicians. The choir has been hosting the established summer charity concerts at the Alter Friedhof for some years now. The chamber music concerts in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven Haus are just as fascinating. These have included performances of works by Clara and Robert Schumann, Johannes Brams and Hugo Wolf along with composer portraits and themed concerts.