‘singing...with an electrifying lustre that held us rapt' The Scotsman
The Edinburgh Festival Chorus has been at the heart of the Edinburgh International Festival since its foundation in 1965. Performing with internationally renowned orchestras and conductors, the Chorus will feature in Festival 2013 singing Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky with Valery Gergiev and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the Opening Concert; Mahler's Symphony No 2 with Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; Scriabin's Symphony No 1 with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra; Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem with David Zinman and the Tonhalle Orchestra and Verdi Requiem with Donald Runnicles and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the closing concert.
The Edinburgh Festival Chorus has performed virtually all the great standard works of the 19th and 20th century, continuously broadening its repertoire under the Festival Director’s programming. Recent performances include four concerts in Festival 2012, singing Delius’s A Mass of Life with Sir Andrew Davis and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Szymanowski’s Symphony No. 3 with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev; Debussy Nocturnes and Busoni’s Piano Concerto Op. 39 with the European Union Youth Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda; and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast in the closing concert alongside the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and David Robertson.
The Chorus occasionally performs outwith the Festival and since 2009 has enjoyed a wonderful creative relationship with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, joining the orchestra, and its Chief Conductor Donald Runnicles, at the 2010 BBC Proms for Mahler’s Symphony No.3; two performances of Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem in Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of the orchestra’s 75th anniversary season in February 2011; at the 2011 BBC Proms with Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé and most recently with Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody in March 2012.
To find out more or to enquire about auditioning, please contact Helen MacLeod, Chorus Manager on 0131 473 2027 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about what it’s like to be a member of the chorus with this video or read the chorus blog Confessions of a Chorus Member.
We visited the Chorus during their rehearsal of the 2012 programme and quizzed newcomers and veterans about why they were there and what they thought of singing with the group.
Christopher Bell, Chorus Master
Belfast born, Edinburgh based Christopher Bell is currently Chorus Director of the Grant Park Chorus, Chicago, USA and of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus. He was largely responsible for the formation of the National Youth Choir of Scotland in 1996 and has been its Artistic Director since then. In 2009 the Open University awarded him an Honorary Masters Degree for Services to the Arts.
Listen below to Christopher Bell as he reveals the rewards of life in the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.