Biography

Philharmonia Chor Wien

Current as of March 2020

The Philharmonia Choir of Vienna was formed in 2002 on the initiative of Gerard Mortier and initially took its name from the projects in which it was involved: the Ruhrtriennale Choir and the Baden-Baden Festival Choir. Since 2006 it has operated as an independent organization under the name of the Philharmonia Choir of Vienna. During its early years it worked with Claudio Abbado, Marc Minkowski and Kent Nagano among others in Baden-Baden, at the Ruhrtriennale and at the Bremen Music Festival and in Reggio Emilia and Ferrara in a wide range of works that included Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, Tannhäuser, Parsifal, L’Arlésienne and Jörn Arnecke’s Unter Eis. More recently the choir has appeared in Baden-Baden in Der Rosenkavalier and Elektra under Christian Thielemann, in Der Freischütz and Faust under Thomas Hengelbrock, in Mefistofele under Stefan Soltesz, in Manon Lescaut, Tristan und Isolde, Tosca and Parsifal under Simon Rattle and, in 2019, in Otello under Zubin Mehta.

The Philharmonia Choir of Vienna made its Salzburg debut at the 2010 Whitsun Festival in Mozart’s Betulia liberata under Muti, returning the following Whitsun for Mercadante’s I due Figaro, also under Muti, in a production later seen in Ravenna, Madrid and Buenos Aires. At the summer Festival the choir has been heard regularly since 2013, appearing in productions of Falstaff under Mehta, Don Giovanni under both Christoph Eschenbach and Alain Altinoglu, Faust under Alejo Pérez and L’italiana in Algeri under Jean-Christophe Spinosi. It has also been heard in concert performances of operas under Roberto Abbado, Marco Armiliato, Paolo Carignani, Patrick Fournillier, Michele Mariotti and Riccardo Minasi, most recently in Les Pêcheurs de perles.

Elsewhere the Philharmonia Choir of Vienna’s recent work includes the world premiere of Arnulf Herrmann’s Der Mieter at the Frankfurt Opera, Les Contes d’Hoffmann with Les Musiciens du Louvre under Minkowski in Bremen and Baden-Baden, Rigoletto with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg under Gustavo Gimeno in Paris and Luxembourg, Die Zauberflöte at the St. Margarethen Opera Festival and Lohengrin at the Salzburg Landestheater. At the 2020 Mozartwoche Festival it delighted audiences in Robert Wilson’s staging of Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah under Minkowski.

Also in great demand as a concert choir, the Philharmonia Choir of Vienna continues to appear under the musical direction of its founder, Walter Zeh.

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