Philharmonia Chorus Vienna
The „Philharmonia Chorus Vienna“ (Philharmonia Chor Wien) was founded on invitation of Gerard Mortier as a professional choir in 2002. Depending on the producer it was called either „Chor der Ruhr Triennale“ respectively „Festspielchor Baden-Baden“. Since 2006 the name of the choir is PHILHARMONIA CHOR WIEN (PHILHARMONIA CHORUS VIENNA), it is a registered association.
The choir has worked with international conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Marc Minkowski, Kent Nagano, Thomas Hengelbrock, Zubin Mehta, Christian Thielemann, Riccardo Muti and others, in productions at Musikfest Bremen „L´Arlesienne“, in Reggio Emilia and Ferrara „Die Zauberflöte“, in Baden-Baden „Parsifal“, Zauberflöte“, „Tannhäuser“, as well as RuhrTriennale „Don Giovanni“, „Die Zauberflöte“. In April 2008 the choir went on tour to Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo for the Salzburg Festival with „Le nozze di Figaro“.
In January 2009 the choir was engaged for „Rosenkavalier“ under the direction of Christian Thielemann at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden with performances in concerts also in Paris and Munich.
At Whitsun 2009 the Philharmonia Chorus Vienna performed at the Festival in Baden-Baden in Robert Wilson’s new staging of the „Freischütz“ under the direction of Thomas Hengelbrock. This performance was repeated as a concert at the Lucerne Festival in August 2009.
In January 2010 the choir has worked with Christian Thielemann at Festspielhaus Baden-Baden for „Elektra“.
At the Salzburg Whitsun Festival 2010 Mozart’s „Betulia liberata“ in a staged performance and Jommelli’s „Betulia liberata“ as a concert were performed under direction of Riccardo Muti. Both presentations were repeated at the Ravenna Festival in July 2010.
In 2011 the Philharmonia Chorus was engaged at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival again for Saverio Mercadante’s „I due Figaro” and Cherubini’s „Requiem”, both under direction of Riccardo Muti. „I due Figaro” was repeated at the Ravenna Festival, at Teatro Real in Madrid and in Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
A further highlight was the performance of Bellini’s „La Straniera” at a concert in Vienna on occasion of the 45th stage anniversary of Edita Gruberova in February 2013. This year the choir also performed „Falstaff“ under Zubin Mehta and „Giovanna d’Arco“ under Paolo Carignani at the Salzburg Festival 2013.
A special event was the first scenic performance of „Parsifal” in China under Gustav Kuhn at the Beijing Music Festival in 2013.
The Philharmonia Chorus Vienna is also in demand for concerts. For instance the choir presented concerts in Grafenegg with Beethoven’s „9th Symphony” and opened the „54. Festival Musica Sacra” in Monreale/Palermo with Haydn’s „Creation” in 2011. In 2013 the choir sang „Messiah” in the Mozart edition in Grafenegg.
Choir director and founder of the choir is Prof. Walter Zeh. He is former member of the Vienna State Opera Chorus and has been working as a freelance choir conductor and language coach for years.