BBC Symphony ChorusView in iTunes
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Originally founded as the National Chorus in 1928, this magnificent and hard-working ensemble of amateurs makes more television and radio appearances than any other choir in the U.K., and has recorded more than 100 albums. As the National Chorus, the group realized the U.K. premiere of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8, as well as the first British performances of works by Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, Gustav Holst, and Béla Bartók. Upon the founding of the BBC Orchestra in 1930, the National Chorus began its association with that ensemble and changed its name to the BBC Symphony Chorus. The chorus performs annually with the orchestra in the BBC Proms, opening the season with a wide range of compositions, including Haydn's The Creation and Michael Tippett's The Mask of Time. The chorus has also appeared at the Proms with other orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic and the Leipzig Gewandhaus, under such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Kurt Masur, and Bernard Haitink. The chorus regularly performs at the Barbican Centre and Royal Albert Hall, and performed Romeo et Juliette by Hector Berlioz with Simon Rattle conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The BBC Symphony Chorus has also extensively toured throughout Europe, have sung under Leonard Slatkin at the Istanbul Festival, and Sir Andrew Davis at the Salzburg Festival in their performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem. The chorus has commissioned and premiered new works by James MacMillan, Judith Bingham, and Andrew Simpson, among others.