The Bonn Philharmonic Choir

The Philharmonic Choir of the City of Bonn, which was founded in 1852 as a “municipal choral society,” is a semi-professional ensemble which currently consists of about 100 singers. As the leading secular oratorio chorus of the region, it regularly participates in the International Beethoven Festival and also undertakes tours, including visits to many European cities and even to Japan. Naturally the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, Bonn’s great native son, are at the center of the ensemble’s repertoire, the historical spectrum of which ranges from Monteverdi’s Marian Vespers and the works of Johann Sebastian Bach through Romantic choral-symphonic compositions to the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. The Choir’s performances of the great choral works of Hector Berlioz, such as the Grande Messe des Morts, La Damnation de Faust, L’Enfance du Christ, and La Mort d’Orphée, have been remarkably successful. Recently, in 2012, the Philharmonic Choir of the City of Bonn was invited to Brussels to perform on the occasion of the Belgian National Orchestra’s 75th-anniversary celebration in Berlioz’s Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale. Other recent highlights include concert performances of Verdi’s Requiem under Nello Santi in Bonn, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony under Markus Stenz in Cologne, and William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, which the Choir performed at the Philharmonie in Cologne. Since 1983 Thomas Neuhoff has led the Philharmonic Choir of the City of Bonn. Neuhoff, a native of Bonn, studied with Volker Wangenheim in Cologne and completed his training with Helmuth Rilling and John Eliot Gardiner. Since 2002 he has also directed the Bach Society in Cologne, and in 2005 he was made Director of Church Music for the Regional Church in the Rhineland.

June 2013