London Philharmonic Choir

Formed 1947.

Biography

The London Philharmonic Choir (LPC) is one of the leading independent British choirs in the United Kingdom based in London. The Patron is Princess Alexandra, The Hon Lady Ogilvy and Sir Roger Norrington is President. The choir, comprising over 200 members, holds charitable status and is governed by a committee of nine elected directors. As a charity, its aims are to promote, improve, develop and maintain education in the appreciation of the art and science of music by the presentation of public concerts.

The LPC was formed in 1946 with Frederic Jackson as Chorus Master, for the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). On 15 May 1947, The choir made its début with a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Victor De Sabata. Their first recording was of Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms with the LPO in 1947 followed by the first radio broadcast of Vaughan Williams' Sancta Civitas and Verdi's Stabat Mater in March 1948 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Throughout Jackson's tenure (1947–1969), the choir worked closely with the LPO and with major conductors and soloists of the period including Sir Adrian Boult, Eduard van Beinum, Dame Janet Baker, Peter Pears and Kathleen Ferrier. Despite funding cuts to the LPO in the 1950s, the choir maintained work by being engaged by other orchestras. By the mid 1960s LPC's performance standards were slipping and Jackson was invited to retire. His successor, John Alldis improved the standards of the choir and also encouraged the performance of contemporary works such as David Bedford's Star clusters, Nebulae and Places in Devon. The choir worked with Bernard Haitink and Sir John Pritchard during their time as LPO Principal conductors in the 1970s. A noted LPC recording called Sounds of Glory in 1976, now marketed as Praise - 18 Choral Masterpieces, has become the best-selling recording for the choir to date. In 1979, LPC undertook its first overseas tour to Germany.

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