Edinburgh Festival Chorus and Scottish Chamber Orchestra

Edinburgh Festival Chorus and Scottish Chamber Orchestra perform a selection of traditional Scottish favourites to bring a smile and get everyone's toes tapping before we all break into Auld lang Syne. The songs will feature on RSNO's forthcoming Christmas CD - launching any moment so keep an eye out for it in the shops.

Chorus Master: Christopher Bell

Accompanist: Stuart Hope

The Edinburgh Festival Chorus has been at the heart of the Edinburgh International Festival since its foundation in 1965 when it opened the nineteenth Festival with the Scottish premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8.  Under the Festival Director’s programming the Chorus has become increasingly versatile, performing most of the standard 19th and 20th century repertoire and premières of specially commissioned works, in collaboration with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. 

The Chorus recently celebrated 50 years of world class singing opening the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival with the innovative Harmonium Project when Lothian Road and Festival Square were filled with the pre-recorded sounds of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and Royal Scottish National Orchestra and an audience of nearly 20,000 gathered to watch the façade of the Usher Hall come to life through a series of spectacular projected animations inspired by John Adams’s Harmonium and by data captured from the Edinburgh Festival Chorus members as they sang.  Its Festival 2016 concerts included Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano; Elgar’s The Apostles with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Edward Gardner; Berlioz’s Roméo et Juliette with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Robin Ticciati; Villa-Lobos’s Chôros No.10 and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop; and Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Donald Runnicles. 

Frequently performing with Scotland’s orchestras, the Chorus is integral to representing Scotland’s contribution to the Edinburgh International Festival and has occasionally performed outwith the Festival touring throughout Europe, making TV broadcasts and commercial recordings.  The Chorus joined the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Chief Conductor Donald Runnicles at the 2010 Proms performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, at the 2011 BBC Proms with a performance of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, and most recently in March 2016 for a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.

Christopher Bell has been Chorus Master of the Edinburgh Festival Chorus since October 2007.  He is also currently Chorus Director of the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago and of the RSNO Junior Chorus and has been Artistic Director of the National Youth Choir of Scotland since its formation in 1996.  The Open University awarded him an Honorary Masters Degree for Services to the Arts in 2009 and in 2013 Chorus America awarded him the Michael Korn Founders Award for the Development of the Professional Choral Art.

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