BELFAST PHILHARMONIC CHOIR (est. 1874)
The Belfast Philharmonic Choir (affectionately known as “The Phil”) led by music director Stephen Doughty, is Northern Ireland’s only symphonic choir and the 2014/15 season saw us celebrating our 140th anniversary with a specially commissioned piece performed on May 30th, 2015 in the Ulster Hall, Belfast.
The 120+ strong choir performs at least four programmes per year, many alongside the Ulster Orchestra, including performances of Handel’s Messiah every Christmas – a tradition that goes back as far as 1886!
Our repertoire is varied and includes many major works – Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Dream of Gerontius, Mozart Requiem, Brahms’ German Requiem, works by Bach, Beethoven, Rossini, Bruckner and Karl Jenkins to name but a few, not forgetting our annual performances of Handel’s Messiah.
Apart from the usual choral fare, we have recently worked in collaboration with the Belfast Film Festival and the Ulster Orchestra to perform the music from Star Wars and Patrick Doyle music as heard in the films of Sir Kenneth Branagh. Next season sees us join forces with the Ulster Orchestra once again to bring you favourite tunes from the musicals.
Belfast Philharmonic Choir also brings you modern classical music. In our 2017-18 season we will be giving European premières of two works, Stuart Scott’s Requiem Brevis in November, and, in May, Christopher Marshall’s Earthsong, the latter with our Phil Kids Junior Choir.
In 2015 we performed the world première of James Whitbourn’s The Seven Heavens, written especially for us to commemorate our 140th anniversary. In 2012 we sang in another world première – Titanic Requiem, a commemoration of those lost on the Titanic. We have also accompanied Kathryn Jenkins at the Odyssey Arena and sung with Ennio Morriconi and his orchestra for Belfast Festival at Queens.