CHÓR FILHARMONII NARODOWEJ (WARSAW PHILHARMONIC CHOIR)
was founded in 1953. The choir’s performances focus around symphony and oratorio concerts with the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, as well as a cappella performances in the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall. The Choir appears regularly at the Warsaw Autumn Festival and the Wratislavia Cantans Festival. It has also performed extensively abroad: notably in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Spain, Iceland, Israel, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Lithuania, Latvia, France, and Italy. In May 2015, it also toured Great Britain with the Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. The Choir has been frequently invited to perform in concerts with outstanding orchestras such as the Berlin and Munich philharmonics, Berlin Radio Symphony, RIAS Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Symphony, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Symphony, Brussels Opera Orchestra, Palermo Symphony, and La Scala Orchestra.
A landmark achievement was an invitation to perform Franco Donatoni’s Atem at La Scala (1985), resulting in further invitations to Venice’s La Fenice, Paris, Palermo, and Pesaro. In 1988, 1990 and 2011 the Warsaw Philharmonic Choir participated in solemn concerts organised in the Vatican by John Paul II.
The Choir has been led by leading Polish and international conductors and composers, including Henryk Czyż, Charles Dutoit, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Sir Charles Groves, Jacek Kaspszyk, Kazimierz Kord, Jan Krenz, Witold Lutosławski, Lorin Maazel, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Igor Markevitch, Andrzej Markowski, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Grzegorz Nowak, Seiji Ozawa, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Witold Rowicki, Jerzy Semkow, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Strawiński, Tadeusz Strugała, Stanisław Wisłocki, Antoni Wit, and Bohdan Wodiczko.The Choir’s vast repertoire includes over 400 oratorios and a cappella works from different periods, from the Middles Ages to contemporaneity. Polish music occupies a special role, especially the complete choral works of Krzysztof Penderecki. In 2017 the first CD in the Penderecki Conducts Pendereckiseries won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance, and five earlier CDs were nominated. Polish Requiem won a Record Academy Award from Record Geijutsu in 2005, while the first record of Stanisław Moniuszko’s Masseswon a Fryderyk in 2009. In 2010, the second CD from that series was honoured with a Golden Orpheus – Arturo Toscanini Award from the Académie du Disque Lyrique for Best Phonographic Initiative. ese two CDs are the world’s only recording of Moniuszko’s complete Masses. In 2011, the Choir received a Fryderyk award of the Polish Phonographic Academy for its recording of Roman Maciejewski’s Requiem, followed in 2018 by the same award for the CD Szymanowski.