Under the artistic leadership of Jonathan Grieves-Smith, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Chorus is establishing an international reputation for compelling performances and bold artistic planning. Known as the Melbourne Chorale until 2008, it has since then been integrated with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
The Chorus sings with the finest conductors, including Sir Andrew Davis, Mark Wigglesworth, Bernard Labadie, Stephen Layton, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Masaaki Suzuki and Manfred Honeck. Recent highlights include Britten’s War Requiem, Kancheli Styx, Haydn The Creation, Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius, Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman.
An impassioned performance replete with ingenious nuances, clarity and breadth of expression, and steadfast concentration.
Eamonn Kelly, The Australian, 23 March 2009.
The Chorus is committed to developing and performing new Australian and international choral repertoire. Recent commissions include Brett Dean’s Katz und Spatz (commissioned with the Swedish Radio Choir), Ross Edwards’ Mountain Chant (commissioned with Cantillation), Paul Stanhope’s Exile Lamentations (commissioned with Sydney Chamber Choir and London’s Elysian Singers), and Gabriel Jackson To the Field of Stars (commissioned with the Netherlands Chamber Choir and Stockholm’s St Jacob’s Chamber Choir). The Chorus has also premiered works by MacMillan, Pärt, Henze, Schnittke, Bryars, Silvestrov, Maskats, Machuel and Vasks, and more.
The Chorus has performed in Brazil, and in Kuala Lumpur with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, with The Australian Ballet, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, with Barbra Streisand, at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, at the 2011 AFL Grand Final and at the Sydney Olympic Arts Festival. The Chorus records for Chandos and MSO Live, and continues its relationship with ABC Classics with the recent release of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.