The City of Glasgow Chorus was founded in 1983 by Graham Taylor MBE, who is still its Music Director. In its relatively short history, the Chorus has established its position as one of the biggest independent choral groups in the West of Scotland and a significant player in Scotland’s arts environment.
The Chorus has a wide-ranging repertoire and is equally comfortable performing the well-known and well-loved choral works like the Verdi ‘Requiem’, Brahms ‘A German Requiem’, and Vaughan Williams’ ‘A Sea Symphony’ as well as seeking out less familiar pieces by popular composers, all of which it performs in its own promoted concerts each season. Over the years, performances have included the Verdi ‘Four Sacred Pieces’, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Requiem’, the Holst ‘Choral Symphony’, Mendelssohn’s ‘Die Erste Walpurgisnacht’, Arnold’s ‘The Return of Odysseus’, Szymanowski’s ‘Stabat Mater’ and Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (The Symphony of a Thousand). The Chorus has also performed some of the more demanding parts of the choral repertoire including William Walton’s oratorio ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’, Beethoven’s ‘Missa Solemnis’ and the Berlioz ‘Grande Messe des Morts’.
No less important to building the Chorus’ reputation has been a string of collaborations with leading orchestras and performers. Past concerts include a joint performance of the Beethoven ‘Missa Solemnis’ with the London Philharmonia Chorus, a large-scale performance of Carl Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ for the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and a performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the Leeds Festival Chorus and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. Other past collaborations include performances with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, the Orchestra of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Paragon Ensemble, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
The Chorus has also been delighted to be joined in performances by a number of prominent soloists including Lesley Garrett, Sarah Brightman, Willard White, Maria Ewing and Jose Carreras.
The City of Glasgow Chorus has also gained popularity with overseas audiences. Notable performances include concerts in Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres, a tour of the Czech Republic, where the Chorus performed the Prague premiere of Walton’s ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’, with the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra. In October 2013, as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations, the Chorus travelled to Poland performing in Krakow and Opole including a performance of the Verdi ‘Requiem’ with the Opole Philharmonic Orchestra of Poland to critical acclaim. In 2016 the Chorus spent a week in China with concert performances in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai which included Vaughan Williams’ ‘A Sea Symphony’ and Brahms’ ‘A German Requiem’.
In the studio, the Chorus has made a number of recordings including three highly successful collections of ‘Choral Classics’, directed by Graham Taylor and featuring John Langdon and David Hamilton on organ. Other recordings include Vaughan Williams ‘Toward the Unknown Region’ and Malcolm Arnold’s ‘ The Return of Odysseus’ with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, ‘The Pilgrim’ a Celtic suite by Shaun Davey and ‘Flower of Scotland’ with the City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Iain Sutherland.