For over six decades the choir of the George Enescu Philharmonic has partnered the symphonic orchestra. Since 1997 the choir has been led by Iosif Ion Prunner in their intensive and varied activity including oratorios, masses, motets and a capella concerts. The vocal ensemble has performed masterpieces of the genre, from Monteverdi to Bach, from Haydn to Brahms, works by Berlioz, Liszt, Gounod, Schumann and Elgar as well as modern and contemporary works such as Massand Symphony No. 3 Kaddish by Leonard Bernstein, works by Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, Francis Poulenc, and the Requiem and The Seven Doors of Jerusalem by Krzysztof Penderecki under the baton of the composer. The concert programmes have also incorporated operas such as Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Fidelio, Oedipus Rexand many excerpts of the big opera repertoire. When the Enescu Philharmonic orchestra and the choir perform together, the marvellous acoustics of the Bucharest Athenaeum come to life, amplifying and rounding out its generous, brilliantand exciting sonority and giving true meaning to the phrase‘complete performance’.
Like their instrumental colleagues, members of the choirfrequently take solo parts or perform in recitals of arias and lieds. Thus there is a spirit of competition and permanent striving for artistic perfection, supported by collaboration with famous conductors: George Georgescu, Igor Markevitch, Georges Prêtre, Lawrence Foster, Sergiu Comissiona, Ion Marin, Sergiu Celibidache, Cristian Mandeal, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Christian Badea, Horia Andreescu, Michel Plasson, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Vasily Petrenko and Leo Hussain. An impressive number of opera, operetta, vocal-symphonic soloists, musicologists and voice teachers started their careers as members of the Enescu Philharmonic Choir.
Among the prominent events of the last decades are the performance in 1998 of the concert version of George Enescu’s opera Oedipe with the Orchestre Nationale de France and Lawrence Foster for the opening of the George Enescu International Festival; the collaborations with the Bolshoi Opera Theatre in Moscow, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Catalonia, Toscanini Orchestra in Parma, Staatskapelle Berlin, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra andthe Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
The George Enescu Philharmonic Choir undertakes frequent international tours, and has distinguished itself in concert halls in Spain, France, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece. Many of the remarkable interpretations of the vocal ensemble have been recorded on CD and for radio: the Mozart Requiem, all of Enescu’sworks for voice and symphony orchestra, and motets by Bruckner and Brahms.