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Chicago Symphony Chorus

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Biography

The Chicago Symphony Chorus, under the current leadership of Duain Wolfe, has earned respect, admiration and critical acclaim as one of the finest symphonic choruses in the world through its performances in the United States and abroad.
The Chicago Symphony Chorus’ storied history began in September 1957, when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced that Margaret Hillis, at Music Director Fritz Reiner’s invitation, would organize and train a symphony chorus. Auditions began two weeks later, and in March 1958, the Chicago Symphony Chorus made its subscription concert debut performing Mozart’s Requiem with Bruno Walter conducting. A few weeks later, Reiner himself led the Chorus for the first time in performances of Verdi’s Requiem.
Since then, the Chicago Symphony Chorus has performed and recorded virtually all the major works in the choral symphonic repertoire, given important world premieres, appeared with visiting orchestras and been a part of many noteworthy milestones in the CSO’s history. In June 1994, Duain Wolfe was appointed the second director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, succeeding Hillis, who was named director laureate.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings featuring the Chorus have won 10 Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. These recordings include hallmarks of the choral repertoire, ranging from Beethoven’s Missa solemnis and Bach’s B Minor Mass to Orff’s Carmina burana, and two recordings each of Brahms’ A German Requiem and Verdi’s Requiem.

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