News


 

The Year Ahead

We start the season with our spring concert on March 21st in Hove, which will feature Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. The concert will also include Pange Lingua by Zoltan Kodaly. Our late founder, Laszlo Heltay, was a student of Kodaly, and we will be performing this in his honour.

In April we are in the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert of Great Choral Classics.

In May we have two concerts in the Brighton Festival, both at the Brighton Dome. On May 14 we perform A Sea Symphony, the magnificent symphonic work by Vaughan Williams, once again with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. On May 22 we get together with the Kronos Quartet to perform a very different work - Sun Rings by Terry Riley.  Sun Rings incorporates music sounds created by NASA’s Voyager probes as they travelled past Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The composer has woven these sounds into an unearthly and original work for string quartet and chorus.

We are back in Hove in July for our summer concert. Details are still being arranged.

In the autumn we will give a concert in St. John's, Smith Square, London, and we are also planning other major concerts in London.

We finish the year, as usual, in the Brighton Dome with our popular Christmas concert for all the family.


 

Wreath on Laszlo's grave

Laszlo Heltay (1930-2019)

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of our founder, Laszlo Heltay. He had been suffering from lung cancer during 2019 and died on December 17th. His death marks the end of an era for BFC.

Brighton Festival Chorus owes its very existence to Laszlo who, at the request of the Brighton Festival Committee, formed the Chorus back in 1968, and remained its Music Director for the following 27 years. During those years the Chorus formed long and close associations with a number of leading orchestras and conductors, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Andre Previn, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

Laszlo has been described as "One of the finest and most inspiring choral trainers in the world....Through his efforts the whole British choral tradition has been given a new look and a new set of standards to aim for.” Those who knew him when he was with BFC will surely agree with those comments.

Laszlo was a student of the composer Zoltan Kodály, and In Laszlo's honour we will be performing Kodály's Pange Lingua in our Spring concert on Saturday March 21, in All Saints Church, Hove. BFC recorded this work in the 1970s.

Laszlo is buried in Farkasréti Cemetery in Budapest, the prestigious resting place of many eminent Hungarian artists, authors and musicians. Zoltan Kodaly, with whom he studied and whose work he championed, Bela Bartok, Lajos Bardos, and Georg Solti are all buried there.

 


 

New Members

Every October we hold our annual Open Rehearsal, where we throw open one of our normal rehearsals to anyone who would like to come along and sing with us for the evening. Our guests usually then stay on for an audition to become a member.

If you are thinking of becoming a member, you don't need to wait until our next Open Rehearsal - come to one of our Guest Rehearsals. They are usually held on the first Tuesday of each month, but we would love to hear from you at any time. See our Join page to find out more about joining.


 

Recording at Abbey Road Studios

We started 2019 with a recording session at the iconic Abbey Road Studios in London. Over the years we have done quite a bit of work there, but it's always exciting to go back.

It was established as a recording studio in 1931, and just walking along the corridors looking at the photos of all the people who have recorded there over the decades makes you realise how much musical history is bound up in this one building.

On this occasion we were in the legendary Studio Two, where The Beatles made their famous recordings.