When Normality Returns

These are unprecedented times. Brighton Festival Chorus exists to sing and make music, and for the first time in our history we are unable to perform. Our Spring concert was cancelled, our concert in the Royal Albert Hall in April was cancelled, and our two concerts in this year's Brighton Festival have also been cancelled. Our Summer concert is in doubt.

However, we are looking to the future, and to the return of normality! We are therefore still rehearsing, albeit via video conferencing (which feels a bit weird)!

In the pipeline are a performance of Carmina Burana in the Royal Albert Hall, a concert in St. John's, Smith Square in London, and a concert of our own in Brighton and Hove. We finish the year, hopefully, back in the Brighton Dome with our popular Christmas concert for all the family.

Watch this space, keep safe, and we hope to see you at one of our concerts in the not too distant future.


Brighton Festival At Home

We are featuring as part of Brighton Festival ‘At Home’ this May. Music will include "Ave Verum Corpus" by Mozart, and "No Rack Can Torture Me", a setting by Morgan Pochin of the poem by Emily Dickinson. Keep an eye open for further details in the coming days.

Also, check out the virtual recording with The Sixteen. Head over to Apple Music to watch our charity single, Amazing Grace, with Judy Collins and The Sixteen, and support the World Health Organisation Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.


BFC Spring Concert - sort of!

Sadly, Coronavirus prevented us from bringing you our Spring concert, which was to have featured, amongst other pieces, Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, and Pange Lingua by Zoltan Kodaly. While we can't recreate the magic of a live performance, we can let you hear a recording we made earlier! Well, quite a lot earlier actually - 1976 to be precise!



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 would have performed Kodály's Pange Lingua in our Spring concert in March, had the Coronavirus lockdown not put paid to that. 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.

In the video below, members of BFC share reminiscences of Laszlo.