News


 

Coronavirus

These are unprecedented times. The latest government advice about unnecessary social contact during the coronavirus epidemic affects everyone, and we sadly had to take the decision to postpone our Spring concert. We aim to reschedule this concert in the autumn.  If you had already purchased a ticket you will have the option of holding on to it, and it will be honoured for the revised date. Alternatively, you can cancel and we will provide a full refund. Full details of the process will be made public soon. However, have a look at the next item below!

In April we were due in the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a concert of Great Choral Classics. However the Hall has now closed its doors until further notice, and all events there have been cancelled.

For the first time in its 53 year history, Brighton Festival has been cancelled, and our two concerts with it. We were to have performed A Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sun Rings by Terry Riley, with the Kronos Quartet.

We are due back in Hove in July for our summer concert, but details of this are still being considered.

In October we are due back at the Royal Albert Hall for a performance of Carmina Burana, and in November we are planning a concert in St. John's, Smith Square in London.

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

As the current situation develops we can expect future concerts in our diary to be postponed or cancelled. We will let you know of any devlopments as soon as we hear them.  Brighton Festival Chorus exists to sing and make music, and these are difficult times for everyone. Meanwhile, keep safe, and we hope to see you at one of our concerts in the not too distant future.


 

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 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.

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