The critically acclaimed Phoenix Chorale (formerly known as the Phoenix Bach Choir) is Arizona’s only professional choral ensemble and the first North American choir to record for Chandos Records. Founded in 1958 by Drs Hal and Timona Pittman, the choir originally focused on music of the Renaissance and baroque periods, but today is equally dedicated to the creation and performance of new music, which it intermingles with more traditional concert repertoire. The choir made its first appearance on Chandos in 2004 with Shakespeare in Song. Since then it has released three joint recordings with its sister choir, the Kansas City Chorale: Eternal Rest, featuring works by Frank Martin, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, René Clausen and Frank Ticheli; Alexander Grechaninov’s Passion Week, a disc that was nominated for four Grammys, including Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance, and won the award for Best Engineered Album, Classical; and sacred choral works by Joseph Rheinberger.
Audiences around the globe have been treated to the sounds of the Phoenix Chorale also through broadcasts, including National Public Radio’s ‘Performance Today’. In the spring of 2009, it will join five other top North American choirs to launch a thirteen-week nationally syndicated radio show on WFMT in Chicago, hosted by Bill McLaughlin of ‘St Paul Sunday’. The choir is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary season in 2008/09 with performances in Phoenix, Arizona and Kansas City, Missouri. During this season the Phoenix Chorale and the Kansas City Chorale will embark on their first tour of the North-Eastern states, appearing in the Troy Chromatic Series in Troy, New York and making their New York City debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in March 2009. www.phoenixchorale.org