San Francisco Symphony Chorus, David Xiques, assistant director
The San Francisco Symphony Chorus was established in 1973 at the request of Seiji Ozawa, then the Symphony’s Music Director; the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, numbering thirty-two professional and more than 120 volunteer members, performs more than twenty-six concerts each season. Louis Magor served as the Chorus’s director during its first decade. In 1982 Margaret Hillis assumed the ensemble’s leadership, and the following year Vance George was named Chorus Director, serving through 2005-06. Ragnar Bohlin assumed the position of Chorus Director in March 2007. The Chorus can be heard on many acclaimed recordings, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 2, 3, and 8 (with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting), choral works of Brahms, Mahler’s Das klagende Lied, Stravinsky’s Perséphone, selections from Berlioz’s Lélio, and John Adams’s Harmonium. The ensemble has received Grammy awards for Best Performance of a Choral Work (for Orff’s Carmina burana, Brahms’s German Requiem, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8) and Best Classical Album (for a collection of Stravinsky’s music including Perséphone, The Firebird, and Le Sacre du printemps; and for Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and Symphony No. 8).