The Orfeó Català is one of the country’s leading amateur choirs. Founded more than 125 years ago, in 1891, by Lluís Millet and Amadeu Vives, its purpose was to showcase the Catalan and international choral repertoires, and to ensure the excellence of its performances.
The Orfeó’s Musical Director is Simon Halsey , with Pablo Larraz the Deputy Director, and Pau Casan the pianist. The choir is based at Barcelona’s Palau de la Música Catalana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Orfeó has performed many of the most important works in the choral repertoire, including national premieres of such masterpieces as Bach’s B minor Mass and Haydn’s The Seasons. The choir has sung under the batons of internationally renowned conductors including Richard Strauss, Camille Saint- Saëns, Pau Casals, Zubin Mehta, Frans Brüggen, Mstislav Rostropovich, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle and Gustavo Dudamel, among others. In recent years the choir has made its debut at the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Gulbenkian Hall in Lisbon, and toured Italy with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by Daniele Gatti. It has performed in London on two previous occasions - in 2015 at the Royal Festival Hall, London, and in 2017 at the Royal Albert Hall, its Proms debut. In October 2017 the Orfeó performed the European premiere of Considering Matthew Shepard by Craig Hella Johnson, conducted by Simon Halsey.
The 2018-19 season brought many important international commitments to the Orfeó Català, including a tour of China for the Shanghai International Arts Festival, and concerts with Gustavo Dudamel and the Munich Philharmonic in Madrid, Munich and at the Palau de la Música Catalana.
During the 2019-20 season, the choir will tour with Gustavo Dudamel and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s Fidelio in Barcelona, Madrid, Dortmund and Luxembourg. It will also perform with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.