Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Founded in January 1970, when conductor John Oliver (pictured) was named Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus made its debut that year in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting the BSO. Made up of members who donate their time and talent, and formed originally under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra for performances during the BSO’s Tanglewood season, the chorus originally numbered 60 well-trained Boston-area singers. Now numbering some 300 members, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus performs year-round with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops.
The chorus gave its first overseas performances in December 1994, touring with Seiji Ozawa and the BSO to Hong Kong and Japan. It performed with the BSO?in Europe with under James Levine in 2007 and Bernard Haitink in 2001. The chorus has made dozens of recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops; performed its Jordan Hall debut program at the New England Conservatory of Music in May 2004; had the honor of singing at Sen. Edward Kennedy’s funeral; has performed with the Boston Pops for the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day, and can also be heard on several movie soundtracks.
John Oliver has prepared the TFC for more than 900 performances, including appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall, Tanglewood, Carnegie Hall, and on tour in Europe and the Far East, as well as with visiting orchestras and as a solo ensemble. In addition to his work with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Tanglewood Music Center, Mr. Oliver has held posts as conductor of the Framingham Choral Society, as a member of the faculty and director of the chorus at Boston University, and for many years on the faculty of MIT, where he was lecturer and then senior lecturer in music.