Skip to main content


Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra close the anniversary season with powerful choral performance

Dianne Provenzano
Marketing & Communications Director
(415) 252-1288 x 315


March 29, 2016, San Francisco –Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra will close its 35th anniversary season with Beethoven and Mendelssohn in a program called “Hymns of Praise.” As Nicholas McGegan wraps up his own 30th anniversary as music director of the orchestra, he’ll not only lead the orchestra but also a powerful chorus of voices from the Philharmonia Chorale and other local choruses.

The first half of the program will feature three works from Beethoven including his Leonore Overture No. 3, his “Elegischer Gesang” (also known as “Elegiac Song”) and “Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt,” otherwise known as “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage.” The latter two works will feature the Philharmonia Chorale directed by Bruce Lamott.

The second half is dedicated to Felix Mendelssohn’s monumental Symphony No. 2 “Hymn of Praise” or “Lobgesang.” This is considered Mendelssohn’s most profound work and PBO intends to present it in top form with guest choruses from the San Francisco Conservatory Chamber Choir, directed by Ragnar Bohlin, the Stanford Chamber Chorale directed by Steven Sano, and U.C. Berkeley Chamber Chorus directed by Marika Kuzma. Soloists include regular PBO guest soprano Dominique Labelle, soprano Ashley Valentine, and tenor Thomas Cooley.

“It is very appropriate that our season culminates with a major work of Felix Mendelssohn, the ultimate fusion of Romantic imagination with the forms of Bach and Handel and inspiration from Beethoven,” says Philharmonia Chorale director Bruce Lamott.

“In the process, he created a new hybrid, the Symphoniekantate (symphony-cantata), reconciling the Romantics’ belief in the superiority of instrumental over vocal music and the apotheosis of choral music in the Baroque period.”

This season finale brings together the largest ensemble of musicians and singers in all of Philharmonia’s 2015/16 season concerts with 51 musicians and between 50 and 60 chorus members. The tender “Elegiac Song” juxtaposed with the powerful “Hymn of Praise” are sure to leave audience members moved as Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra closes its triple-anniversary season.

See “Hymns of Praise” on Wednesday April 27 at 7:30 pm at Bing Concert Hall in Palo Alto, on Thursday, April 28 at 8 pm at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco and on Saturday April 30 at 8 pm and Sunday May 1 at 7:30 pm at First Congregational Church in Berkeley.

Tickets range from $25 to $105. For more information about this and other Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale concerts, visit For tickets, visit or call 415-392-4400.

These concerts are the sixth and final set in a series of six regular 2015-16 season concerts as Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra celebrates its 35th season as an orchestra, the Chorale celebrates 20 years and Nicholas McGegan celebrates his 30th anniversary as music director.

Program Notes for Hymns of Praise are here.

Classical KDFC is the radio home of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale. KDFC broadcasts an unreleased live Philharmonia concert recording the second Sunday of every month from 8-9 PM.



Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

 PHOTOGRAPHY: (Click to download)
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
Dominique Labelle, soprano

WHAT: Concert Performance
“Hymns of Praise
BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3
BEETHOVEN Elegiac Song (Elegischer Gesang)
BEETHOVEN Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage (Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt)
MENDELSSOHN Symphony No. 2, Hymn of Praise (Lobgesang)

PRICE: Range from $25 to $105.

TICKETS: Available at City Box Office 415-392-4400 or


Wednesday 27 April @ 7:30 PM
Bing Concert Hall, Stanford

Thursday 28 April @ 8:00 PM
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco

Saturday 30 April @ 8:00 PM
First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Sunday 1 May @ 7:30 PM
First Congregational Church, Berkeley

Short Description:

Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra closes its triple anniversary season with an emotionally powerful program featuring three works by Beethoven and Mendelssohn’s monumental “Hymn of Praise” with guest choruses from San Francisco Conservatory, Stanford and U.C. Berkeley.