Skip to main content

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2021

Jacob Dassa, Marketing Associate |

Award-winning Philharmonia Chorale returns to the live stage after two year hiatus for JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio led by Music Director Richard Egarr, December 9-12 at Herbst Theatre, San Francisco; Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University; and First Congregational Church, Berkeley


Featuring the return of star contralto Avery Amereau, alongside soprano Lydia Teuscher, tenor Gwilym Bowen, and bass-baritone Ashley Riches, all making their Philharmonia debuts.

SAN FRANCISCO—This holiday season, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) presents “Bach’s Christmas Oratorio,” led by Bach expert and PBO Music Director Richard Egarr, December 9-12. The award-winning Philharmonia Chorale, formed in 1995 by Bach scholar John Butt who currently leads Scotland’s Dunedin Consort, was led by Chorale Director and Philharmonia Scholar in Residence Bruce Lamott from 1997 to 2020. The Chorale now resurfaces with flair and elegance under the direction of Egarr before a comprehensive search for the next chorus director begins in late spring. This marks Egarr’s very first time working with the Chorale. Over the twelve years that Egarr got to know the ensemble first as guest conductor and then as music director, he had never before led a program that included the Philharmonia Chorale.

Egarr has a long history as a chorister himself having attended The York Minster School and founded the chorus at the Academy of Ancient Music.

This program also marks the first time in fifteen years that Philharmonia has presented the festive Christmas Oratorio, a work consisting of six cantatas that tell the story of the “season of celebration” spanning Christmas to Epiphany. Egarr is known for his exuberant and studied renditions of Bach’s oeuvre, having recorded an extensive discography of Bach on Harmonia Mundi including everything from the Brandenburg concerti to solo harpsichord works.

December’s renowned soloists include contralto Avery Amereau, who recorded an album of Handel Arias with the Orchestra released last year, as well as three artists making their Philharmonia debuts: soprano Lydia Teuscher, tenor Gwilym Bowen, and bass-baritone Ashley Riches.

This program marks the first of two major choral works by JS Bach being performed by PBO this season, exhibiting Richard’s bold vision for the Orchestra and Chorale as they take on increasingly ambitious programs with grace and expertise.

Listing information:

Bach’s Christmas Oratorio
Richard Egarr, conductor
Lydia Teuscher, soprano
Avery Amereau, contralto
Gwilym Bowen, tenor
Ashley Riches, bass-baritone
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale

Tickets: $37-140

Thursday, December 9, 7:00 PM | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Friday, December 10, 7:30 PM | Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
Saturday, December 11, 7:00 PM | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday, December 12, 4:00 PM | First Congregational Church, Berkeley


JS BACH Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248

Click here for PBO biography.

Click here for press images of Richard and the Orchestra.

Click here for guest artist materials.