About the chorus

Now in its 15th season, International Festival Chorus (IFC) was formed in Beijing in 2002 to provide opportunities for experienced and enthusiastic choral singers from all over the world to perform large-scale choral works with orchestra at a professional standard. We aim to introduce Chinese audiences to the great works of the Western choral-symphonic repertoire and to introduce Western choral singers to the best of Chinese choral music. Since its founding, the IFC has given over 20 PRC first performances of choral works, commissioned new choral works from Chinese composers, and established itself as Beijing’s premier choir.

The IFC’s programs include an eclectic mix of music in a wide variety of styles. Over the last decade, we have performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Constance Lambert’s The Rio Grande, Xian Xinghai’s Yellow River Cantata, He Shaoying’s DAO, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Britten’s Spring Symphony. In 2015, IFC premiered Ernest Bloch’s Avodath Hakodesh (Sacred Service) with conductor David Stern and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Our annual Handel’s Messiah is a fixture on the Beijing music calendar.

The IFC has worked with many internationally recognized artists as well as top domestic performers. Our guest artists have included notable conductors Andrew Nethsingha (UK), Anne Randine Overby (Norway), Fan Tao (China), Dr, Martin Ennis (UK) as well as soloists Dame Emma Kirkby (UK), Justin Lavender (UK), Liang Ning (China) and and pianist David Braid (Canada).

The IFC welcomes young singers into our children’s education program, children’s choir and youth activities. We believe in giving young singers opportunities to perform in professional settings. Past performances have included David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Britten’s Spring Symphony.

The IFC differs from most other local choruses by using the European festival chorus rehearsal tradition. To promote and maintain high standards of membership and music-making, we do not rehearse on a weekly basis but on a project-by-project basis. We rehearse less frequently but expect a high level of personal discipline and responsibility to prepare the music, a formula that works well for the fast pace of life in Beijing resulting in performances that are as challenging and fulfilling as they are enjoyable for the audience

With singers from all over the world, the IFC is a truly international group and community where music lovers living in Beijing and other parts of China come together to share their passion for singing. By singing all music in its original language and drawing on the wealth of culture and experience of its global members, the IFC serves as a platform to showcase global musical excellence and make a genuine and tangible contribution to China’s musical growth.