Since its foundation in 1836, Huddersfield Choral Society has developed an international reputation as the UK’s leading choral society, under a succession of distinguished principal conductors and chorus masters. The present chorus master is Joseph Cullen, with Darius Battiwalla deputy chorus master.
The choir’s special quality is the unique ‘Huddersfield Sound’ – a thrilling full-bodied and firm blended tone, flexible enough for both the most shattering climaxes and for the softest but most focused pianissimos.
The Society promotes its own professional subscription concert season in Huddersfield Town Hall, its home since 1881. The choir also visits other major concert halls in the UK and abroad, regularly broadcasts for radio and television, and has a long history of pioneering recordings. Recent repertoire includes established works such as Verdi’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and Britten’s War Requiem as well as world and UK premières including Agamemnon’s Tomb (John Pickard) and Messages (Jonathan Harvey). In recent years the choir has travelled to France, Japan, the Czech Republic, Belgium, as well as to festivals in the UK from Cheltenham to Orkney.
But Handel’s Messiah is perhaps the work most closely associated with the Society, performed at least annually since 1864 and still attracting capacity audiences at the two Christmas performances in Huddersfield. Lightness and flexibility combine with awesome grandeur to bring this choral masterpiece to life for contemporary audiences. The special 175th anniversary season which this recording marks has seen a number of performances of Messiah by the Society throughout the UK, including The Sage Gateshead, Stratford-upon-Avon (guests of the Stratford-upon-Avon Choral Society), and The Barbican on Good Friday.
Mindful of its 175 year history and of the need to encourage young people to become the choral singers of the future, the Society supports three junior choirs – the Youth Choir, Young Voices and Chamber Choir. The choirs are directed by professional musicians and have their own independent concert programmes.
Details of all concerts and events, how to join the Society or the junior choirs, and how to become a subscriber can be found at: