As of the oldest surviving chorus in the United States, the Mendelssohn Club has played an integral role in the furtherance of classical music’s choral tradition in America since its beginnings in 1874, when it was founded by William Wallace Gilchrist. Historic touchstones include the chorus’s involvement in the U.S. premiere of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 in 1916 and the Philadelphia premiere of Brahms’s German Requiem. Under the direction of Alan Harler, the juxtaposition of contemporary commissions with classics from the Romantic era is commonplace in the Mendelssohn Club’s repertoire. Since 1988, Harler and the chorus have commissioned 43 works from the likes of Jennifer Higdon, David Lang, and Pauline Oliveros.
Non-performance events include public invitations to open rehearsals and Salon Talks, where introductions to classical music are offered in informal settings. The Mendelssohn Club also provides Braille versions of its program books for the seeing-impaired. Two weeks’ notice is required.
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Information
- Public Transportation: Depends on venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Depends on venue
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 8–10 per year
- Ticket Prices: Each performance is priced individually. Discounts are frequently available for students and seniors. Discounts are available for most concerts for groups of 10 or more
- Donations: Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated.