The BBC Symphony Chorus is a British amateur chorus based in London. It is the dedicated chorus for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, though it performs with other national and international orchestras.
Originally founded in 1928 as the National Chorus for the first performance of Granville Bantock's oratorio The Pilgrim's Progress, it became the BBC Chorus in 1932. Its earliest concerts included the UK premiere of Mahler's Eighth Symphony (15 April 1930) and first performances of works by Bartók, Holst and Stravinsky under such conductors as Adrian Boult, Arturo Toscanini and Bruno Walter. It changed name again in 1935 to become the BBC Choral Society. In 1939, Chorus Master Leslie Woodgate described the operation and function of the various BBC choirs, including the Choral Society, in an interview with The Musical Times. In 1977, it adopted its current name of the BBC Symphony Chorus. Although normally associated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Chorus does perform independently. Venues regularly visited include the Barbican Centre and the Royal Albert Hall. As the resident chorus at the BBC Proms, the Symphony Chorus usually performs both on the first and last night. In 2002 it performed at Buckingham Palace, as part of the Prom at the Palace which marked the Queen's golden jubilee celebrations. It makes regular recordings for classical music station BBC Radio 3.
The Chorus is directed by Stephen Jackson, who was appointed in 1989. Sir Andrew Davis, conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1989 to 2000, is President of the Chorus.