In 2018, the RSNO Chorus celebrated its 175th anniversary with performances of music by Handel, Bernstein and Holst. The RSNO Chorus evolved from a choir formed in 1843 to sing the first full performance of Handel's Messiah in Scotland. Today, it is one of the most successful choruses in the UK. In recent years, the Chorus has performed practically every work in the standard choral repertoire along with contemporary works by renowned composers, including John Adams, Magnus Lindberg, Howard Shore and James MacMillan.
The RSNO Chorus has c120 members and performs in around six different programmes in up to twenty concerts across Scotland with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra each year. The RSNO Chorus has also had great success in recording with the Orchestra. Its recordings, amongst others, of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, conducted by Neeme Jӓrvi, and Holst's The Planets, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones, have both been subject to high critical acclaim.
In addition to its commitment to the Orchestra, the RSNO Chorus performs independently and has been invited to perform with orchestras in many different parts of the world, establishing an international status for the choir. The RSNO Chorus has toured in Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Belfast, Australia, Trondheim, Amsterdam and most recently, Prague.
The RSNO Chorus is directed by Gregory Batsleer, one of the UK's most dynamic and in-demand choral conductors and chorus masters. Gregory recently received The Arts Foundation Award 2015 for Choral Conducting.