Missa Solemnis Concert March 2020

Missa Solmnis thumbnailThe Exeter Philharmonic Choir’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth could not have been more ambitious at the concert it gave at Exeter Cathedral on 14 March 2020. Any choir facing one of the Everests of classical choral music, the Missa Solemnis, must meet so many challenges that Beethoven lays before it – the dramatic contrasts in dynamics and tempi, alarmingly regular visits above the stave, and two of the most difficult fugues facing any large choir; and then, specific to this concert, the acoustic of a venue that favours orchestra over choir in a big choral work.


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Rossini Concert June 2019

Rossini ReviewExeter Northcott Theatre
Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle
Brahms Liebeslieder-Walzer Op 52

This was a lovely programme for a summer’s evening, genially introduced by the Conductor Howard Ionascu. It comprised two sunny works by major composers for the relatively unusual combination of choir and piano(s), rather than the more usual orchestra or organ.

Brahms’s Liebeslieder-Walzer are full of variety. They are all short pieces, some surprisingly so, and embrace a wide variety of moods and emotions. Their performance here, with different waltzes taken by choir or soloists, added to the variety.

Read more: Rossini Concert June 2019

Creation Workshop – February 2019


Singers who attended EPC’s 2019 workshop gave yet another resounding thumbs up for a wonderful day’s singing with Exeter Philharmonic Choir under their director of music, Howard Ionascu accompanied by their assistant director of music, Stephen Tanner, on piano.

Singers found much to praise: the warm welcome, the friendliness of EPC members, the experience of singing in a big strong group, producing a glorious sound. There was a good buzz, a convivial atmosphere.  The rehearsal was lively and fun – the day flew by.  People enjoyed chatting to members of other choirs in the break. They felt they were well looked after and enjoyed the cake.

Read more: Creation Workshop – February 2019

Creation March 2019

Creation ReviewHaydn's choral masterpiece, Creation, has reached a new level of popularity in Exeter this year, with three performances scheduled by local choirs.  Amongst them, the Exeter Philharmonic Choir selected the work for its annual concert in support of the Lord Mayor's charity, this year SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. 

Held in Exeter Cathedral on a wet evening on Saturday 16 March, the occasion attracted a good-sized audience amongst whose members it was cheering to see the three immediate past conductors of the EPC returning to support the Choir under its current director, Howard Ionascu.

Read more: Creation March 2019

Bruckner Mass in E Minor


Bruckner Thumbnail“It was a shame the audience wasn‘t bigger to hear a wonderful concert of the Bruckner Mass No 2 in E minor and the Rutter Requiem. The singing was superb and the instrumentalists a perfect fit both as accompanists and on their own in the Gounod Petit Symphonies. The Philharmonic Choir goes from strength to strength.“

Sheila Ruffett


Summer in the Abbey May 2018

Summer in the Abbey Inset
An evening of French and English music, Buckfast Abbey, 19 May 2018
If a diversion were required on Saturday 19 May 2018 from a Royal Wedding, the Devon County Show and various major sporting events, then the Exeter Philharmonic Choir certainly provided one. In a departure from their usual venue, Exeter’s magnificent Cathedral, the setting for the choir’s summer concert was the more intimate surroundings of Buckfast Abbey. However, on such a beautiful late spring evening in full sunshine, the Abbey and its surrounding grounds were no less impressive. With the prospect of a mixed programme of English and French music from the mid-1800s to the present century, how would the choir sound without the generous acoustics of the Cathedral?

Read more: Summer in the Abbey May 2018

Mozart Requiem March 2018

Mozart InsetThe Lord Mayor’s concert, 10 March 2018

Exeter Cathedral

Haydn Te Deum for the Empress Marie Therese
Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A major, K.622
Mozart Requiem in D minor, K.626


The programme began with Haydn’s Te Deum for the Empress Marie Therese. This made a strong and impressive start to the evening, capturing the confident, cheerful vivacity of Haydn’s music. This was well-disciplined choral singing that was a pleasure to hear…

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Mozart Workshop February 2018

Mozart Workshop

Friendship and inspiring musical leadership at our annual workshop

‘Professional leadership and good company’, ‘inspiring musical direction’, ‘very good tuition’, ‘honing singing skills with like-minded people’, ‘marvellous intensity of the singing’, ‘great camaraderie’, ‘wonderful atmosphere’, ‘warm welcome’ – just some of the appreciative comments summing up our Mozart Requiem Workshop on 17 February 2018, led by our new musical director Howard Ionascu, with Peter Adcock at the piano.

Read more: Mozart Workshop February 2018

Carols in the Cathedral 12 & 13 December 2017

Carols 2107I don’t know how I’ve lived in or near Exeter for forty years and not been to one of these events before. They are now a fixture in the musical diary of the city and county, and rightly so. The choir, joined by the Devon County Junior Choir and Exeter Brass and accompanied by Stephen Tanner at the organ, treated the almost-capacity audience in Exeter Cathedral to a splendid evening of festive music, under their new conductor, Howard Ionascu.

Read more: Carols in the Cathedral 12 & 13 December 2017

The Glorious Baroque 11 November 2017

Baroque InsetBaroque splendour welcomes a new conductor

A warm welcome to Howard Ionascu, who has recently taken up the reins as conductor of the Exeter Philharmonic Choir and who directed them for the first time at a concert on Saturday 11 November at Exeter’s Mint Methodist Church.

Read more: The Glorious Baroque 11 November 2017

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