The Choir of the “Transylvania” was founded in 1972, during Sigismund Toduţă’s directorship. His initiative and perseverance were the key factors for the success of this project. The task to select the members of the new ensemble was given to the choir master Dorin Pop. He was a leader in choral conducting in Romania and the results with the Philharmonic Choir were spectacular: after only two years, the ensemble was already enjoying the first position among Romanian choirs, where it remains as to present days.
Dorin Pop studied philosophy at the University of Cluj (with P. P. Negulescu and Lucian Blaga), as well as music at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, now the “Gheorghe Dima” Academy of Music (with Augustin Bena, Marţian Negrea, Mihail Andreescu-Skeletti, among others). After graduation, he started his pedagogical career, first teaching harmony, later choral conducting at the Academy of Music. In 1955 he founded a small choir that was to become the chamber choir “Cappella Transylvanica”, with which he enjoyed major successes both home and abroad, and recorded four albums for Electrcord.
In 1972, he was given the assignment to lead the recently founded Choir of the Philharmonic. He set the tone for what the ensemble was to become, from the selection of its members to the definition of their sound and vocal style.
In 1976, Florentin Mihăescu, Dorin Pop’s assistant, took over the direction of the choir. He made a notable contribution to the enlargement of the choir’s repertoire, and enjoyed the first international successes with the ensemble. In 1979, he was invited to work with the Choir of the Festival Junger Künstler in Bayreuth and, in 1980, he was highly appreciated at the Lucerne Festival.
In 1986, Cornel Groza took over the direction of the Choir. Charismatic, uncompromising, perfectionist, expressive and analytical in his work, Cornel Groza is a musical personality who built on the accomplishments of his predecessors, making a first-class choir out of an already mature ensemble. His formation, first as a member of Cappella Transylvanica (subsequently as its very leader) and a founding member of the Philharmonic Choir, Cornel Groza has remained faithful to the tradition of his masters while, at the same time, making his own voice heard: his history with the Choir is defined by the ensemble’s most important international achievements, acclaimed by audience and critics alike.
The Choir’s radio and TV broadcasts, as well as their recordings have enjoyed critical appreciation. The most recent release is an Arte Nova album with works by Brahms (Ein deutsches Requiem, Nänie, Schicksalslied), with the Bucharest Philharmonic and conductor Cristian Mandeal.