The London Philharmonic Choir (LPC) is a premier representative of the great English choral tradition with a history of broadcasts, recordings and tours under legendary conductors through its association with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Daniel Snowman, who has been a member of the 100-strong choir for the last 40 years, enthused: 'We've sung for the Queen, the Pope and millions more worldwide during the course of 60 years.' All of the choir members are amateurs in the supreme sense of the word - they sing because they love it, not because they get paid. The critical acclaim they receive, however, is pitched professionally high. The Times hailed a recent performance of Mahler's Das Klagende Lied without reservation: 'The best performers of the night were the London Philharmonic Choir, who tackled Mahler's tricky vocal lines with thrilling abandon and telling theatrical nous.' No wonder, then, that when London's Royal Festival Hall re-opened in June last year after massive refurbishment and acoustical redesign, it was the LPC that was invited to provide the opening strains. They did it with aplomb by commissioning Alleluia, a new work for chorus and orchestra by British composer Julian Anderson that met with enthusiasm across the board from the London critics. Michael Church of The Independent summed up both the work and the performance as 'a tour de force which [the choir] turned into something rich and rare. The luminous thicket of sound with which the piece opened developed gracefully towards its climactic explosion of extemporised shouts'. Julian Anderson's music can be heard in the LPC's Hong Kong Arts Festival concert on February24 which is devoted to a catalogue of jewels from the British choral repertoire. I'm a Pilgrim is one of his Four American Choruses. When asked to write the work, Anderson had to admit he'd never been a member of a choir before, so he decided to spend a year singing with the LPC to gain inside knowledge about what choral writing is all about. Conductor Neville Creed directs the programme that takes music for royal occasions as its starting point. Handel's Zadok the Priest needs little introduction as one of the four anthems written for the coronation of King George II in 1727, having been sung at every British coronation since. It will be paired with another from the set, Let Thy Hand be Strengthened. Parry's I was Glad, also traditionally performed at coronation services, will be given a rousing airing by the choir. As a former choral scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge, Creed knows the vocal repertoire inside out. His work as chorus master with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra contributed to a 1996 Grammy award for their recording of Walton's Belshazzar's Feast. Creed was appointed chorus director of the LPC in 1994 and became its artistic director in 2002. He made his conducting debut at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1997 with Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony for the choir's 50th birthday concert. Another work by Vaughan Williams - Serenade to Music - is included in the choir's Hong Kong programme. The work is serenely beautiful, scored for 16 solo singers plus accompaniment and written to celebrate the golden jubilee of fellow Briton Henry Wood's conducting career. When Wood conducted the first performance in 1938, Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov was in the audience and is said to have been moved to tears by the experience. Equally telling is John Tavener's Song for Athene which will be long remembered as the emotionally charged recessional music at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. It will be paired with The Tyger, written for a 16-part choir and providing a powerful contrast. Tippett's Five Negro Spirituals from the oratorio A Child of our Time and Vaughan Williams' Let all the world in every corner sing from Five Mystical Songs complete the programme. Iain Farrington provides piano and organ accompaniment at this concert but, on February23, the LPC will join forces with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under Edo de Waart in two 20th-century masterpieces: Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and Rachmaninov's choral symphony The Bells. Written in 1913, The Bells was Rachmaninov's favourite work, generously scored for soprano, tenor and baritone soloists in addition to the choir and orchestra. The work reflects the human transition from joyous youth to the inevitable death knell in a work that is Russian to its core and based on sounds that were central to a Russian's life. 'The sound of church bells dominated all the cities of the Russia I used to know,' Rachmaninov said. 'They accompanied every Russian from childhood to the grave, and no composer could escape their influence.' The LPC's performance of the work in a 2006 BBC Promenade Concert was described as 'a soulful, dynamic interpretation' by Geoffrey Norris of The Daily Telegraph.