The Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir, composed of 30 singers, was founded in 1969 by Avner Itai. The choir has achieved a reputation as one of the best in Israel and has performed often with the leading orchestras of the country including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Chamber Orchestra and more.
The choir has appeared with conductors of such international standing as Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Gary Bertini and Daniel Barenboim. Stanley Sperber was Conductor and Artistic Director of the choir during the years 1972-1985. Aharon Harlap was Conductor and Artistic Director from 1985-1997. The choir renewed its performances in 2000 with Stanley Sperber as Conductor and Artistic Director, appearing a cappella in many concert halls including the Mormon University.
The chamber choir performs special programs at the Jerusalem Academy of Music including a set of concerts "Mishelanu" (from our own) devoted to composers from the Academy. The choir has performed in the set of "Concerts of Excellence" at the Targ Center in Ein Kerem, and at the Abu Gosh festivals in May 2004 and May 2007. Last year the Chamber Choir performed Dixit Dominus by Handel with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra on Independence Day, and the Great Mass by Mozart in the set of concerts "Nights of Amadeus".
In the 2006-2007 concert season the Chamber Choir appeared in a set of performances "Mishelanu" (from our own) in concerts devoted to the composers Paul Ben-Haim and Aharon Harlap, performed Beethoven's Mass in C Major with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, performed a cappella in a concert for young performers at the Music Center in Mishkenot Shaananim, and performed the Requiem by Faure with the Israel Symphony Orchestra, Rishon LeZion.
In addition, the chamber choir has performed Bach's Magnificat with the Israel Chamber Orchestra, Poulenc's Gloria and Beethoven's 9th Symphony both with the Rishon LeZion Symphony Orchestra, and a live a cappella performance on the radio program "Etnachta" at the Jerusalem Theater.
In 2008, prior to embarking on a five-city tour of the east coast of the USA the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir participated in Israel's first annual choral competition and was awarded first prize. In 2010 the choir sang in a special concert before 10,000 people on the border of Gaza in honor of Gilad Shalit together with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta.
In May, 2011 the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir performed Mahler's Second Symphony with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Herbert Blomstedt. One month later the choir traveled to Germany and participated in an international choral competition in Marktoberdorf, sang a joint concert in Munich with the Ensemble Vokal Munchen and became the first Israeli choir to appear at the Dachau concentration camp in a special concert that took place in the Chapel of Reconciliation (Evangelische Versoehnungskirche).
A unique feature of the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir is that its members, mostly vocal department majors training for solo singing careers, thoroughly enjoy singing in the choir. Many of the singers feel that their musicality and professionalism benefit from the work and from the works they are exposed to in the choir.