The Philharmonia Chorale has also been known as the Philharmonia Baroque Chorale, stressing its connections to San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. That group was among the first major ensembles in North America to specialize in historical performance, and has become one of the longest lasting. It was founded in 1981 by harpsichordist Laurette Goldberg; Nicholas McGegan became music director in 1985, and it was he who founded the Philharmonia Chorale in 1995. With the Philharmonia Orchestra it shares this mission: "Historically informed performance means more than playing music in the style in which it was written; it also means performing music with a passion, joy, and vitality that provide a meaningful contemporary artistic experience for today’s audience." Since 1997, the Chorale has been led by Bruce Lamott, who also has held the title of Philharmonia Baroque scholar-in-residence. The Chorale's roughly two dozen members mostly have solo careers in their own right, often appearing in operas in the American West. The choir itself not only appears in the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra's concerts around the San Francisco Bay Area but has joined the orchestra in major appearances at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The chorale's repertory includes large Baroque works, Classical-period masses, and the finale of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, which they have recorded with Philharmonia Baroque. In April of 2017 the Chorale joined with the orchestra, the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, and the New York Baroque Dance Company to mount a fully staged performance of Rameau's opera-ballet Le Temple de la Gloire, a vast undertaking that was recorded and released in album form in 2018. The Chorale has also been heard with the orchestra in operas including Thomas Arne's Alfred; that performance too is available in recorded form.