News

NYCHORAL hosts free “Conversation about James MacMillan’s St. Luke Passion” on Sunday, April 2


NEW YORK CHORAL SOCIETY TO GIVE NY PREMIERE OF COMPOSER JAMES MACMILLAN’S ST. LUKE PASSION ON APRIL 8, 2017 - Brooklyn Youth Chorus to Join Concert at St. Bart’s

A Conversation about the Composer’s Premiere Slated for April 2 at the New York Public Library’s Bruno Walter Auditorium 

 
The New York Choral Society (NYCHORAL) under the direction of its Music Director David Hayes will give the New York Premiere of celebrated Scottish composer James MacMillan’s St. Luke Passion. NYCHORAL and its orchestra will be joined by organist Jason Roberts as well as the remarkable Brooklyn Youth Chorus under Artistic Director Dianne Berkun Menaker. James MacMillan’s St. Luke Passion, written in 2013, is the second of four planned works, each based on one of the Gospels which aim to approach the differing passion accounts from contrasting stylistic perspectives. The concert will take place on Saturday evening, April 8, 2017, 8 pm  at the landmark St. Bartholomew’s Church, at 51st Street and Park Avenue. The program follows:
James MacMillan St. Luke Passion (2013)      New York Premiere 
 
Tickets are $40 to $50 and available for purchase online at www.nychoral.org/events/st_luke_passion_premiere.  
 
On Sunday afternoon, April 2, at 2:30 p.m., NYCHORAL will host “A Conversation about James MacMillan’s  St. Luke Passion,” at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Panelists will include Music Director David Hayes, Chief of the Music Division of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts George Boziwick, and theologian Rev. Dr. Richard J. Dillon. The entrance is at 111 Amsterdam Avenue, between 64th and 65th Streets. Admission is free, and reservations are strongly encouraged. Please register at: http://macmillansymp.brownpapertickets.com
 
 
Sir James MacMillan is one of today’s most successful composers and is also internationally active as a conductor. His musical language is flooded with influences from his Scottish heritage, Catholic faith, social conscience, and close connection with Celtic folk music, blended with influences from Far Eastern, Scandinavian, and Eastern European music. 
 
Mr. MacMillan first became internationally recognized after the extraordinary success of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie at the BBC Proms in 1990. His prolific output has since been performed and broadcast around the world. His major works include percussion concerto Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, which has received close to 500 performances, a cello concerto for Mstislav Rostropovich and four symphonies. Recent major works include his Percussion Concerto No.2 for Colin Currie, co-commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Edinburgh International Festival, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music and, most recently, Symphony No.4, premiered by BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Maestro Donald Runnicles.   Mr. MacMillan enjoys a flourishing career as conductor of his own music alongside a range of contemporary and standard repertoire, praised for the composer’s insight he brings to each score. He was Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie until 2013 and was Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic from 2000-09; he has conducted orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra Washington, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony, Danish Radio Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra among others. Mr. MacMillan was Composer in Residence at the 2012 Grafenegg Festival and a London Symphony Orchestra Portrait Artist in the 2009/10 season. In October 2014 MacMillan founded his music festival, The Cumnock Tryst, which takes place annually in his native Ayrshire. Mr. MacMillan was awarded a CBE in 2004 and a Knighthood in 2015. 
 
Brooklyn Youth Chorus, celebrating its 25th anniversary, was recently named WQXR’s 2016-2017 Artists-inResidence. The Chorus is a collective of young singers and vocal ensembles re-envisioning choral music performance through artistic innovation, collaboration, and a distinctively beautiful sound.  With a highly versatile range and unique repertoire, Brooklyn Youth Chorus combines intensive vocal training and music study with exceptional performances. The Chorus has been praised by The New York Times as a “consistently bold organization” that regularly commissions and presents new music in genre-defying forms. The Chorus encompasses over 650 students in its core after-school and public school outreach programs. Classes take place at their Cobble Hill headquarters and locations in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Sunset Park, East Flatbush, and Red Hook, Brooklyn. For more information about the Brooklyn Youth Chorus please visit http://brooklynyouthchorus.org/. 
 
Organist Jason Roberts became St. Bartholomew’s Associate Director of Music, Organist and the Director of the Boy and Girl Choristers in May 2014. Previously Mr. Roberts was at St. James's Church in West Hartford, CT, where he built one of the largest choral programs in the Hartford area, which included 35 children and more than 30 adults. He holds degrees from Rice University, Yale University and the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Roberts is a soughtafter recitalist in the U.S. and last summer was chosen to play at the Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Hartford, CT. An avid improviser, Mr. Roberts won first prize at the AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 2008 and was a finalist at the St. Alban's International Organ Competition in 2011(Improvisation).  
 
The Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ at St. Bartholomew’s Church is the largest in New York City and one of the great examples of the American Classic Organ. Over several decades the organ was enlarged through successive rebuilding to become an exceptional instrument for accompanying large choral works and the performance of a broad spectrum of organ literature. For more information about St. Bart’s organ please visit http://stbarts.org/music/pipeorgan/. 
 
An essential force in the New York choral scene since its founding in 1959, NYCHORAL is widely known for the outstanding artistic quality of its performances of choral masterworks as well as rarely performed and new compositions. In addition to its regular season appearances at Carnegie Hall, the 175-voice New York Choral Society has appeared at every major venue in the New York City area, including David Geffen Hall, formerly Avery Fisher Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, Madison Square Garden, NJPAC, and St.Patrick’s Cathedral.  This year NYCHORAL appointed Patrick Owens as its first ever full-time Executive Director. 
 
Under the visionary artistic leadership of Music Director David Hayes since the 2012-2013 season, NYCHORAL has expanded its artistic mission to present a wide variety of choral repertory. Alongside masterworks of the 20th and  21st century, NYCHORAL has performed John Adams’s On The Transmigration of Souls, Hindemith’s When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, and the New York premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Rooms, featuring violinist Jennifer Koh.   This season NYCHORAL gave a rousing performance of Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Duruflé’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall, and last fall gave the U.S. premiere of Maltese composer Joseph Vella’s The Hyland Mass: A Prayer for Unity in Diversity at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  The Haydn/Duruflé performance in February at Carnegie Hall earned rave reviews from critics. Danielle Sahr of Seen and Heard, International wrote, “As choral concerts go, the New York Choral Society’s Carnegie Hall performance stood out in programming and artistry. The hundred-plusmember chorus offered skillfully balanced interpretations of a twentieth-century requiem with an eighteenth-century mass under the direction of David Hayes.” (February 18, 2017). Alan Young of LucidCulture wrote, “The accolades on the ensemble’s press page run on and on; this concert attested that just about every demographic in this city shares those feelings.” (February 7, 2017) 
 
A sought-after guest artist in New York City for many decades, NYCHORAL has collaborated with the Lincoln Center Festival, Cirque de Soleil, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York Youth Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, and the Opera Orchestra of New York and has performed with conductors such as Marco Armiliato, Leonard Bernstein, Asher Fisch, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Julius Rudel, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Patrick Summers, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Emmanuel Villaume. 
 
NYCHORAL has also regularly appeared as guest artist at the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala and with Andrea Bocelli. Recently members of NYCHORAL sang at the 80WSE and CHEAP's production of The Magic Flute, a re-imagining of the narrative of Mozart’s celebrated music drama. Each summer since 1960, NYCHORAL produces a popular series of Summer Sings, open readings of the choral literature led by prominent conductors in the New York area. More information about the 2017 Summer Sings season can be found at www.nychoral.org. 
 
For further information, please contact Hemsing Associates at (212) 772-1132 or e-mail:  jhemsing@hemsingpr.com