NYChoral hosts “A Conversation about James MacMillan’s ST. LUKE PASSION”

On Sunday, April 2, at 2:30 p.m., NYCHORAL hosted “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 included NYCHORAL 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.  This event was organized in conjunction with NYCHORAL’s New York premiere of James MacMillan’s St. Luke Passion on April 8 at St. Bartholomew’s Church. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus and organist Jason Roberts join NYCHORAL for this performance.

The panelists offered their perspectives and insights on the unique musical and narrative structure of this moving choral work.  A video of the event can be found at:

Symposium handout

James MacMillan (b. 1959) is the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation. His music combines rhythmic excitement, raw emotional power and spirituality. His choral music embraces sacred and secular, ancient and modern, meditative simplicity and rich ornamentation.

His 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 St. Luke Passion is written for mixed chorus, children’s chorus, orchestra and organ. The adult chorus assumes the roles of evangelist and persecutors in music that is often highly dramatic. The words of Jesus are sung by a children’s chorus representing the innocence of Christ. The writing for the children is either in unison, symbolizing the oneness of Christ, or in three parts signifying the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.