LA Master Chorale’s 2016-17 season chock full of big-name splash

Big news aplenty for LA Master Chorale today:  their season announcement is peppered with big names and exciting announcements, and outlines a very busy schedule.  For now, we’ll let the press release speak for itself:


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[Press release]

LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE
LED BY ARTISTIC DIRECTOR GRANT GERSHON
ANNOUNCES 2016-17 SEASON AT WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL

NAMES GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING COMPOSER/CONDUCTOR
ERIC WHITACRE AS ITS FIRST ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

OPENS SEASON WITH ACCLAIMED DIRECTOR
PETER SELLARS’ FIRST A CAPPELLA STAGING

CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF COMPOSER
MORTEN LAURIDSEN’S LUX AETERNA WITH THREE PERFORMANCES

COMMISSIONS AND PRESENTS WORLD PREMIERES BY
ERIC WHITACRE, MOIRA SMILEY AND BILLY CHILDS

HOSTS 2017 CHORUS AMERICA CONFERENCE

Highlights of LA Master Chorale’s 53rd Season also Include:

•    13 Performances, with 12 Conducted by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director, Including Blend of A Cappella Works, Adventurous Premieres and Large-Scale Masterpieces for Symphonic Chorus;

•    Celebration Honoring 70th Birthday of Composer John Adams Featuring Premiere of Newly Created Choral Arrangements of His Opera Choruses Curated by Gershon;

•    Reprise of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s A Cappella Iri da iri (“Rainbow by rainbow”), Commissioned by LAMC Singers;

•    Recording of LAMC-Commissioned the national anthems, with Calder Quartet, and the little match girl passion by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-Winning Composer David Lang to be Released on Cantaloupe Music;

•    Ravinia Festival Appearance to Present Chicago Premiere of Tan Dun’s Water Passion After St. Matthew;

•    7 Engagements (14 Performances) with Los Angeles Philharmonic at Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall, Including Adams’ El Niño Conducted by Gershon;

•    National and International Guest Conducting Appearances by Gershon in Cambodia, Wolf Trap Opera and LA Opera.

(Los Angeles, CA, March 2, 2016) – Artistic Director Grant Gershon and President & CEO Jean Davidson announce the 2016-17 season of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC), one of the world’s foremost professional choruses noted for its adventurous programming and artistic excellence, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Under the artistic leadership of Gershon, the choir’s 53rd season includes an ambitious blend of choral masterworks, engaging premieres, a cappella offerings and collaborations with some of today’s leading artistic visionaries to create immersive musical experiences.  The programming embraces the LA Master Chorale’s distinguished history, while building upon its legacy of expanding the choral repertoire by commissioning new works and championing rising and established composers.

“The 2016-17 Season marks the beginning of a new era for the LA Master Chorale,” says Davidson.  “Thanks to our generous and engaged base of loyal patrons, Grant Gershon’s unique aesthetic and bold vision are being realized with programming that, quite frankly, is redefining what people think choral music can be… and it’s energizing.  Grant’s sense of daring and deep respect for the choral art form are not only reflected through new music and collaborative stagings, but also through awe-inspiring performances of classic works like Beethoven’s incomparable Missa Solemnis and Stravinsky’s Les Noces.  The LA Master Chorale can do it all!”

“The LA Master Chorale’s season is particularly exciting for me because it showcases the boundless versatility of our singers,” says Gershon, who, in his 16th season with the chorus, conducts 12 of its 13 eclectic programs.  “There is a tremendous sense of anticipation about the Chorale’s collaboration with our dear friend Peter Sellars, whose theatrical staging of Lagrime di San Pietro by Orlando di Lasso will no doubt thrill audiences while shedding new light on this compelling masterwork.  We also honor key anniversaries tied to two great composers of our times whose music is inexorably linked to the Chorale: the 70th birthday of John Adams and the 20th anniversary performances of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna.”

Further expanding its considerable reach, the LA Master Chorale releases its first album on Cantaloupe Music, the LAMC-commissioned the national anthems, with the Calder Quartet, and the little match girl passion by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning composer David Lang; tours to the Ravinia Festival to present the Chicago premiere of Tan Dun’s Water Passion after St. Matthew; and welcomes the choral world to Los Angeles when it hosts the 2017 Chorus America conference, the nation’s most prominent choral gathering.

Eric Whitacre Named Los Angeles Master Chorale’s First Artist-in-Residence

Gershon and Davidson announce the appointment of Grammy Award-winning composer/conductor/creative force Eric Whitacre, one of the leading musicians of his generation, as the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s first Artist-in-Residence, a two-year post that begins in the 2016-17 season.  Whitacre’s concert music has been performed throughout the world by millions of musicians, both amateur and professional, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 110 different countries through technology.  In demand as a speaker as well, he has given two TED talks and delivered keynote addresses to such Fortune 500 companies and institutions as Apple, Google and the World Economic Forum in Davos.

“Eric Whitacre is a true original,” says Davidson. “His singular vision, bold concepts, powerful artistry and global reach through new technologies will impact the Los Angeles Master Chorale in myriad ways.”

“Over the years, the LA Master Chorale has shown a deep affinity for Eric’s choral works,” adds Gershon.  “We are pleased to expand our relationship with him in such a meaningful way.  Eric possesses a phenomenally fertile imagination, and I look forward to working closely with him as we explore new creative avenues together.”

Season Detailed

Acclaimed Director Peter Sellars Stages Lagrime di San Pietro, Launching 2016-17 Season
October 29-30, 2016

The Los Angeles Master Chorale launches the 2016-17 season with the premiere of celebrated director Peter Sellars’ first staged a cappella work, Lagrime di San Pietro (“Tears of St. Peter”) by Orlando di Lasso, conducted by Artistic Director Grant Gershon on Saturday, October 29, 8 pm, and Sunday, October 30, 2016, 7 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Gershon has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with Sellars, whose contemporary stagings of classical works have drawn worldwide attention.  “Peter Sellars is simply one of the most creative thinkers of our times,” says Gershon.  “This production of Orlando di Lasso’s final work promises to be deeply personal and emotionally charged.”

Written for seven-part chorus and set to the poetry of Luigi Tansillo, Lagrime is di Lasso’s most expansive composition and is considered one of the greatest musical works of the Renaissance.  For this production, 21 singers will commit the entire 60-minute piece to memory, showcasing the virtuosity of the ensemble and deepening the impact of music Peter Sellars describes as “so densely packed with information – from bar to bar – that it makes the collected works of Elliot Carter seem like Gilbert and Sullivan.”

Prolific lighting designer James Ingalls, who has previously collaborated with Sellars and is widely recognized for his work on Broadway, London, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Opera and elsewhere, adds his ethereal lighting design to the production.  The LA Master Chorale has also collaborated on previous Sellars’ stagings (El Niño, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, Symphony of Psalms, Oedipus Rex) and plans to tour Lagrime nationally and internationally in future seasons.  This staged adaptation has been generously underwritten by the Lovelace Family Trust.

Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis Presented
January 21-22, 2017

The LA Master Chorale, led by Gershon, presents two performances of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, a pillar of the orchestral and choral repertoire and a specialty of LAMC, on Saturday, January 21, 2 pm, and Sunday, January 22, 2017, 7pm.  Four guest soloists (TBA) join the chorus for Beethoven’s autumnal masterpiece on life and the cosmos written at the end of his career when he was completely deaf.  “The Missa Solemnis has become part of the Chorale’s DNA, and no one sings it with more grace and majesty,” states Gershon.

John Adams’ 70th Birthday Celebration Features Premiere of Choral Arrangements of His Opera Choruses Curated by Grant Gershon
March 26, 2017

The LA Master Chorale adds a special twist to the world-wide celebration of the 70th birthday of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams, with whom LAMC has had close ties for many years, with a unique musical tribute.  It premieres a set of soon-to-be-published arrangements for choir and piano of his beloved opera choruses, including A Flowering Tree, Doctor Atomic, The Death of Klinghoffer and The Gospel According to the Other Mary, on Sunday, March 26, 2017, 7pm.  Gershon was recently tapped to curate these new versions of Adams’ opera choruses by music publisher Boosey & Hawkes.  Adams’ work is paired with Stravinsky’s Les Noces (“The Wedding”), a special nod to Adams, who has often claimed it as is one of his all-time favorite pieces.

A Cappella Music of Renewal Reverberates in Walt Disney Concert Hall
April 30, 2017

The LA Master Chorale “wades in the water” with an all-a cappella program of spirituals and music of renewal on Sunday, April 30, 2017, 7 pm.  Gershon pairs such inspirational works as Duruflé’s Ubi caritas and Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G minor with Moses Hogan’s Wade in the Water, Randall Thompson’s Alleluia, and Amazing Grace by Robert Shaw and Alice Parker.  “This is some of the most inspiring and transcendent music ever written, conveying humanity and humility in a profound and deeply personal way,” says Gershon.

Season Concludes with Three World Premieres and 20th Anniversary Celebration of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna with Orchestra
June 17, 18 and 22, 2017

The LA Master Chorale embraces its long and productive association with former Composer-in-Residence Morten Lauridsen with 20th anniversary performances of his Lux Aeterna, which was commissioned by The Music Center and premiered by the chorus in 1997, and has since become one of the most popular choral works of the 20th century.  Three performances are slated on Saturday, June 17, 2 pm, and Sunday, June 18, 7 pm, with a special performance for the Chorus America Conference on Thursday, June 22, 2017, 8 pm.  This marks the first time the National Medal of the Arts recipient’s hauntingly beautiful piece, based on texts from various Latin sources referencing light, has been performed in its original orchestral version at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  

“Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna connects us with one of the glories of the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s tradition,” says Gershon.  The choir’s illuminating recording of the work, conducted by Paul Salamunovich, earned a Grammy nomination.  

The program also showcases three LAMC-commissioned world premieres by Moira Smiley, Billy Childs and Eric Whitacre, which will be Whitacre’s first piece written for the LA Master Chorale in his new capacity as Artist-in-Residence.  Also programmed are reprises of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Iri da iri (“Rainbow by rainbow”), commissioned by LAMC singers for the organization’s 50th Anniversary and Heavenly Home by Shawn Kirchner, who served as LAMC Swan Family Composer-in-Residence from 2012 to 2015.

Christmas at Disney Hall includes Three Sparkling Holiday Programs

The Los Angeles Master Chorale’s Christmas at Walt Disney Concert Hall kicks off the holidays with two performances of “Festival of Carols,” a joyful collection of favorite carols and songs of the season sung to perfection, on Saturday, December 3, 2 pm, and Saturday, December 10, 2016, 8 pm.

The spirit of the season continues with “A Cappella Christmas,” conducted by LAMC’s newly appointed Artist-In-Residence Eric Whitacre and brimming with uplifting classical a cappella works, on Sunday, December 4, 2016, 7 pm.  Among the Renaissance and Baroque madrigals and modern-day motets presented are Praetorius’ In dulci jubilo (“In sweet rejoicing”), Palestrina’s Exsultate Deo, Sweelinck’s Hodie Christus natus est, Tavener’s The Lamb, Ola Gjeilo’s A Spotless Rose, Ariel Quintana’s Three Christmas Motets and Sven-David Sandström’s In dulci jubilo.

The 36th Annual LA Master Chorale Messiah Sing-Along, one of the Southland’s most enduring seasonal traditions, completes the holiday offerings on Sunday, December 18, 2016, 7:30 pm.  Gershon conducts the 2,200-voice do-it-yourself choir, a professional chamber orchestra and four professional soloists from the Chorale.

Special Events

Summer Album Release Slated For David Lang’s the national anthems and the little match girl passion

Adding to its discography and continuing to expand its reach through recording projects, in the summer of 2016, LAMC releases its first album on Cantaloupe Music featuring the national anthems by Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy Award-winning composer David Lang, which was commissioned and premiered by the LA Master Chorale in 2014.  Written for choir and string quartet and recorded with the Calder Quartet, it is set to excerpts from national anthems worldwide.  With its range of just over one octave – consistent with the range of most anthems for relative ease of singing – Lang says it is “something that everyone can conceivably sing, from start to finish.”  The work was commissioned through the generous support of the Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg Fund.  The CD also features the first commercial recording of the choral version of Lang’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work, the little match girl passion.  Both pieces were recorded at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall.

LA Master Chorale Hosts Nation’s Most Prestigious Choral Gathering

The LA Master Chorale welcomes the choral world to Los Angeles when it hosts the 2017 Chorus America Conference, the nation’s most prestigious choral gathering, June 21-24, 2017.  The conference brings together composers, conductors, singers and arts leaders from across the country for four days of seminars, presentations and performances.  The LA Master Chorale headlines the conference on June 22 with a special performance of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna alongside new music by Eric Whitacre, Moira Smiley and Billy Childs, and LAMC signature works by Esa-Pekka Salonen and Shawn Kirchner.   

Annual Gala Showcases Singers

A spectacular black-tie gala benefit celebrating the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s artistry is set for April 5, 2017, 6 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  The evening includes a mainstage performance by the LA Master Chorale, special guest appearances, a sumptuous sit-down dinner, live auction and the much-beloved LA Master Chorale “Surround Sing.”

Other Engagements

LAMC Presents Tan Dun’s Water Passion After St. Matthew at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival

In addition to presenting its own concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Master Chorale, led by Gershon, tours to the Midwest this summer for its second Ravinia Festival appearance to present the Chicago premiere of Tan Dun’s Water Passion After St. Matthew, which the chorus has previously performed twice at Disney Hall to great acclaim (June 10, 2016).  

Chorus Joins Los Angeles Philharmonic for Seven Programs at Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall

The LA Master Chorale appears in three programs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in summer 2016 – Tosca (July 24); conducted by Gustavo Dudamel; a program of Beethoven and Ravel led by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (July 26); and a Handel Celebration with conductor Nicholas McGegan (August 16).  

Additionally the LA Master Chorale joins the LA Philharmonic for four engagements at Walt Disney Concert Hall, including Haydn’s The Creation conducted by Dudamel (December 8-11, 2016); two programs with works by John Adams, including El Niño guest conducted by Gershon (December 16 and 18, 2016), and Nixon in China led by Adams himself (March 3 and 5, 2017); and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass and Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles led by Dudamel (May 26-28, 2017).

Gershon Makes International Guest Appearances

In addition to guest conducting Adams’ El Niño with the LA Philharmonic during the 2016-17 season, Gershon makes several other national and international guest appearances.  He conducts Chinary Ung’s Spiral XII, originally commissioned and premiered by LAMC, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (July 2016); returns to Wolf Trap Opera (August 2016); and conducts LA Opera’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town (December 2-4, 2016).

Education Programs

28th Annual High School Choir Festival Showcases Next Generation of Singers

The LA Master Chorale opens the doors of Walt Disney Concert Hall to the city, free of charge, for its 28th Annual High School Choir Festival on Friday, April 21, 2017.  One of the largest high school choir festivals in the nation, it showcases the remarkable vocal talents of more than 900 high school students from some two dozen Southland schools in a massive choir conducted by Gershon.  The community is invited to enjoy the vitality and power of these young voices raised in song in the splendid setting of Disney Hall.

LAMC’s Voices Within In-School Residency Program Fosters Student Collaboration

The Los Angeles Master Chorale continues its award-winning in-school artists in residence program Voices Within, through which students learn collaboration and life skills by composing and performing original songs.  Voices Within has engaged more than 3,500 children, who have created more than 400 original songs and 6 oratorios, since 2000.

LAMC also continues its acclaimed Voices Within Oratorio Project for high school students.  Students work closely over a 20-week period with the guidance and mentorship of three professional teaching artists – a singer, lyricist and composer – as well as their own choir directors, to create an original oratorio.  They learn how to write a libretto based on the adaptation of a classic work of literature or historic event, and create the melodies and harmonic structure for each movement of the oratorio.  After the work is completed, students audition for feature roles and receive vocal coaching to prepare for culmination performances, which are open to the public.

Acknowledgements

The Los Angeles Master Chorale recognizes all of the individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies who generously provide the necessary resources to support the 16-17 Season.  Specifically, LAMC acknowledges the members of the Artistic Director’s Circle: Abbott Brown, Judi & Bryant Danner, Kathleen & James Drummy, Kiki & David Gindler, Lenore S. & Bernard A. Greenberg Fund, Carol & Warner Henry, Leeba R. Lessin, Lillian & Jon Lovelace, Sheila Muller, Marian and John Niles, Michele & Dudley Rauch, Susan & George Reardon, Richard J. Riordan, Frederick J. Ruopp, The SahanDaywi Foundation, Philip A. Swan, Priscilla & Curtis Tamkin, Laney & Tom Techentin; and institutional funders: The Ahmanson Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Blue Ribbon of The Music Center, City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Colburn Foundation, The Rose Hills Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Dan Murphy Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and The Lloyd E. Rigler―Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, whose significant contributions of $50,000 or more help sustain LAMC’s world-class choral ensemble and award-winning education programs.

Ticket Information

For further information about the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 2016-17 season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, please call (213) 972-7282, or visit www.lamc.org.                

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LA Master Chorale 2016|17 Season
Grant Gershon, Artistic Director
Performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall Listed Chronologically

Lagrime di San Pietro (Tears of St. Peter)
Saturday, October 29, 2016 – 8 pm
Sunday, October 30, 2016 – 7 pm
Peter Sellars, Director
Grant Gershon, Conductor
James F. Ingalls, Lighting Designer
Orlando di Lasso | Lagrime di San Pietro

Festival of Carols
Saturday, December 3, 2016 – 2 pm
Saturday, December 10, 2016 – 8 pm
Grant Gershon, Conductor
Favorite Christmas carols and songs of the season

A Cappella Christmas
Sunday, December 4, 2016 – 7 pm
Eric Whitacre, Guest Conductor
Michael Praetorius | In dulci jubilo
Giovanni da Palestrina | Exsultate Deo
Jan Sweelinck | Hodie Christus natus est
Luca Marenzio | Magnificat
Ola Gjeilo | A Spotless Rose
Ariel Quintana | Three Christmas Motets
John Tavener | The Lamb
Sven-David Sandström | In dulci jubilo

36th Annual Messiah Sing-Along
Sunday, December 18, 2016 – 7:30 pm
Grant Gershon, Conductor
George Frideric Handel | Messiah

Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis
Saturday, January 21, 2017 – 2 pm
Sunday, January 22, 2017 – 7 pm
Grant Gershon, Conductor
Ludwig van Beethoven | Missa Solemnis

Stravinsky & Adams
Sunday, March 26, 2017 – 7 pm
Grant Gershon, Conductor
John Adams | Great Opera Choruses
Igor Stravinsky | Les Noces (The Wedding)

Wade in the Water
Sunday, April 30, 2017 – 7 pm
Grant Gershon, Conductor
Robert Shaw & Alice Parker | Amazing Grace
Moses Hogan | Wade in the Water
Maurice Duruflé | Ubi caritas
Ralph Vaughan Williams | Mass in G minor
Randall Thompson | Alleluia
with other spirituals and music of renewal

Lux Aeterna — 20th Anniversary Performance
Saturday, June 17, 2017 – 2 pm
Sunday, June 18, 2017 – 7 pm
Thursday, June 22, 2017 – 8 pm
Grant Gershon, Conductor
Morten Lauridsen | Lux Aeterna (20th Anniversary)
Eric Whitacre | WORLD PREMIERE
Esa-Pekka Salonen | Iri da iri
Moira Smiley | WORLD PREMIERE
Billy Childs | WORLD PREMIERE
Shawn Kirchner | Heavenly Home

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For more information or a free brochure, call

213-972-7282 or visit www.lamc.org

All performances are held at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Programs and artists subject to change.  

Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at:
111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

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