111 S. Grand Avenue
Downtown Los Angeles, California 90012

Los Angeles Master Chorale Presents World Premiere of Works by Andrea Clearfield and Steve Sametz Plus West Coast Premiere of Nico Muhly Piece at “Chorus + Organ”

Sunday, February 22, 2009, 7 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Guest Organist Christoph Bull Featured and Music Director Grant Gershon Conducts;
Debussy Trio Appears with Chorale for Clearfield Premiere

Music Director Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Master Chorale pull out the stops with two world premieres and a West Coast premiere for its “Chorus + Organ” concert on Sunday, February 22, 2009, 7:00 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall. The chorus debuts Dream Variations by Andrea Clearfield, written for flute, viola, harp and organ and performed with the Debussy Trio, which is leading the commissioning consortium for the piece, plus a new work by Steven Sametz, Music’s Music, commissioned by Kathie and Alan Freeman in honor of Grant Gershon, Master Chorale Executive Director Terry Knowles and the Chorale. Expecting the Main Things from You, a three-movement piece for organ and string quartet by Nico Muhly, makes its West Coast premiere. Christoph Bull is the featured organist.

Also slated are Bruckner's Motets, Liszt's Inno a Maria Vergine, a lush and lyrical piece pairing organ with harp, and Arvo Pärt's De Profundis, for men's chorus, which starts at the lowest depth, as its title suggests, and uncoils into an eight-minute long crescendo and thundering climax with tam-tam (gong) and organ.

“These are all surprising works that showcase the choir and organ in very unique ways,” Gershon explains.

New York-based composer Nico Muhly has collaborated with such artists as Björk, Phillip Glass and American folk singer Sam Amidon. Though his music is rarely performed on the West Coast, The Chicago Tribune states, “This young composer has something to say and a smart, sassy, in-your-face way of saying it.” A humorous and prolific blogger as well, who was recently profiled in The New Yorker, he plans to attend the Chorale's concert.

Clearfield's music has been described as an “undulating harmonic landscape punctuated by jagged ethnic rhythms” and has generated such adjectives as “sonorous,” “taut,” “vibrant,” “haunting” and “soaring.” The Philadelphia Inquirer dubbed the Philadelphia native “the new guard,” and All About Jazz says she “is to be thanked for 'daring to disturb the universe.'” She has written for instrumental and vocal soloists, mixed chamber ensembles, chorus, orchestra, film and dance, and her works have been performed by noted artists in the U.S. and internationally.

Steven Sametz is the Ronald J. Ulrich Professor of Music and director of Lehigh University Choral Arts, one of the country's premiere choral programs. He also serves as Artistic Director for the elite a cappella ensemble The Princeton Singers and is the founding director of The Lehigh University Choral Composer Forum, which mentors emerging choral composers. Sametz has received commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Santa Fe music festival, among others, creating new works for Chanticleer, the Dale Warland Singers, Philadelphia Singers, Pro Arte Chamber Choir and the King of Thailand. The Freemans commissioned the work on the occasion of the impending retirement of Kathie, the Chorale's long-time Artistic Personnel and Production Manager, at the end of the choir's 2008|09 season.

The text for Sametz’s piece – written for double choir, mezzo-soprano, obbligato clarinet and harp – is based on the poem “Music’s Music” by Megan Freeman, the Freeman’s daughter. The composer notes, “The love of music does not retire when the mechanism (the singer’s voice) is no longer in its prime. That transformative power of music to reveal and enrich does not go away. But there is an acceptance that eventually overtakes all singers. Music’s Music is a tribute to a long musical career spent singing with colleagues and sharing the love of making music in song.”

States Kathie, “‘Music’s Music’ is dedicated to Grant, Terry and the Chorale for all they have meant to my life. I chose Steven Sametz because he hasn't written anything that I don't relate to. His writing style is beautifully expressive and his choral music, text driven, is very accessible. I told him I wanted a piece that would have a life - something other groups without the consummate skill of the Master Chorale might be able to perform. One of the most meaningful pieces for me that he has written is an a cappella piece recorded by Chanticleer titled I Have Had Singing. It sums up my feeling about the singing I have had in my life.”

Tickets to the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s concert range from $19 to $124. Student Rush seats are $10 and are available at the box office two hours before the performance. For tickets and information, please call (800) 787-5262 (outside California call 213-972-7282), or visit www.lamc.org. (Tickets can no longer be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.) The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue at First Street in downtown Los Angeles.
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Event: Los Angeles Master Chorale – “Chorus + Organ”
Los Angeles Master Chorale
Grant Gershon, Conductor
Debussy Trio
Christoph Bull, Organ
Performance Date: Sunday, February 22, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
(Listen Up! pre-concert talk with Grant Gershon, KUSC’s Alan Chapman, 6 p.m.)
Program: ANDREA CLEARFIELD Dream Variations (World Premiere)
Debussy Trio
STEVEN SAMETZ Music’s Music (World Premiere)
NICO MUHLY Expecting the Main Things from You (West Coast Premiere)
FRANZ LISZT Inno a Maria Vergine
ARVO PÄRT De Profundis
Venue: Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012
Ticket Prices: $19 - $124; Student Rush seats available at box office two hours before the performance
Ticket Information: 800-787-5262
outside California call 213-972-7282
(Tickets can no longer be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except
on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.)

Official Website: http://www.lamc.org

Added by libbyhuebner on February 8, 2009