The Los Angeles Master Chorale, conducted by Music Director Grant Gershon, presents the Walt Disney Concert Hall debut of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, considered one of Western Civilization’s greatest pieces of music, on Sunday, March 7, 2010, 7:00 p.m., in the famed concert venue. Members of the Chorale will sing the solo roles, and joining the choir are special guest ensembles Los Angeles Children’s Chorus and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, performing on period instruments and regarded as one of the nation’s foremost Baroque ensembles. Gershon and KUSC’s Alan Chapman participate in Listen Up!, the pre-concert talk at 6:00 p.m.

The featured soloists are Pablo Cora, as the Evangelist; Steve Pence as Jesus; Kristen Toedtman, Adriana Manfredi and Leslie Inman, altos; Tamara Bevard and Deborah Mayhan, sopranos; Jon Lee Keenan, tenor; and Abdiel Gonzales, baritone.

The performance marks the early music ensemble’s third appearance with the choir in four years. Previous collaborations included Bach’s B Minor Mass in 2008 and a program of Mexican Baroque gems in 2006.

Gershon describes St. Matthew Passion as one of the top five choral masterworks and says, “It is an honor to be the first person to conduct Bach’s famed work in Disney Hall, with its stellar acoustics and intimate setting.”

Composed in 1727 and set to chapters 26 and 27 from the Book of Matthew, Bach’s deeply emotional work also incorporates choruses and arias to recount the story of the capture and crucifixion of Christ, interrupted by the poetic interjections of the chorus. Intensely dramatic, lyrical and contemplative, St. Matthew Passion has been used over the years to great effect in numerous films, including The Talented Mr. Ripley staring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett.

Concert tickets to 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 (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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