Posts Tagged “Los Angeles Children’s Chorus”

Windsbacher Knabenchor

Windsbacher Knabenchor


Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC), building upon its long history of presenting other children’s choirs from the U.S. and abroad, hosts the highly anticipated Southern California debut of the illustrious German boys and mens choir Windsbacher Knabenchor on Sunday, October 26, 2014, at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. The exchange is part of Windsbacher’s 13-day U.S. tour, its first in 23 years, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of fall of the Berlin Wall and Germany’s subsequent reunification. Noted for its distinctive soaring sound and invigorating performances, the choir, which hails from the town of Windsbacher, Germany, is under the direction of Martin Lehman. The concert also features LACC’s acclaimed Concert Choir and Young Men’s Ensemble. The three choirs perform separately, then combine forces for the finale to sing James Erb’s moving arrangement of Shenandoah. Last summer, LACC’s Concert Choir participated in a workshop and performance with Windsbacher Knabenchor while touring Germany.

Windsbacher Knabenchor’s broad repertoire spans the Baroque era to contemporary music, but for the performance, the choir performs mostly German a cappella sacred and secular music, selecting from such works as Pachelbel’s Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, Bach’s Ich Lasse Dich Nicht, and Bruckner’s Os justi, as well as German “hiking songs,” love songs and madrigals, among others.

LACC’s Concert Choir, conducted by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, highlights the season’s theme Celebrating American Song with performances of Copland’s Ching-a-ring chaw; a haunting setting of the prayer Ave Maria sung in Spanish composed by Bay Area artist, Henry Mollicone; and Guide Me as I Walk Along, a work sung by the Cherokee Nation during their displacement on the Trail of Tears, which the chorus will sing in Cherokee.

LACC’s Young Men’s Ensemble, directed by Dr. Steven Kronauer, adds a Germanic touch performing such works as Bach’s Der Herr segne Euch, and Brahms’ Lass Dich nur nichts nicht dauren, as well as Jonah by renowned American composer Henry Leck.

“We are pleased to host this international choral exchange and welcome the esteemed Windsbacher Knabenchor to Southern California for the first time,” says LACC Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson. “These amazingly talented boys have captivated audiences around the globe.”

Founded in 1946 by Hans Thamm, Windsbacher Knabenchor, a “cultural ambassador“ of Nürnberg’s Metropolitan Region and a “trademark” of Franconia, acheived national and international renown under his successor, Karl-Friedrich Beringer. In 2012, Martin Lehmann was named conductor of the choir. Hailed for its musicality, precision and purity of sound, it regularly performs with such leading orchestras as the Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Bamberger Symphoniker and the Akademie füralte Musik Berlin, and has appeared at such music festivals as the Rheingau Musikfestiva and the Bachwoche Ansbach. It has also toured Europe, Japan, North and South America, Israel, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and the Peoples Republic of China. Its numerous CDs, radio broadcasts and television appearances have garnered raves from music critics and audiences alike.

In addition to its Southern California appearance, Windsbacher’s tour this fall includes performances in San Francisco and Berkeley, CA; Groton and Boston, MA; New Haven, CT; Philadelphia and Gettysburg, PA; and Washington, D.C. Windsbacher’s tour is supported by the Bavarian Ministry of Culture (“Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur”). The choir previously made its U.S. debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., in 1986, returning there in 1991 for the Center’s German Festival.

The concert is free (suggested donation $10) and reservations are not required. Pasadena Presbyterian Church is located at 585 East Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101. For more information about the concert and LACC, please call (626) 793-4321 or visit www.lachildrenschorus.org.

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Roy Mueller, a highly regarded non-profit arts administrator with deep roots in Southern California, has been appointed Executive Director of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) following a nationwide search, it was announced by LACC Board Chair Joanne Crawford-Dunér. Mueller, who is also an accomplished musician, previously served as Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum, where he led the museum through a successful four-year $5.2 million capital campaign to design and build a new facility. Prior to that he was Education Director of Pasadena Kidspace Children’s Museum, where he developed innovative art and science education programs for a diverse community audience.

“I am pleased to welcome Roy to the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus,” says Crawford-Dunér. “His exceptional non-profit arts leadership skills and keen fundraising abilities, as well as his creative program development, educational background and music performance experience are an ideal match for the position of Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Executive Director. I look forward to working closely with Roy on a number of exciting initiatives during this exciting time in the LACC’s evolution.”

“It is an honor to lead this extraordinary organization,” states Mueller. “During my tenure at the Pasadena’s Kidspace Children’s Museum, I had the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of Los Angeles area arts organizations including the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, Pasadena Symphony and Shumei Arts Council. I am highly impressed by LACC’s artistic excellence and its mission to serve the community. I look forward to working with LACC’s Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson and am pleased to return to Southern California to take the administrative helm of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus.”

In his role with the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum, Mueller, who has more than 16 years of non-profit leadership experience, articulated the vision for the new children’s museum and built the organization from the ground up, strategizing and implementing successful fundraising initiatives, including the $5.2 million capital campaign. He developed and managed operational budgets, cultivated community relationships and mentored a staff of 20 to support the vision and mission of the museum. He received a Bachelor of Music (performance) degree from the University of Louisville and a Master of Music (performance) from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He also earned a Certificate of Jazz Composition and Performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston. For more than 15 years, Mueller performed as a classical oboist/English hornist in South America, Europe and the United States, composed music for classical, jazz and theatrical genres, and taught music at the university level.

Described as “astonishingly polished,” “hauntingly beautiful,” and “one heck of a talented group of kids,” LOS ANGELES CHILDREN’S CHORUS is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost children’s choirs. Founded in 1986 and led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, LACC performs with such leading organizations as LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pasadena Symphony and POPs, Jacaranda, and Calder Quartet. The chorus’ roster includes more than 400 children aged 6-18 from 60 communities across Los Angeles in six choirs and First Experiences in Singing classes and ensemble for young singers. LACC has toured South Africa, North and South America, China and Europe, and produced the world-premiere of “Keepers of the Night,” an opera by Peter Ash and Donald Sturrock. The chorus appeared on LA Master Chorale’s Decca recording “A Good Understanding,” and Plácido Domingo’s Deutsche Grammophon recording “Amore Infinito” (“Infinite Love”) and, in 2011, gave the U.S. premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s “Dona Nobis Pacem.” The subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock, LACC is featured in the Academy Award-nominated “Sing!,” about a year in the life of the choir; “Sing Opera!,” documenting the production of LACC’s commissioned family opera “Keepers of the Night”; and “Sing China!,” chronicling its groundbreaking tour to China just prior to the Beijing Olympics. LACC has performed with John Mayer on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” and was featured on Public Radio International’s nationally syndicated show “From the Top,” among other credits. Open auditions for LACC take place each May. LACC also offers 6-7 year old children a non-auditioned program, First Experiences in Singing, which serves as an enriching and fun introduction to music.

For more information on Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, please call (626) 793-4231 or visit www.lachildrenschorus.org.

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The LA Phil’s prestigious Sounds About Town series continues with a Shakespeare-themed program featuring renowned conductor James Conlon conducting two of the country’s leading youth ensembles – the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) and the American Youth Symphony (AYS) – in the world premiere of The isle is full of noises… by Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and co-commissioned by LACC and AYS on Sunday, March 4, 2012, 7:30 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The ensembles also perform Sir David Willcocks’ The Glories of Shakespeare, which draws on texts from The Merchant of Venice, As You Like It, Cymbeline and Two Gentlemen of Verona and alternates between spirited syncopated rhythms and slower, richly harmonic elements. Additionally, the chorus and orchestra each perform separately with LACC Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson conducting a compilation of inventive settings of Shakespearean texts for treble voices, including Benjamin Britten’s Francie and Douglas Beam’s Spirits, and AYS Music Director Alexander Treger conducting a suite from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, described by National Public Radio as “one of the most beautiful scores of the 20th century.”

A pre-concert talk with Bjarnason hosted by Chad Smith, Director of Artistic Planning for the LA Phi, is open to ticket holders at 6:30 pm.

“We are honored to be a part of the esteemed Sounds About Town series and are extremely grateful to Mr. Conlon for conducting this highly anticipated premiere, which is reflective of his deep commitment to mentoring young artists,” says Tomlinson.

Adds Treger, “In what promises to be a diverse and illuminating program, we particularly look forward to presenting a new piece by Daníel Bjarnason, who is considered to be one of the world’s most intriguing composers writing for artists ranging from the London Sinfonietta to the post-rock group Sigur Rós.”

Mirroring the plot of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Bjarnason’s The isle is full of noises… begins with Miranda’s compassionate plea to Prospero, her father – with whom she is stranded on an island along with Caliban, a monster who has taught them how to survive there – to have mercy on the souls sailing by the island on dangerously stormy seas. The choral writing divides the singers into 12 different parts with clustered harmonic chords serving to heighten her concern and despair. It then condenses in scope, drawing into three parts as she speaks of how she would have “sunk the seas within the earth.” The second movement finds a lyric melody artfully representing Caliban’s calming words over a pulsating major seventh chord that reflects the unusual sounds on the island upon which they are marooned. The composer employs glissandi (vocal slides) and humming to highlight the evocative island sounds. The movement ends gently as Caliban reflects upon his dream of gaining riches and his hope “to dream again.” The concluding movement highlights the dramatic words of Prospero’s “all shall dissolve” soliloquy by beginning with gentle harmonies that crescendo into the upper treble range, finally folding into one another to close in a single vocal octave.

Bjarnason has garnered widespread acclaim for his debut album, Processions (2010), with Time Out NY declaring that Bjarnason “create(s) a sound that comes eerily close to defining classical music’s undefinable brave new world.” Both a conductor and composer, he has worked with a range of ensembles, including the London Sinfonietta, Ulster Orchestra and Sinfonietta Cracovia. He also regularly conducts at both the Icelandic Opera and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. Bjarnason has won numerous awards and grants and has twice been awarded a special recommendation for his work at the International Rostrum for Composers. In 2010, he was nominated for the prestigious Nordic Council’s Music Prize and won the Kraumur Music Award. The same year, Processions won the coveted Best Composer/Best Composition category at the Icelandic Music Awards. Bjarnason’s versatility as an arranger and conductor has led to collaborations with a broad array of musicians outside the classical field, including, in addition to Sigur Rós, Efterklang, múm and Ólöf Arnalds, among others.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (www.laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (www.hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from October through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.

Tickets are $20.75, $34.25, $40, $45. Tickets are available at LAPhil.com, the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office or any Ticketmaster outlet. To order by phone with credit card, please call the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office at 323.850.2000, or Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000. For more information, please call 323.850.2000. Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

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