Archive for May, 2008

The Manhattan Choral Ensemble, directed by Tom Cunningham, will premiere my Lux Aeterna as part of a concert featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff’s masterpiece, All-Night Vigil (more commonly known as his Vespers), at Holy Trinity Church (213 West 82nd St.) in New York City on June 6 and 7. Both concerts will take place at 8PM. Ticket are $15, $12 (students and seniors) and can be purchased via Paypal at the MCE website by clicking here. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

The psalm texts of Vespers, one of the crowning achievements in Russian sacred music, are sung in the ancient Church Slavonic to music rooted in the traditional Znamenny chants of the Russian Orthodox Church, but infused with the transcendent romanticism of Rachmaninoff. This well-loved work features the famous Bogoroditse Devo and the hymn Rachmaninoff wished to have sung at his funeral, Nine otpushchayeshi. My Lux Aeterna, which uses portions of a Znammeny Communion Chant, was commissioned by MCE as part of their ongoing New Music for New York commissioning project, and was written specifically to complement this Vespers program. You can read more about how the piece developed here.

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rrm.jpgPianist Ana Cervantes will close the 19th edition of the Raritan River Festival, USA on Saturday 31 May at 7:30PM in the Clinton Presbyterian Church in Clinton, NJ.

Joining her will be Mexican poet Lirio Garduño and New Jersey poet David Herrstrom, for a recital of music of Rumor de Páramo / Murmurs from the Wasteland. Rumor de Páramo is the international commissioning project, homage to landmark Mexican writer and photographer Juan Rulfo (1917-1986) in which Cervantes asked composers – from México, Spain, the USA, Great Britain and Brazil- for a solo piano piece inspired in Rulfo’s work. The result, over 3 years and 2 CDs, says Cervantes, is “a splendid body of 23 new works for the piano.” On the 31st, Garduño and Herrstrom will join the eloquent spoken word with the music it inspired, reading excerpts from Rulfo’s writing.

The concert will include my contribution to the project, Murmuring in Comala, as well as works by Federico Ibarra (México, 1946); Anne LeBaron (EUA, 1953); Arturo Márquez (México, 1950); Ramón Montes de Oca (México, 1953-2006); and Horacio Uribe (México, 1970).

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The string quartet members of the Griffin Ensemble will perform my Set fire to have light at the Jazepa Cathedral in Liepāja, Latvia, on May 31 at 4PM as part of a program that will also include works by Haydn and Brahms. The quartet members, all musicians in the Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, are Baiba Lasmane and Ginta Alžāne, Violins; Tatjana Borovika, Viola; and Dina Puķite, cello.

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The Cantala Women’s Choir of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music will perform my The Moon of the Floating World, an a cappella setting for women’s voices in eight parts of a haiku by Ihara Saikaku (1642-1693). Conducted by Phillip A. Swan, the choir will perform in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin on May 30 at 8PM.

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