LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE OPENS 49th SEASON WITH PANACHE
The Los Angeles Master Chorale launched its 2012-13 season, its 49th, on Sunday, October 21, 2012, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
By Libby Huebner | October 30, 2012
The concert featured two West Coast premieres – Nico Muhly’s choral tapestry, A Good Understanding, performed with the Los Angeles Children's Chorus, and Judith Weir’s Ascending Into Heaven, a soaring journey into the clouds. In addition, Gershon conducted a second Muhly piece, Bright Mass with Canons, which received its West Coast premiere by the Chorale in 2010. Both Muhly works are featured on the Chorale’s CD A Good Understanding recorded in Disney Hall and released to tremendous critical acclaim by Decca in 2010.
For the 20th consecutive year, BNY Mellon sponsored the glamorous post-concert gala, which was held in BP Hall and featured musical entertainment by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Tony Award-winning composer/pianist/playwright Jason Robert Brown. The Chorale’s signature surround sing, in which Chorale members encircle guests and envelope them in song, included Gershon conducting Brown’s Music of Heaven, the 9th movement of Henryk Górecki’s Miserere, the hymn Unclouded Day arranged by LAMC Composer In Residence Shawn Kirchner, and Zion’s Wall, a revivalist song arranged by Aaron Copland.
Other event highlights included actress Jane Kaczmarek conducting a live auction for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conduct the Hallelujah Chorus on stage at the Chorale’s beloved Messiah Sing-Along on December 17 for which Tom and Judy Beckmen made the winning bid of $4,500. Guests dined on Ahi tuna towers, braised beef short ribs, farmer’s market vegetables and apple crumble tart with crème fraiche sherbet.
The Chorale is currently in its 49th season as a resident company of The Music Center of Los Angeles County and its 10th as the resident chorus at Disney Hall. Presenting its own concert series each season, it performs choral music from the earliest writings to the most recent contemporary compositions. To date, the choir has commissioned 27 and premiered 76 new works, of which 44 were world premieres, and has been awarded three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as Chorus America’s prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence.
The Chorale has performed in more than 300 concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl and has also appeared at the Ojai Music Festival, the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, and the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in leading venues throughout the Southland.
Its discography includes five CDs under Gershon’s baton. The latest, released in September 2012 on Decca, features three works by Polish composer Henryk Górecki.
For more information: www.LAMC.org
LA Master Chorale Board Chair David Ginder, Kiki Gindler, special guest Jason Robert Brown, Elissa Johnston and Music Director Grant Gershon
(L-R) Spencer Gould; LAMC Board Member David Garza representing gala sponsor BNY Mellon; and LAMC President & CEO Terry Knowles
(L-R) Composers Morten Lauridsen and Paul Mealor, whose work “Ubi caritas” was performed by the LA Master Chorale at the choir’s opening night concert
(L-R) Actress Jane Kzcmarek, LAMC Board Member Brian Brooks and Virginia Brooks
(L-R) Tom and Judy Beckmen
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