Choral singing is one of the most pervasive and unifying genres of music, and in this series titled A Choral Atlas we will explore both masterpieces of the canon and champion some of the most original and proficient women artists working today. Our 68th season will give audiences a musical tour around the globe, allowing us to highlight the creativity of composers from both the Old and New Worlds, with particular attention paid to regions and traditions that have fostered distinct musical offerings such as Mexico, the Baltic Republics and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Some of the oldest known choruses are from Ancient Greek tragedies, and those works will be juxtaposed against new music from contemporary composers. Our choral journey will culminate with a celebration of our shared humanity with a piece called Voices for Today, commissioned in 1965 by the United Nations. Composed by Benjamin Britten, the piece brings together adult and children's voices with texts taken from numerous cultures over 2500 years, to create a major work of both brilliance and technical complexity. This will be its first performance in St. Louis, and we will ask choristers from schools around St. Louis city and county to participate in the regional debut.
We will hold each presentation on a Sunday from 3 pm to about 4:30 pm.
Season subscriptions include access to all six of our Sunday afternoon concerts. As a season subscriber you will enjoy guaranteed, reserved seating with the best acoustical advantage and receive pre-concert letters from the Artistic Director including advance information about the program, seating, and parking. You can also receive a tax deduction for missed concerts and have ticket exchange benefits.*
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* Call us at (636) 458-4343 or email us for information about exchanging tickets or obtaining tax letters.
The Baltic States
Second Baptist Church, Richmond Heights
9030 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63117
Opening our season is a choral tour around the Baltic region. We wind through our journey with masterworks by Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen, Arvo Pårt and Mikolaj Zielenski. Included in our travels are US premières from Mårten Jansson and Raminta Šerkšnytė.
St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Carondelet
5418 Louisiana Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111
The energy of the New World exerted upon Spanish colonists is heard in lively settings by Francisco Lopez Capillas and Manuel de Zumaya. These works are in contrast with the tender Aztec verse set by Carlos Chavez and contemporary part songs by Maria Granillo.
The Holy Land
Second Presbyterian Church, Central West End
4501 Westminster Pl., St. Louis, MO 63108
Composer Kerensa Briggs and the poet Charles Anthony Silvestri collaborate to create a new centerpiece for our holiday program, which also describes the Christmas story through the music of Virgil Thomson and Paul Nelson. Additionally, we will perform the beloved traditional carols from John Jacob Niles and John Rutter.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire
Shrine of St. Joseph, St. Louis
1220 N. 12th St., St. Louis, MO 63106
The grandeur that this empire cultivated extended from architecture to music, and included such geniuses as Mozart, Haydn and Johann Strauss. Their motets punctuate the complete Missa Choralis of Franz Liszt, performed in the opulent sanctuary of this historic St. Louis landmark.
The Glory That Was Greece
Graham Chapel, Washington University
6475 Forsyth Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63105
The competing tensions found in the tragedy Antigone by Sophocles are presented through four odes composed expressly for us by Ned Rorem, Sasha Johnson Manning, Kerensa Briggs, and Melissa Dunphy. Their dramatic choruses find relief in the tender and deeply personal poetry of Sappho, set by Clare Maclean and Ildebrando Pizzetti.
John Burroughs School, Ladue
755 S. Price Rd., St. Louis, MO 63124
Our season concludes by celebrating not individual nations, but the universality of Mankind, through works that examine what binds us together. We identify our common values with works by the Haitian composer, Sydney Guillaume and a rarely performed cantata (Voices for Today, op. 75) commissioned by the United Nations from Benjamin Britten which features both youth and adult singers.