This February, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) will present its fourth large-scale creative learning project for New York City public school students with The Carmina Burana Choral Project, an in-depth rehearsal process and culminating performance of Carl Orff’s popular, exuberant choral work Carmina Burana on Carnegie Hall’s stage. Conductor David Robertson—Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony—will lead the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with featured soloists including soprano Celena Shafer, tenor Lawrence Brownlee, and baritone David Adam Moore in addition to a chorus of 250 young singers on Sunday, February 5 at 3:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. For the first half of the program, Maestro Robertson will conduct an additional 150 young singers in the world premieres of new works for orchestra and choir, inspired by themes and compositional techniques explored in Carmina Burana, composed by three top teenage composers, selected by WMI from around the country.
Choirs from the following eight New York City schools plus local youth choir Songs of Solomon have been selected to perform in the program:
• Brooklyn High School of the Arts • Brooklyn Technical High School • Fordham High School for the Arts • Forest Hills High School • Fort Hamilton High School • Frank Sinatra School of the Arts • Mark Twain I.S. 239 for the Gifted & Talented • Scarsdale High School
Connecting to Orff’s original vision for Carmina Burana to be performed as a multi-media spectacle, the music-making at the February 5 performance will be complemented by a visual art component consisting of 3D projection mapping on the back wall of Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, created by acclaimed video and projections designer S. Katy Tucker, whose recent credits include Paul McCartney’s new ballet, Heart of a Soldier with Francesca Zambello at the San Francisco Opera, and Menotti’s The Medium with James Marvel.
Each year, Carnegie Hall presents a large-scale creative learning project in which local students rehearse and perform a major work in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage with a professional orchestra, professional soloists, and a well-known conductor. As part of the project, select students also compose new music based on themes from the featured major work. These intensive projects are designed to nurture and showcase exemplary student work through multiple months of rehearsal and preparation, elevating student performance to a professional level, and creating transformational experiences for all involved. Past projects have included The Rite of Spring Project (November 2007), The Bernstein Mass Project (December 2008), andToo Hot to Handel(November 2010).This season, for the creative composition work, WMI solicited applications from top high school composers from around the country. Three high school composers were selected to each create a new five-to-seven minute piece for orchestra and chorus based on the compositional techniques of Orff’s Carmina Burana. These composers are: 16-year-old Anthony Constantino from Tucson, Arizona (work: “Thus It Was”); 14-year-old Gabe Smallwood, from Florence, SC (work: “Dies Irae”); and 16-year-old Thomas Reeves from New York City (work: “A Man’s Life”). The three composers traveled to New York in late June for an orientation workshop where they studied Carmina Burana, met with local teachers, studied with professional composers, and selected a text related to the topical themes of the work. “This summer has been full of inspiration. I am amazed and honored to be working with the Weill Music Institute on The Carmina Burana Choral Project. Seeing my work performed at Carnegie Hall will be the experience of a lifetime,” says Anthony Constantino. For more information about the teenage composers and insight into each of their creative processes, please click here. First staged in 1937, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (Songs of Beuern) is a scenic cantata and the first work of a triptych of choral pieces the composer called the Trionfi. Its texts are drawn from 24 poems of the medieval European collection of the same name, written mostly in Latin,that explore a wide range of largely secular, human topics. Orff’s subtitle is Cantiones profanæ cantoribus et choris cantandæ comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis (“Secular songs for singers and choruses to be sung together with instruments and magic images”). “O Fortuna,” the movement that opens and closes Carmina Burana is one of the most well-known pieces of Western music, having been used in dozens of films and television commercials since it was first premiered. About the ArtistsA consummate musician, masterful programmer and dynamic presence, David Robertson has established himself as one of today’s most sought-after American conductors. A passionate and compelling communicator with an extensive knowledge of orchestral and operatic repertoire, he has forged close relationships with major orchestras around the world through his exhilarating music-making and stimulating ideas. In fall 2011, Mr. Robertson began on his seventh season as Music Director of the 132-year-old St. Louis Symphony, while continuing as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, a post he has held since 2005. Highlights of David Robertson’s 2011-2012 season with the St. Louis Symphony include the world premiere of Steven Mackey’s Piano Concerto, as well as the orchestra’s eighth consecutive annual appearance at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Guest engagements in the U.S. comprise performances with the Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle symphonies, and the New York Philharmonic. After conducting The Carmina Burana Choral Project, he returns to Carnegie Hall in March for two more concerts, the first with his own orchestra and soprano Karita Mattila in a program featuring works by Debussy, Stravinsky, and Kaija Saariaho, holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall; the second with Ensemble ACJW, the performing arm of Carnegie Hall’s Academy, in a program of works by Wagner, Ligeti, Adams, and Haydn. In May he conducts Britten’s Billy Budd at The Metropolitan Opera. Internationally, guest engagements include the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, where David Robertson appears regularly, the Bayerischer Rundfunk as part of Musica Viva Munich, and several concerts with the BBC Symphony. In addition to his fresh interpretations of traditional repertoire, this season Mr. Robertson also conducts world premieres of works by Graham Fitkin, John Cage, Klaas de Vries, Yann Robin and Michael Jarrell.Now entering its 36th year, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s is one of America’s foremost and most versatile chamber orchestra. Dedicated to engaging audiences throughout New York City and beyond, St. Luke’s performs approximately 75 orchestral, chamber, and educational concerts each year—including an annual chamber music and orchestra series at Carnegie Hall. The orchestra collaborates regularly with the world’s great artists, such as Renée Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Anna Netrebko, Mark Morris Dance Group, Peter Gabriel, Sting, Elton John, and many more. Committed to community-building, St. Luke’s produces free concerts in each of the five boroughs, and has engaged more than one million children in its arts education programs. OSL’s stellar 70 plus discography includes four releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings.Since 2003, S. Katy Tucker has worked all over the US and world including Broadway, Off-Broadway, The Royal Opera House, The New York City Ballet, Mariinsky Theatre, Carnegie Hall, Disney World, Kennedy Center, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, Denver Center, Alley Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Julliard School, and more. Recent productions include: a new ballet by Paul McCartney, choreographed by Peter Martins, at New York City Ballet, the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier and Wagner’s Götterdämmerung both directed by Francesca Zambello at the San Francisco Opera, Menotti’s The Medium with James Marvel, and Songs from the Uproar by Missy Mazzoli at The Kitchen, Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at Wolf Trap Opera, Faust at NC Opera, 21c Liederabend at the Kitchen, and underneathmybed at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre. In 2006, Ms. Tucker co-founded with partner Alexandra Morton, beatbox designs, a New York and LA based interdisciplinary design firm that re-thinks and re-works the boundaries between art, architecture, entertainment, and experience. She resides in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie HallThe Weill Music Institute creates broad-reaching music education and community programs that play a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as wide an audience as possible. Woven into the fabric of the Carnegie Hall concert season, these programs occur at Carnegie Hall as well as in schools and throughout neighborhoods, providing musical opportunities for everyone, from preschoolers to adults, new listeners to emerging professionals. With access to the world’s greatest artists and latest technologies, the Weill Music Institute is uniquely positioned to inspire the next generation of music lovers, to nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and to shape the evolution of musical learning itself. The Weill Music Institute’s school and community programs annually serve more than 300,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in the New York metropolitan area, across the US, and around the world.
Public Relations Officepublicrelations@carnegiehall.org
212-903-9750Monday–Friday, 9:30 AM–5:30 PM