• Thursday, Jan 13, 2011

    Carnegie Hall Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop



    Conductor Robert Spano and Choral Director Norman Mackenzie
    Lead 20th Anniversary Workshop Exploring Berlioz’s Requiem, February 8–13

    Workshop Culminates with Concert Bringing Together
    Professional-Level Choral Singers and High School Choirs,
    With Conductor Robert Spano and Orchestra of St. Luke’s on Sunday, February 13

    Originally Led by Late Conductor Robert Shaw, First Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop
    Launched Series of Professional Training Workshops for Musicians,
    Presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute


    The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall commemorates twenty years of the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop with an intensive six-day anniversary workshop from February 8–13, exploring Berlioz’s Requiem. The Workshop’s culminating performance on Sunday, February 13 at 3:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage will feature the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus and the National High School Festival Chorus performing Berlioz’s masterwork, collaborating with tenor Thomas Cooley and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s under the direction of renowned conductor Robert Spano. The chorus will be prepared by Norman Mackenzie.

    Mr. Spano and Mr. Mackenzie continue the legacy of the great conductor Robert Shaw, who inaugurated the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop during the Hall’s 1990–1991 centennial season and led the first eight workshops until his death in 1999. Each year, the nation’s top choral professionals are selected to participate in workshops devoted to the musical preparation, rehearsal techniques, study, analysis, and performance of choral masterworks. Since Mr. Shaw’s death, the Choral Workshop has continued to be led by the world’s greatest choral directors including Ton Koopman and Helmuth Rilling. Mr. Mackenzie, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s longtime chorus director who worked closely with Mr. Shaw, was also involved, acting as choral clinician for the first three workshops after his passing.

    The repertoire selected for this year’s workshop is a masterwork that Mr. Shaw led at his 1993 workshop. “In every sense, the Berlioz Requiem is a Mount Everest of artistic expression. Its musical, philosophical, and emotional complexities are unique,” said Mr. Mackenzie. “Shaw often described great art as being ‘not the luxury of the few, but the necessity of the many.’ I hope there will be similar opportunities for discussion in the upcoming Berlioz workshop.” Mr. Spano earned a Grammy Award for conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in a recording of this piece in 2005.

    For the first time in the Workshop’s history, Carnegie Hall has invited two high school choirs that were selected as participants in the Weill Music Institute’s biennial National High School Choral Festival, to participate in the Choral Workshop this year, giving them the unique opportunity to train with some of today’s top choral professionals and conductors. The high school choirs performing at this year’s anniversary workshop and concert are Capital Pride of Leesville High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, and The Concorde Vocal Ensemble of the York County Senior Honors Choir of York County, Pennsylvania.

    About the Artists
    Music Director Robert Spano, currently in his tenth season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), is recognized internationally as one of the most imaginative conductors today. Since 2001, he has invigorated and expanded the orchestra’s repertoire while elevating the ensemble to new levels of international prominence and acclaim. Mr. Spano has a discography with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra of nine recordings, six of which have been honored with Grammy Awards. He has led the ASO's performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, as well as the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah Music festivals. He has led the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and symphony orchestras, The Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras as well as Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC Symphony, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. As an opera conductor, he has appeared at Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and the 2005 and 2009 Seattle Opera Ring cycles. Mr. Spano was Musical America's 2008 Conductor of the Year. In March 2010, Mr. Spano began a three-year tenure as Emory University’s Distinguished Artist in Residence, in which he spends three weeks each year leading intensive seminars, lecturing and presenting programs on science, math, philosophy, literature and musicology throughout the University’s campus. In its 165-year history, Emory University has honored only seven other individuals with such expansive residencies, including the Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter and author Salman Rushdie. Recognized for his passionate nurturing of new music from living composers, Mr. Spano is equally passionate about helping to nurture the next generation of musicians. He was the head of the Conducting Fellowship Program at the Tanglewood Music Center from 1998–2002, and is a Professor of Conducting at Oberlin Conservatory. In January of 2007, Mr. Spano brought the Oberlin Student Orchestra to Carnegie Hall with a critically-acclaimed performance of music by Jennifer Higdon, Mozart, and Bartók.

    Norman Mackenzie's abilities as musical collaborator, conductor, and concert organist have brought him international recognition. As Director of Choruses for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since 2000 and holder of its endowed Frannie and Bill Graves Chair, he was selected to help carry forward the creative vision of legendary founding conductor Robert Shaw to a new generation of music lovers. At the ASO, he prepares the choruses for all concerts and recordings, conducts holiday concerts annually, and works closely with ASO Music Director Robert Spano and commissioned-composers in the creation and premiere of new works. Mr. Mackenzie’s leadership was rewarded with Grammy Awards for Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance for the ASO and Chorus recording of Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony in 2003; with a Best Choral Performance Grammy for Berlioz’s Requiem in 2005; and for Best Opera Recording of Golijov's Ainadamar in 2007. Mr. Mackenzie also serves as Director of Music and Fine Arts for Atlanta's Trinity Presbyterian Church and pursues an active recital and guest conducting schedule. Mr. Mackenzie has been hailed by The New York Times as Robert Shaw's "designated successor." In his 14-year association with Mr. Shaw (1985–1999), he was keyboardist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, principal accompanist for the ASO Choruses, and ultimately assistant choral conductor. In addition, he was musical assistant and accompanist for the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers, the Robert Shaw Institute Summer Choral Festivals in France and the United States, and for the famed Carnegie Hall Choral Workshops.

    The American tenor Thomas Cooley is quickly establishing a reputation on both sides of the Atlantic as a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, power, and virtuosity. He is equally at home on the concert stage and in the opera house, and his repertoire ranges across more than four centuries, encompassing the early masters such as Monteverdi, Handel, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven as well as works by Romantic and twentieth-century and contemporary composers including Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Elgar, Britten, Penderecki, and Henze.

    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.

    The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall
    The Weill Music Institute (WMI) 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 over 115,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in the New York metropolitan area and across the US, as well as 65,000 people around the world through its online and distance learning initiatives.

    For the past twenty years, WMI’s intensive weeklong Professional Training Workshops, specially created for young artists ages 18–35, have provided unique opportunities to explore performance techniques and various aspects of musical life with many of today’s leading artists. In addition to the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop, WMI presents three more professional opportunities during the 2010–2011 season: one with soprano Dawn Upshaw and composer Donnacha Dennehy (April 11–17); one with violinist Christian Tetzlaff (May 1–5); and The Song Continues…, a series of workshops headed by mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne and dedicated to the art of the vocal recital (January 18–23). In addition, master classes with jazz pianist/composer Brad Mehldau, holder of this season’s Carnegie Hall Debs Composer’s Chair, will be offered in partnership with (Le) Poisson Rouge (March 5–6).

    Program Information
    Sunday, February 13 at 3:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus
    National High School Festival Chorus
    Orchestra of St. Luke's
    Robert Spano, Conductor
    Thomas Cooley, Tenor
    Norman Mackenzie, Chorus Director

    HECTOR BERLIOZ Requiem, Op. 5

    Professional Training Workshops are made possible, in part, by Mr. and Mrs. Nicola Bulgari and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

    This concert, the National High School Choral Festival, and the Robert Spano Choral Workshop are made possible, in part, by endowment gifts from S. Donald Sussman and the Citi Foundation.

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall. 

    Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced from $30 to $85 are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer. In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.




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