June 22, 2012
-- June 2012: The City Choir of Washington, under the direction of Artistic Director Robert Shafer, will present the World Premiere Performance of THREE HYMNS OF GEORGE HERBERT, a major new work by world-renowned composer Sir John Tavener. The premiere will be presented on April 21, 2013 as part of a Gala Concert at the Washington National Cathedral commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
THREE HYMNS OF GEORGE HERBERT by John Tavener was commissioned especially for The City Choir of Washington by the Legatum Institute, under the leadership of its Executive Director, Dr. Jeffrey Gedmin. The text for this composition includes three poems by George Herbert (1593-1633), a Welsh-born English poet, orator and Anglican priest. The work is scored for full chorus, soloists, and orchestra.
Robert Shafer enthusiastically commented on the upcoming premiere by saying, "Sir John Tavener is one of the world's leading composers and is undoubtedly England's greatest living composer. We are so excited about presenting to Washington and the world the first performance of this major new work!"
The City Choir of Washington’s 2012-2013 “Royal Season” will celebrate the great music of the British tradition and those who have been influenced by it. In addition to the Coronation Anniversary Concert, TCCW will perform Handel’s regal Coronation Anthems on October 28, 2012, and its annual Music for Christmas concert on December 16, 2012.
“In just a few seasons, artistic director Robert Shafer has shaped the City Choir of Washington into another of the area's first-class choruses.”– The Washington Post
Critics and audiences alike have praised The City Choir of Washington and its Artistic Director Robert Shafer for consistently beautiful choral tone, clear diction, and exquisite attention to musical detail. Robert Shafer is Washington’s Grammy® Award-winning choral conductor, composer, educator and church musician, and has been active in the Washington, DC area for more than 40 years. The City Choir has performed with The National Symphony and The Washington National Opera Orchestra at The Kennedy Center and at Wolf Trap Park for the Performing Arts under the batons of Stephen Lord, Randall Craig Fleischer, Ludwig Wicki, Marvin Hamlisch, and Murry Sidlin. In addition, the group has performed to capacity audiences in its own yearly subscription series conducted by Maestro Shafer.
The City Choir is comprised of 140 professional-
level volunteer singers from throughout the Washington metropolitan area. The City Choir of Washington dedicates itself to inspiring singers, audience members and the community to discover the rich musical and cultural heritage of choral music. Through performances and educational and community outreach programs such as The City Singers, Partners in Song, Collegiate Internships and The Young American Artists Program, The City Choir is committed to nurturing the next generation of performers and audience members.