The City Choir of Washington Presents U.S. Premiere of Britten's Two Psalms
CONTACT: Tonya Robles
May 3, 2014
The City Choir of Washington
Presents U.S. Premiere of Britten’s Two Psalms
Washington, D.C. – The City Choir of Washington (TCCW) presents its final subscription concert of the 2013-2014 season: Mozart Grand Mass in C Minor and Britten’s Two Psalms. The concert is scheduled for Sunday, May 18, at 5:00 pm at National Presbyterian Church, 4101 Nebraska Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., and will feature The City Choir of Washington Chamber Orchestra and guest soloists. The performance is dedicated to the memory of Amy Antonelli, longtime musical colleague to Artistic Director Robert Shafer and accompanist for the City Choir, who passed away in March.
As part of the worldwide Britten 100 celebration, The City Choir of Washington is presenting the U.S. premiere of Two Psalms, and only the second performance in the world. Britten composed his Two Psalms in 1931 during his studies at the Royal College of Music. Although composed in his youth, these works display a maturity of construction and originality of form that few composers reach in their lifetimes. Britten was a virtually unknown teenager, dependent on the backing of his elders for performance opportunities. Sadly, even Vaughan Williams’ fervent support of the Two Psalms was not enough to secure a coveted slot on the Three Choirs Festival program, and with that the piece were resigned to the desk drawer, not to be heard in Britten’s lifetime. The manuscript was rediscovered among his archives only a few years ago, and received its world premiere in Oxford in the winter of 2012.
Both Mozart and Britten displayed startling musical talent from their early years onward, shocking the establishment and eventually gaining the admiration of music-lovers the world over. The balance of the program is Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor. Written during his mid-twenties, this colossal work marks a major turning point in the composer’s style. The piece is one of the earliest and most representative examples of Mozart’s fusion of Baroque stylistic elements with the music of his day.
Four extraordinary soloists join Maestro Shafer and The City Choir of Washington for Mozart’s Grand Mass in C Minor:
Soprano Danielle Talamantes’ makes an exciting stage debut in the upcoming 2014-2015 season as Frasquita in Bizet’s Carmen in a return to The Metropolitan Opera, as well as returns to the National Philharmonic for both Beethoven’s Ninth Symphonyand Mozart’s Requiemand Exsultate Jubilate. This season Danielle Talamantes debuts at Avery Fisher Hall as the soprano soloist in Bob Chilcott’s Requiem, a perfomance he is to conduct. In addition, she performs the soprano lead in a world premiere production of Janice Hamer’s Lost Childhood with the National Philharmonic in Washington D.C. A native of Northern Virginia, Talamantes made her Carnegie Hall debut in a sold-out solo recital in 2007 and was the Soprano in Residence for the Summer 2012 at the Marlboro Music Festival in Marlboro, Vermont.
Kathryn Honan-Carter, mezzo-soprano, was a National Finalist at the Metropolitan Opera Competition in New York and a two-time recipient of the Metropolitan Opera Education Fund Grant. She made her New York City debut at Lincoln Center singing with The New York City Opera as Suzuki in Madame Butterfly and went on to sing many roles with the company over several years. Ms. Honan-Carter is a frequent guest performer with many instrumental organizations and choral societies, including The National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center, The Washington Concert Opera, The Chamber Music Series at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, The Washington Ballet, and many others.
Matthew Loyal Smith, tenor, has performed as a tenor soloist with many prestigious ensembles including the Washington Chorus, the National Philharmonic, the Washington Bach Consort, the Cathedral Choral Society, the Washington Concert Opera, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia.
Bass Kerry Wilkerson is a current member of the United States Army Chorus. With over 20 years experience as a military musician he has performed in many of the most prestigious concert halls throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to his many military-related performances, Kerry is well known to Washington, D.C. audiences through his solo recitals and regular guest appearances with community-based choruses and orchestras.
Tickets for Mozart Grand Mass in C Minor and Britten’s Two Psalms are $15-$50. Group, senior, and student discounts are available. For tickets and additional information, visit citychoir.org or call 301-572-6865.
The City Choir of Washington, under the leadership of Grammy® Award-winning Artistic Director Robert Shafer, has been named as one of the D.C. 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. The City Choir has performed with The National Symphony, 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, Erik Ochsner, and Murry Sidlin. In addition, the group presents its own yearly subscription series conducted by Maestro Shafer.
The City Choir of Washington