LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE AND
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR GRANT GERSHON
PRESENT FOUR CHORALE-COMMISSIONED WORKS,
INCLUDING THREE WORLD PREMIERES
BY PAUL CHIHARA, MOIRA SMILEY AND NILO ALCALA,
AND U.S. PREMIERE BY EMMY-WINNING HOUSE OF CARDS COMPOSER JEFF BEAL,
AS PART OF “MADE IN L.A.” CONCERT
LAUNCHING MULTI-YEAR INITIATIVE
CHAMPIONING NEW GENERATION OF COMPOSERS AFFILIATED WITH L.A.
Program also Features Works by
Morten Lauridsen, Dale Trumbore, Matthew Brown and Shawn Kirchner
Sunday, November 15, 2015, 7 pm, Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) and Artistic Director Grant Gershon champion a new generation of choral composers affiliated with the City of Angels with “Made in L.A.,” a major multi-year initiative aimed at branding Los Angeles as the nexus for choral art in the country and around the world, which launches with a concert featuring four Chorale-commissioned works, including three world premieres and a U.S. premiere on Sunday, November 15, 2015, 7 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Gershon conducts the world premieres of Ave Maria/Scarborough Fair by Paul Chihara, a prolific composer celebrated for works “sleek and luxuriously colored” (New York Times); In the Desert With You by new-to-the-Chorale “vocal shape-shifter” Moira Smiley; and Filipino-American composer Nilo Alcala’s Mangá Pakalagián, which features special guest Subla, a Filipino kulintang ensemble led by master musician Danny Kalanduyan. Gershon also leads the U.S. premiere of The Salvage Men, the first choral commission by four-time Emmy Award-winning House of Cards composer Jeff Beal, which was co-commissioned by LAMC and the Eric Whitacre Singers, and further showcases LA’s deep pool of talented composers with Dale Trumbore’s The Whole Sea in Motion, set to text from the 1907 novel Agnes Grey by British author Anne Brontë; and Matthew Brown’s wistful Another Lullaby for Insomniacs, set to a poem by A. E. Stallings. Bookending the program are works by two former LAMC Composers in Residence: National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen’s richly textured Ave Maria; and Shawn Kirchner’s soaring Memorare, an a cappella setting of the beloved Marian devotional prayer.
“L.A. has become an incredible hotbed for some of the most interesting, creative and exciting composers writing for voice today,” notes Gershon. “Our goal with the ‘Made in L.A.’ initiative is to nurture these composers and closely align the Los Angeles Master Chorale with this emerging choral renaissance. By championing the next wave of creative talents, we can make the strongest possible impact on the future of choral music.”
Alcala’s piece completes the final chapter of the Chorale’s acclaimed LA is the World commissioning series, a multi-year initiative conceived by Gershon as a collaboration among American composers, master musicians and the choir to expand the choral repertoire with works that mirror L.A.’s vibrant multicultural fabric. It is funded in part by the James Irvine Foundation.
Tickets range from $29 – $129. Group rates are available. For tickets and information, please call (213) 972-7282, or visit www.lamc.org. Tickets can also be purchased in person in advance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office (Mon-Sat, 10 am-6 pm) and at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue at First Street in downtown Los Angeles.
NILO ALCALA is a Los Angeles-based composer originally from the Philippines He completed his Masters in Music Composition (2009) at Syracuse University Setnor School of Music (New York State) where he was awarded the Irene L. Crooker Music Award. A recipient of a Billy Joel Fellowship, Alcala also received grants from the Asian Cultural Council and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines. He holds a BM in Composition from the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Music, graduating Magna cum laude, and has received numerous national and international awards. His works have been performed by the Metro Manila Community Orchestra, the Cassatt String Quartet and the Da Capo Chamber Players, among many others. An active chorister, he was a member and composer-in-residence (2004-2007) of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Asia’s most awarded and traveled choir, appearing at such prestigious international competitions as the 35th Florilege Vocal de Tours (Tours, France) and the 2007 European Grand Prix for Choral Singing (Arezzo, Italy). He also earned nominations for Best Music Score at the 2003 Star Awards for Movies, Golden Screen Awards, and the 24th Metro Manila Film Festival for the movie Homecoming by acclaimed Filipino director Gil Portes.
JEFF BEAL is an American composer of music for film, media and the concert hall. With musical beginnings as a jazz trumpeter and recording artist, his works are infused with an understanding of rhythm and spontaneity. The New York Times proclaimed “the richness of Beal’s musical thinking…his compositions often capture the liveliness and unpredictability of the best improvisation.” Beal’s seven solo CDs established him as a respected recording artist and composer. His score and theme for the Netflix drama, House of Cards, has received four prime-time Emmy Awards nominations and one statue. Regarding his compelling score for the documentary, Blackfish, the late film critic Roger Ebert wrote of Beal’s ability to “invoke many genres; thriller, mystery, melodrama.” He has received a total of 14 prime-time Emmy nominations for his music, and has won four statues. His commissioned works have been performed by leading orchestras including the St. Louis (Marin Alsop), Rochester, Pacific (Carl St. Clair), Frankfurt, Munich, Berkeley (Kent Nagano) and Detroit (Neeme Jaarvi) symphony orchestras. Recent commissions include director Philip Haas’ art installation Butchers, Dragons, Gods & Skeletons, for the Kimball Art Museum and the Venice Biennale, the World Science Festival for Brian Green’s Light Falls, Six Sixteen for guitarist Jason Vieaux and the Lexington Chamber Ensemble, and the Smuin Ballet’s upcoming Oasis. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Beal and his wife Joan recently endowed and established the Beal Institute at their alma mater, to promote the study of film and contemporary media music creation.
MATTHEW BROWN, a California native, completed his master’s and doctoral studies in music composition at the USC Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Morten Lauridsen, Frank Ticheli, Donald Crockett, Frederick Lesemann, Randy Newman, and Tamar Diesendruck. His awards include the 2007 VocalEssence Welcome Christmas! Carol Contest, 2010 VocalEssence Essentially Choral Commission, and 2011 C4 Composition Competition. His works have been performed throughout the United States and internationally by groups such as The Crossing, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, VocalEssence, Antioch Chamber Ensemble, Young New Yorker’s Chorus, Cincinnati Boychoir, L.A. Choral Lab, GMCLA, C4, USC Chamber Choir, Los Robles Master Chorale, De Angelis Vocal Ensemble and the USC Thornton Symphony. He remains active in Los Angeles as a composer, arranger, performer, and professor, and sings with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, L.A. Chamber Singers & Cappella, the De Angelis Vocal Ensemble, and Horizon Music Group. His choral works, described by the New York Times as “quietly mesmerizing,” are featured on the Antioch Chamber Ensemble’s 2013 album (though love be a day) and published by Schott, G. Schirmer and Hal Leonard.
PAUL CHIHARA’s prize-winning concert works have been performed in most major cities and arts centers in the U.S. and Europe. His numerous commissions and awards include those from The Lili Boulanger Memorial Award, the Naumberg Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Fulbright Fellowship, the Aaron Copland Fund and National Endowment for the Arts, as well as from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the New Juilliard Ensemble and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Active in the ballet world, Mr. Chihara was composer-in-residence at the San Francisco Ballet from 1973-1986. While there, he wrote many trailblazing works, including Shin-ju, as well as the first full-length American ballet, The Tempest. In addition to his many concert works, Mr. Chihara has composed scores for over 90 motion pictures and television series, and founded the Visual Media (film music) program at UCLA. His movie credits include Prince of the City, The Morning After, Crossing Delancey, and John Turturro’s Romance and Cigarettes. Also active in the New York musical theatre world, Mr. Chihara served as musical consultant and arranger for Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, and was the composer for James Clavell’s Shogun, the Musical. He is an Artist Faculty in Film Music at New York University.
SHAWN KIRCHNER is a composer, arranger, and songwriter whose choral works are sung throughout the world. His appointment in 2012 as Composer in Residence for the Los Angeles Master Chorale was the culmination of an enduring creative relationship with music director Grant Gershon. Kirchner’s premieres with LAMC at Walt Disney Concert Hall include Songs of Ascent, Plath Songs, Inscapes, Behold New Joy, and Heavenly Home: Three American Songs, which received praise in the LA Times as “arranged with mastery.” Kirchner’s choral writing reflects his experience as a professional chorister (LAMC tenor since 2001), his background as a classical/jazz/bluegrass pianist, his interest in American and international folk traditions, and his own roots as a poet and songwriter. His collaborations include commissions and guest appearances with many organizations across the country including Jacaranda, Conspirare, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, ACDA Women’s Commission Consortium, and the LA Children’s Chorus. Kirchner’s work in the recording studio includes two CDs of original songs: Meet Me on the Mountain (bluegrass) and Holy World: Songs of Grief and Healing (folk/gospel), two Steve Reich recordings for LAMC, and over two dozen as a singer on recent feature film soundtracks.
MORTEN LAURIDSEN’s music occupies a permanent place in the standard vocal repertoire of the twenty-first century. His eight vocal cycles (Lux Aeterna, Les Chansons des Roses, Madrigali: Six ‘Fire Songs’ on Italian Renaissance Poems, A Winter Come, Cuatro Canciones, A Backyard Universe, Nocturnes and Mid-Winter Songs on Poems by Robert Graves), instrumental works, art songs and series of motets (including O Magnum Mysterium) are performed throughout the world and have been recorded on over two hundred albums, including several that received Grammy nominations. Lauridsen (b. 1943) served as Composer in Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1995-2001 and is currently Distinguished Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. An award-winning documentary by Michael Stillwater, Shining Night – A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen, was released in 2012 (songwithoutborders.net). In 2006, Lauridsen was named an “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2007 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest artistic award in the United States, by the President in a White House ceremony “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth.”
MOIRA SMILEY is a Singer/Composer who creates and performs new work for voices. As a musical polyglot and vocal shape-shifter, her voice and music are heard on feature films, BBC & PBS television programs, NPR, and on more than 60 albums. When she’s not leading her own group, moira smiley & VOCO, Smiley tours with Indie artist tUnE-yArDs, Irish music powerhouse, Solas, The Lomax Project and Billy Child’s Laura Nyro Re-Imagined. Recent solo performances include TED, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, the London Proms Festival, features on BBC3’s The Choir, and ABC Australia’s Books & Arts programs. Her recordings feature spare, vocally driven collections of warped traditional songs, original polyphony and body percussion. In addition to her performing work, she is in high demand as a choral clinician, composer and arranger. Traveling from her hilly Los Angeles perch, she also travels the world as a soloist in new, early and traditional music and creates new work for dance, theatre and film. A Vermont native, Smiley moved to California to deepen explorations of Eastern European vocal music with the renowned KITKA ensemble. In 2005, she recorded a solo CD, Rua, of Irish, Appalachian and her own songs (“rua” means “red” in Gaelic).
SUBLA, founded in 2013 and based in San Francisco, is an ensemble dedicated to combining the traditional gong music of the Southern Philippines with contemporary musical elements. The ensemble is led by GURU DANNY KALANDUYAN (kulintang, kulitang a kayo), who was raised in Datu Piang, in the Maguindanao region in Mindanao, Phillipines, and began playing native Filipino music when he was four, eventually mastering the Maguidanano tribal style of music. After earning an undergraduate degree in community studies, he became a traveling cultural ambassador through his work with the Darangan Cultural Troupe. The University of Washington invited him to share his knowledge of Kulintang with the music department and, in the process, earned a graduate degree in ethnomusicology. After teaching and performing in the Pacific Northwest, he found his way to Northern California through a series of invitations from various Filipino cultural organizations wanting to learn more about Kulintang. He is a National Endowment Award recipient and is currently a Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at San Francisco State University. Subla’s other members include BO RAZON (gandigan, dabakan, kulitang a kaylo), CHRIS TRINIDAD (babendil, dabakan, kulitang a kayo), FRANK HOLDER (dabakan, agung, kulitang a kayo) and ROBERTO RIOS (Agung, kulitang akayo).
DALE TRUMBORE’s compositions have been commissioned, awarded and performed by organizations including ACDA, ACME, Center City Opera Theater, Chanticleer, Choral Arts Initiative, the Kronos Quartet, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists, the USC Thornton Symphony, and VocalEssence. She notes that artist residencies at Copland House (Cortlandt Manor, New York), Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (Saratoga, WY), and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation (Taos, New Mexico) have provided some of the most challenging, inspiring and exhilarating composing experiences of her life. As a composer who writes frequently for voice, Trumbore is passionate about setting poems and prose by living authors to music. Trumbore received a dual undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland: a B.M. in Composition and a B.A. in English Language & Literature. After graduating with her master’s degree in Composition from the University of Southern California, where she studied with Morten Lauridsen and Donald Crockett, Trumbore remained in Los Angeles. This fall, Trumbore’s works will be premiered by Choral Arts (Seattle), the Ithaca College Choir, the Ripon College Chamber Singers, WomenSing, and the sixteen commissioning members of the Christmas Past, Christmas Future carol consortium.
Giving a voice to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Grammy-nominated LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE is led by Artistic Director Grant Gershon. Proclaimed “the nation’s most pioneering major chorus” (Los Angeles Times), it has also been hailed as “inspired” (The New York Times), “magnificent” (Chicago Tribune) and “a superb vocal ensemble” (The New York Observer). The Chorale is currently in its 52nd season as a resident company of The Music Center of Los Angeles County and its 13th as the resident chorus at Disney Hall. Presenting its own concert series each season, it performs choral music from the earliest writings to the most recent contemporary compositions. To date, the choir has commissioned 47 and premiered 94 new works, of which 64 were world premieres, and has been awarded three ASCAP/Chorus America Awards for Adventurous Programming as well as Chorus America’s prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence. The Chorale has performed in more than 500 concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and has toured with the orchestra to Europe and New York City. It has also appeared at the Ojai Music Festival, the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival and the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in leading venues throughout the Southland. Its discography includes five commercial albums under Gershon’s baton. In addition, in 2013, as part of its 50th anniversary season celebration, the Chorale released a digital recording featuring signature a cappella works available online-only at LAMC.org, iTunes and Amazon.com. LAMC previously released three albums under former Music Director Paul Salamunovich on RCM, including the Grammy-nominated Lauridsen-Lux Aeterna. The Chorale is also featured with Gershon on the soundtracks of such major motion pictures as Lady in the Water and License to Wed. Serving more than 30,000 audience members of all ages annually, the Los Angeles Master Chorale also provides education outreach to some 9,000 students each year.
Los Angeles Master Chorale
“Made in L.A.”
Grant Gershon, conductor
Subla, featuring Guru Danny Kalanduyan
Lisa Edwards, piano
Sunday, November 15, 2015, 7 pm
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
MORTEN LAURIDSEN Ave Maria
JEFF BEAL The Salvage Men (U.S. Premiere)
NILO ALCALA Mangá Pakalagián (World Premiere)
with Subla, featuring Guru Danny Kalanduyan
PAUL CHIHARA Ave Maria/Scarborough Fair (World Premiere)
DALE TRUMBORE The Whole Sea in Motion
MATTHEW BROWN Another Lullaby for Insomniacs
MOIRA SMILEY In the Desert With You (World Premiere)
SHAWN KIRCHNER Memorare
$29 – $129
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