Press contact: Libby Huebner (562) 799-6055 [email protected]
LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE PAYS TRIBUTE TO FORMER
COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE AND NATIONAL MEDAL OF ARTS RECIPIENT
MORTEN LAURIDSEN WITH ALL-LAURIDSEN CONCERT AND
SCREENING OF DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT COMPOSER
Documentary Film Screening and Panel Discussion:
Friday, March 14, 2014, 8 PM,
at Alex Theatre in Glendale
Sunday, March 16, 2014, 7 PM
at Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) continues its epic 50th Anniversary Season with a heartfelt two-part tribute to National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen, the choir’s Composer In Residence from 1995 to 2001, the composer most closely associated with the renowned chorus and the most frequently performed American choral composer in modern history. The tribute begins with an exclusive screening of the award-winning documentary film “Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen” and post-screening conversation with Lauridsen, film director Michael Stillwater and LAMC Music Director Grant Gershon on Friday, March 14, 2014, 8 pm, at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale. The tribute concludes with the Chorale’s highly anticipated all-Lauridsen concert featuring some of his most well known works conducted by Gershon with one work accompanied by composer himself on piano on Sunday, March 16, 2014, 7 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Lauridsen has been hailed for composing “radiantly beautiful music,” (Wall St. Journal) with “freshness and an affecting emotional pull to it that explains its popularity with singers and audiences across the pond” (Daily Telegraph).
The concert repertoire reflects the extremely fruitful relationship between the composer and the Chorale, which produced such sublime Lauridsen “hits” as O Magnum Mysterium and Lux Aeterna, resulting in the Chorale’s Grammy®-nominated best-selling recording Lux Aeterna (RCM 1998). The Chorale performs O Magnum Mysterium as well as such Lauridsen gems as Mid-Winter Songs, Ave Dulcissima Maria, Canticle/O Vos Omnes, Nocturnes, Madrigali and Les Chansons des Roses.
“Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen” documents this LA-based living legend who spends summers composing on the remote Waldron Island in the Pacific Northwest, and features intimate interviews with him in California, Scotland and Washington, interwoven with performances of his masterworks and commentaries by music contemporaries. Revealed through the lens of his passion for nature and music, Lauridsen expresses a presence of fierce compassion and unwavering dedication to the craft of composition. Winner of two Best Documentary awards and an Audience Choice Award, the film was praised as ‘a heartening rarity’ by Terry Teachout of the Wall Street Journal.
Concert tickets ($29-$129) and film tickets ($15) are available at www.lamc.org or (213) 972-7282. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The Alex Theatre is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91203.
MORTEN LAURIDSEN was composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (1995–2001) and has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than 40 years, beginning in 1967, where he chaired the Composition department at the USC Thornton School of Music (1990–2002) and founded the School’s Advanced Studies program in Film Scoring. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Lauridsen worked as a Forest Service firefighter and lookout (on an isolated tower near Mt. St. Helens) and attended Whitman College before traveling south to study composition USC with Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, Robert Linn, and Harold Owen. In 2006, Lauridsen was named an ‘American Choral Master’ by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007 he received the National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony, “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.” His works have been recorded on more than 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy Award nominations. O Magnum Mysterium, Dirait-on (from Les Chansons des Roses), O Nata Lux (from Lux Aeterna) and Sure On This Shining Night (from Nocturnes) have become the all-time best-selling choral octavos distributed by Theodore Presser, in business since 1783. A recipient of numerous grants, prizes, and commissions, he has held residencies as guest composer/lecturer at over 70 universities and has received honorary doctorates from Whitman College, Oklahoma State University, Westminster Choir College and King’s College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Referring to Lauridsen’s sacred music, the musicologist and conductor Nick Strimple said he was “the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic, (whose) probing, serene work contains an elusive and indefinable ingredient which leaves the impression that all the questions have been answered …From 1993 Lauridsen’s music rapidly increased in international popularity, and by century’s end he had eclipsed Randall Thompson as the most frequently performed American choral composer.” In 2013, Lauridsen was named Honorary Artistic President of INTERKULTUR and the World Choir Games.
Giving a voice to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Grammy®-nominated Los Angeles Master Chorale is led by Music Director Grant Gershon. The New York Times calls the choir “inspired,” and The New York Observer declares it “a superb vocal ensemble.” The Chorale is currently in its 50th season as a resident company of The Music Center of Los Angeles County and its 11th 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 39 and premiered 88 new works, of which 57 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 300 concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at both Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and recently 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, and the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin, as well as in leading venues throughout the Southland. Its discography includes six CDs under Gershon’s baton. The latest, released in 2013, is a digital-only recording featuring signature a cappella works available online-only, at LAMC.org, iTunes and Amazon.com. LAMC previously released three CDs under Music Director Emeritus 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 6,000 students each year.
GRANT GERSHON was named the Kiki and David Gindler Music Director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2001 and also serves as Resident Conductor of LA Opera. Heralded by critics, the Los Angeles Times declares that the Chorale “has become the most exciting chorus in the country under Grant Gershon” and Opera News proclaims him “a first-rate conductor.” During his tenure with the Chorale, he has led more than 100 performances at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, including virtually all of the major works in the choral repertoire. A champion of new music as well, Gershon has led world premiere performances of major works by Louis Andriessen, Christopher Rouse, Steve Reich, Gabriela Lena Frank and Chinary Ung, among many others. His discography includes two Grammy®Award-nominated recordings: Sweeney Todd (New York Philharmonic Special Editions) and Ligeti’s Grand Macabre (Sony Classical); and five CDs with the Chorale: Glass-Salonen (RCM), You Are (Variations) (Nonesuch), Daniel Variations (Nonesuch), A Good Understanding (Decca), and, most recently, Miserere (Decca), featuring works by Henryk Górecki recorded in Walt Disney Concert Hall. He conducts the Chorale in 14 concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall during the 2013-14 season.
EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE:
1) DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENING
“Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen”
& Panel Discussion with:
Morten Lauriden, composer
Michael Stillwater, film director
Grant Gershon, LAMC Music Director
Friday, March 14, 2014, 8 pm
216 North Brand Boulevard
Glendale, CA 91203
Los Angeles Master Chorale
“Tribute to Lauridsen”
Grant Gershon, conductor
Morten Lauridsen, piano
Lisa Edwards, piano
Sunday, March 16, 2014, 7 pm
MORTEN LAURIDSEN Mid-Winter Songs
Canticle/O Vos Omnes
Ave Dulcissima Maria
Les Chansons des Roses
O Magnum Mysterium
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Concert Tickets: $29 – $129;
(Tickets cannot be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.)
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Artists, program and ticket prices subject to change.