LSM Newswire

Friday, February 6, 2009

Eric Whitacre to Conduct World Premiere of His Latest Commissioned Work, 3/15,2009, 2 PM, Avery Fisher Hall

Eric Whitacre to Conduct World Premiere of His Latest Commissioned Work, and Others of His Works, Avery Fisher Hall, March 15, 2009

Concert Features Whitacre’s New Choral Piece, Animal Crackers II, A DCINY Premiere Projects Commission, Based on Poetry of Ogden Nash

Olathe East Symphonic Winds, Eric Griffin, Director, Guest Ensemble

Personal appearance by the composer

Distinguished Concerts International will present an evening of music largely by classical-music phenomenon Eric Whitacre, conducted by the composer, at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, March 15, 2009, at 2:00 PM. Mr. Whitacre will be leading the Distinguished Singers International, consisting of ensembles from all over the United States. The repertoire will include: Animal Crackers I, Animal Crackers II (world premiere), Five Hebrew Love Songs, Leonardo, Lux Arumque, Three Flower Songs, Seal Lullaby, and Sleep. Mr. Whitacre will also conduct his composition Cloudburst, from his Grammy Award-nominated release of the same name, with the Olathe East Symphonic Winds (KS), the evening’s guest ensemble.

Popular appeal, critical acclaim, numerous awards

An accomplished composer, conductor and lecturer, Eric Whitacre has quickly become one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation. The Los Angeles Times has praised his compositions as "works of unearthly beauty and imagination, (with) electric, chilling harmonies"; while the BBC raves that "what hits you straight between the eyes is the honesty, optimism and sheer belief that passes any pretension.”

Though he had received no formal training before the age of 18, he completed his first concert work, Go, Lovely, Rose, at the age of 21. Mr. Whitacre earned his Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Pulitzer- and Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano.

He has received composition awards from the Barlow International Composition Competition, the American Choral Directors Association and the American Composers Forum. In 2001, Whitacre became the youngest recipient ever awarded the coveted Raymond C. Brock commission by the American Choral Directors Association.

Most recently, Whitacre has received acclaim for Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, a cutting
-edge musical combining trance, ambient and techno electronica with choral, cinematic, and operatic traditions. Winner of the ASCAP Harold Arlen award, this musical also gained Whitacre the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for Most Promising Musical Theater Composer. Following its sold-out run, the most recent production earned 10 nominations at the 2007 Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, including one for Best World Premiere Musical.

Guest ensemble

Eric Griffin holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in Music Education from Missouri State University and the University of Kansas. Under his direction, the bands at Olathe East have toured Florida twice, and in 2006, were the first performing group from the Olathe District Schools to perform in the Hawaiian islands. The Olathe East Bands have also performed at the prestigious Kansas Music Educators Association Convention four times since 2003. In 2007, Mr. Griffin was honored to be the Olathe District Schools’ nominee for Kansas Teacher of the Year. The symphonic winds will perform music by Beethoven, Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Mackey, and Dr. Andrew Boysen, Jr.

Distinguished Singers International

Distinguished Singers International is comprised of the Sprague High School Concert Choir (OR, Director Russell Christensen), the Capital High School Chamber Singers (MT, Director Darcy Schulz), the Cedar Hill High School Choir (TX, Director Christopher Rhodes), and young women’s vocal group Canta Filia (MO, affiliated with the University of Missouri Kansas City, Director Jennifer Benjamin).


To obtain tickets or further information regarding this event, please visit the Distinguished Concerts web site, Tickets can also be purchased by calling the DCINY box office, 212.707.8566, x 307 or directly from the concert venue.

Premiere works; four-time Grammy Award nominees

In just two short years, DCINY has joined the ranks of major classical music production companies in America, nearly doubling its roster of participating ensembles and attracting talent from all over the globe. Among the events DCINY is honored to present this season are: one world and two US premiere performances of major new works by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, which was presented this past January 19, and Charles Bruffy, conducting the four-time Grammy Award-nominated Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale. Please visit for details regarding other highlights of DCINY’s 2009/2010 Season.

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