LSM Newswire

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Phila Singers in Concert at Verizon Hall is Centrepiece of National Conference


500 arts leaders from across the United States and Canada expected to attend Conference and The Philadelphia Singers Centerpiece Concert in The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

PHILADELPHIA, PA The Philadelphia Singers will host the 32nd Annual National Chorus America Conference in Philadelphia from June 10th through the 13th at the Hyatt at Penns Landing and has the distinct honor of presenting the Centerpiece Concert in Verizon Hall at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Broad and Spruce Streets, on Thursday, June 11 at 8:00 p.m. The concert will include Donald Martinos a cappella Seven Pious Pieces and Charles Martin Loefflers gorgeous By the Rivers of Babylon performed by The Philadelphia Singers fully professional chorus. The finale will feature Anton Bruckners exquisite and seldom performed masterpiece, Mass in E Minor, featuring the glorious 150-voice Philadelphia Singers Chorale. The concert is open to the general public. Tickets are $36, $51 and $61 and may be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at

Music Director David Hayes said, The Centerpiece Conference will put the artistic focus almost exclusively on the chorus, showcasing The Philadelphia Singers artistry and virtuosity. Bruckners Mass in E Minor combines moments of quiet a cappella tranquility with passages of soaring beauty. The Philadelphia Singers Chorale will be joined by woodwinds and brass from the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. A unique combination of flutes, harp, cello and organ will accompany the women of The Philadelphia Singers on Loefflers By The Rivers of Babylon and will feature organist Michael Stairs on The Kimmel Centers magnificent Fred J. Cooper memorial organ. An expanded chorus of fifty-voices from the fully-professional ensemble will perform Martinos a cappella Seven Pious Pieces.

Bruckners Mass in E Minor for chorus, wind and brass instruments is considered his first great work, premiering in 1866 when he was 42 years old. It is a beautiful combination of intricate Italian Renaissance polyphony and the dark sonorities and lush harmonies of the Romantic period. His use of a wind band makes it unique among the composer's works and among 19th-century liturgical works in general. Bruckner's choral writing is among the most glorious and powerful in all Romantic music: the polyphony for eight-part chorus in the Kyrie and the Sanctus is matched by few of his contemporaries. Bruckner's harmonic language is enormously expressive throughout, and much of the music is obviously inspired by the music of Wagner, whose Tristan und Isolde Bruckner had just heard.

American Donald Martino, who died in 2005, won the Pulitzer Prize in Music in 1974 and was the former chair of the New England Conservatorys composition department. His Seven Pious Pieces is an a cappella work for mixed chorus set to texts by 17th century poet Robert Herrick. The Philadelphia Singers previously performed the piece in 1994 at its Philadelphia Premiere. Although Martino was known as an academic and a serialist composer, in an interview with the Boston Globe in 1980, he said, ''My music is not austere and academic. It is a fantasy that anyone writes academic music. I write music for people to listen to, to react to; I want them to say, 'Hey, this is nice!' " It is in this spirit that he set out to write Seven Pious Pieces, which he composed with an intent to demonstrate that a twelve-pitch piece could be made to sound tonal.

Charles Martin Loeffler was born in Germany, but lived most of his life in America, becoming a U.S. Citizen in 1887. By the Rivers of Babylon is set to text from Psalm 137. It is typical of his choral writing, which he often set to texts that reflect the sadness and transience of life, the loss of something once known and loved. To express this quality, he used a unique instrumentation of two flutes, harp, cello and organ. The melodic line is reminiscent of the reciting tones of Gregorian chant and the unusual orchestration provides an intriguing contrast to the womens chorus.

The 32nd Annual Chorus America Conference and Centerpiece Concert will shine a national spotlight on The Philadelphia Singers, and welcome the service organization back to its birthplace. Michael Korn, who founded The Philadelphia Singers in 1972, established Chorus America in 1977 as the Association of Professional Vocal Ensembles. The association has since expanded and in 1993 officially changed its name to Chorus America to reflect its role as a service organization that embraces the broad spectrum of choruses. For more information on Chorus America Conference and the Conference visit

The Philadelphia Singers, a professional choral ensemble, engages and inspires a broad range of audiences in the Philadelphia region with compelling concert experiences. The Singers has a special commitment to preserve and strengthen Americas rich choral heritage through performances, commissions, and music education. It seeks to enrich the broader community through embodying the highest standards of classical musicianship and providing a platform for its musicians to serve the community in a wide variety of formats.

Founded in 1972 by Michael Korn, The Philadelphia Singers has been under the dynamic leadership of Music Director and Conductor David Hayes since 1992. For 36 years, The Philadelphia Singers has contributed to the citys vibrant cultural community through presenting choral music of the highest caliber, meaningful education and community programs, and significant collaborations with local, national and internationally recognized performing arts organizations. In 2001, The Philadelphia Singers Chorale was named Resident Chorus of The Philadelphia Orchestra, the first time in the orchestras history that a chorus has received this distinction. The Philadelphia Singers Chorale appears on all of the orchestras choral subscriptions concerts including performances at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts annual performances of Handels Messiah and the Glorious Sounds of Christmas as well as appearances at the Saratoga Performance Arts Center. Maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch, Conductor Laureate of The Philadelphia Orchestra, hails The Singers as one of the musical treasures of Philadelphia.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Laudate Singers: MYSTERIUM, A Winter Concert By Candlelight

Laudate Singers proudly present


A Winter Concert By Candlelight

Saturday December 13, 2008 at 8 pm

St. Andrew's United Church, North Vancouver


Friday December 19, 2008 at 8 pm

St. David's United Church, West Vancouver

Tickets $25 (general)/$20 (students/seniors)/free (age 17 & under)

Call 604-222-3158 or buy online at

In their annual winter concert, Laudate Singers and artistic director Lars Kaario will explore the beauty and mystery of the season through different settings of O Magnum Mysterium, an ancient liturgical text traditionally sung during Matins on Christmas Day. By shimmering candlelight, the North Shores premier chamber choir will perform interpretations of this medieval chant by composers from all over the world, spanning several centuries. Audiences will hear O Magnum Mysterium as put to music by the Spaniard Tomas Luis de Victoria (c.1548-1611), the Venetian Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612), the Englishman William Byrd (1539-1623), the Frenchman Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) and the American Morten Lauridsen (b.1943), as well as the world premiere of a brand new setting by award-winning Vancouver composer Bruce Sled, offering a contemporary Canadian perspective on the text.

The evening will also include Today the Virgin and a setting of William Blakes The Lamb by John Tavener (b. 1944), Hodie Christus natus est by Mikls Csemiczky (b.1954), motets by Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839-1901), and such beloved seasonal classics such as Anton Bruckners Ave Maria, the classic Es ist ein Ros entsprungen by Praetorius, Joseph lieber, Joseph mein by Johann Walther and Puer natus in Bethlehem by Samuel Scheidt. With Mysterium, Laudate Singers once again create a warm, luminous oasis amid the grey days of winter, spiriting audiences away on a transcendent musical journey.

Also, dont miss Laudate Singers annual Free Family Christmas Concert at St. Andrews United Church on December 14th at 3 pm a rollicking community event that has also become a North Shore holiday tradition.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Seed of Dream

Journal of Singing Hails Laitman's THE SEED OF DREAM on Naxos

"Laitman has an uncommon ability to breathe new life into a text with her music without obscuring its original essence, and she demonstrates that sensitivity here to a remarkable degree."

The Journal of Singing, 2008

New critical acclaim for a Naxos recording of American composer Lori Laitman's 'The Seed of Dream' has been published in an article by Gregory Berg in the November/December 2008 issue of The Journal of Singing. The CD, 'For a Look or a Touch,' includes works by Jake Heggie, Gerard Schwarz and Lori Laitman. All three compositions were commissioned by Music of Remembrance to commemorate the extraordinary musical and artistic gifts of musicians who perished or survived the Holocaust.

The Journal writes: "A worthy companion to Heggie's song cycle is Lori Laitman's The Seed of Dream, in which she sets five poems by Abraham Sutzkever, a gifted Yiddish writer who lived for years in the Jewish ghetto of Vilna, Lithuania, but who eventually managed to escape to the outside world to become a courageous member of the resistance movement in his homeland."

Berg continues with a thorough analysis of the songs and the performers: "Laitman has an uncommon ability to breathe new life into a text with her music without obscuring its original essence, and she demonstrates that sensitivity here to a remarkable degree. ...In "To My Child" Sutzkever is a heartbroken father trying to articulate the sorrow of losing his son, who was murdered by the Nazis. The text is a tortured ride through a maze of conflicting emotions and images, and Laitman's music rides the waves of those emotions without dictating their course. As the poet speaks of feeling the corpse of his child for the first time, Laitman spins out the word "cool" with a brief, subtle, yet exquisitely expressive melisma. When the text abruptly turns from sadness to anger with the words, "how can you shut your eyes, leaving me here," the music reflects that same turn, not with histrionics, but rather with quiet assurance. This is exactly what great song writing is all about.

Laitman achieves similar success in "Beneath the Whiteness of Your Stars," in which she weaves her own music with that of Lithuanian composer Abraham Brudno, who also lived in the Vilna Ghetto and, unlike the poet, did not survive. His main melodic theme, which we hear first in an instrumental interlude, comes from his own setting of this same text, and the combination of Laitman's gentle music with the more vigorous music of Brudno, is an intriguing and captivating combination...The work ends radiantly with a poem about the precious power of memory, which Sutzkever wrote after escaping the ghetto and finding refuge in the woods by Lake Narocz in the winter of 1944. "No sad songs, please," the poet requests, and Laitman sets these words with touching restraint and affection."

Baritone Erich Parce sings these songs with understanding and great care, and he has invaluable collaborators in MOR founder Mina Miller at the piano and Amos Yang on cello. These three musicians achieve remarkable magic here and these beautiful and important songs deserve nothing less." Laitman has been in touch with Abraham Sutzkever and he is very pleased with the song cycle.

Lori Laitman is represented by Jona Rapoport Artist Management.

CD Details:

Naxos 559379, 61 minutes

HEGGIE: For a Look or a Touch; SCHWARZ: In Memoriam; LAITMAN: The Seed of Dream

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Renowned Berkshire Choral Festival seeks Montreal singers for weeklong choral festival

Renowned Berkshire Choral Festival seeks Montreal singers for weeklong choral festival

Montreal, QC The internationally renowned Berkshire Choral Festival is seeking applications from Montreal singers, ages 18 and up, for the prestigious weeklong singing festival, June 26 to July 4, 2009.

With a handful of spots set aside for local talent, successful applicants will join singers from around the world and be immersed in an intense learning experience under the direction of distinguished composer and conductor Julian Wachner, former music director for Bach-Academie de Montreal and current director for the Grammy award-winning Washington Chorus.

The weeklong choral festival will culminate with a performance of Mendelssohns oratorio Paulus (St. Paul) sung in German and accompanied by Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal at the Eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste on July 3.

We are extremely excited for our inaugural visit to Montreal, says Trudy Weaver Miller, President and CEO, Berkshire Choral Festival. Montreals rich cultural heritage, old-world architectural charm, and world class amenities make it an ideal city in which to host the Berkshire Choral Festival. We look forward to an artistically stimulating summer.

The 2009 season marks the Berkshire Choral Festivals first visit to Montreal, which joins the internationally recognized list of Berkshire Choral Festival venues along with Sheffield, Massachusetts, and Prague, Czech Republic in providing choral singers from around the globe with the opportunity to rehearse and perform masterpieces of the choral repertoire in a weeklong singing intensive.

More than 180 singers will not only rehearse, but also live on the sprawling campus of McGill University for the entire week. It is a musically and physically demanding program designed for singers who want to reach more deeply into the choral music experience.

Berkshire Choral Festival will begin accepting on-line registrations October 29, 2008. For further information, or to apply online, visit the Berkshire Choral Festival website at:

About Berkshire Choral Festival
The Berkshire Choral Festival was founded in 1982. It was a new idea about a unique way of learning and singing choral music in a rich and artistically stimulating setting.
Twenty-eight years later, the Berkshire Choral Festival still holds to this philosophy that choral music is best when it is studied, absorbed, discussed and mulled over by choristers and conductors together in total immersion until it makes sense as a genuine revelation and expression of the human spirit.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Met Opera singers in "Fugitives"

New York Festival of Song Presents
Concert, Theater, and Film Music by Composers Fleeing Hitler's Europe:
Kurt Weill, Erich Korngold, and Many Others

November 18 and 20 at Merkin Concert Hall

Artists: Metropolitan Opera's Joseph Kaiser and Kate Lindsey, pianist/host Steven Blier

New York Festival of Song, whose recent A Bernstein/Bolcom Celebration was performed with "Comic and dramatic flair," (The New York Times) presents Fugitives, songs by composers who fled Hitler's Europe, on November 18 and 20 at the newly restored Merkin Concert Hall. The program will feature music from Broadway, the concert stage and Berlin cabaret by Kurt Weill, Erich Korngold, Alexander Zemlinsky, Arnold Schoenberg and many others.

Fugitives will be sung by two of the Metropolitan Opera's rising young stars. Tenor Joseph Kaiser currently appears as Narraboth in Salome and was last season's Romo opposite Anna Netrebko. Mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey will be featured in Met productions of The Magic Flute, Rusalka and The Ring Cycle, and makes her guest artist debut with the New York Philharmonic in a concert performance of L'enfant et les sortilges, conducted by Lorin Maazel. Once again, New York Festival Of Song Artistic Director Steven Blier, a "national treasure when it comes to the art of song," (The New York Times) will be the pianist/host for the evening.

Curtain time for both concerts is 8 PM. Tickets for Fugitives are $40 - $55. Call (212) 501-3330, or visit Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center is at 129 West 67tg Street, New York, NY 10023. There are also a limited number of $15 student tickets available by calling (646) 230-8380. For more information about New York Festival Of Song (NYFOS), please visit their website at


Altdeutsches Minnelied (Old German Love Song) Alexander von Zemlinsky
Meeraugen (Eyes of the Sea) Zemlinsky
Gefasster Abschied (Calm Departure) Erich Korngold
Sommer (Summer) Korngold
Unendliche Liebe (Eternal Love) Franz Schreker
Rosentod (The Death of Roses) Schreker
The Lottery Agent's Tango (from Silbersee) Kurt Weill
Waldsonne (Sun in the Forest) Arnold Schoenberg
Erwartung (Expectation) Schoenberg
Wenn der alte Motor wieder takt (When the old car starts
up again) Friedrich Hollaender
Die Ballade von Wasserad (The Song of the Water Wheel) Hanns Eisler
ndere die Welt, sie braucht es
(The World is in Need of Change) Eisler

O schne Hand, Kelch, dessen Duft Musik  (Oh lovely                                      Viktor Ullmann hand, chalice of music's scent)      
Fnf Lieder (Five Songs) Hans Krsa
Ihr Mdchen seid wie die Grten (Your Girl is like a Garden)
An die Brder (To a Brother)
Mach, dass etwas uns geschieht! (Pray that something happens to us!)
Die Liebe (Love)
Vice versa
The Sleepless Lady Kurt Tucholsky

How Can You Tell an American,
from Knickerbocker Holiday Weill
O mistress mine Korngold
Elend (Misery) Zemlinsky
Black Market Frederick Hollaender
Love Song, from Love Life Weill
Wie lange noch? (How much longer?) Weill
Arizona Marsch, from Arizona Lady Emmerich Klmn

(Program subject to change)

Canadian-born tenor JOSEPH KAISER starred as Tamino in the Kenneth Branagh film adaptation of The Magic Flute. This season he will make two highly anticipated debuts: at the Los Angeles Opera as Tamino under the baton of James Conlon, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Jen fa. He returns to the Salzburg Festival as Septimius in a new Christoph Loy production of Handel's Theodora. His concert schedule includes performances of the Berlioz Requiem under Marek Janowski, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Christoph von Dohnnyi and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Mendelssohn's Elijah with Yannick Nzet-Sguin and the Orchestre Mtropolitain du Grand Montral. Mr. Kaiser has appeared at the Caramoor Festival in a joint program with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, which was presented under the auspices of the New York Festival of Song (available on Bridge Records), in Chicago at the Chicago Humanities Festival, in Montreal with the Andr Turp Society, and on the Debut Series of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

KATE LINDSEY made her debut this summer at the Tanglewood Festival in a concert version of Les Troyens conducted by James Levine, and appeared in two other chamber music concerts at the festival. Other recent engagements have included appearances at the Metropolitan Opera as Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (opposite Bryn Terfel) and Stphano in Romo et Juliette (with Mr. Kaiser and Anna Netrebko); debuts with the Boston Lyric Opera as Cherubino, the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a new commission by John Harbison conducted by James Levine, the Cleveland Orchestra in performances of Haydn's Harmoniemesse conducted by Franz Welser-Mst, and the Met Chamber Ensemble in Zankel Hall. She also appeared as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia and Stphano at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Angelina in La Cenerentola at the Wolf Trap Opera.

NYFOS Artistic Director STEVEN BLIER also enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. Among the many artists he has partnered in recital are Rene Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Jessye Norman and Samuel Ramey. He has performed throughout North America and Europe, including recitals at Carnegie Hall, La Scala, Milan, and a Live From Lincoln Center telecast. Mr. Blier co-founded the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival's inception he has programmed, performed, translated and annotated over one hundred vocal recitals with repertoire spanning the entire range of song. His discography includes the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; the NYFOS discs of Blitzstein, Gershwin, and German Lieder (Unquiet Peace); Gershwin's Lady Be Good! (Nonesuch Records); four albums of songs by Charles Ives in partnership with baritone William Sharp (Albany Records); first recordings of music by Busoni and Borodin with cellist Dorothy Lawson (Koch International); and Spanish Love Songs with Joseph Kaiser and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Bridge Records). In December, Bridge will release the original cast recording of Bastianello / Lucrezia, the acclaimed John Musto and William Bolcom operas with libretti by Mark Campbell, commissioned and premiered by NYFOS.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Songstress Jill Barber takes "Chances" with New Album and Canadian Tour!

Toronto, ON 2008 continues to be a very busy year for the fabulous double Juno Award nominee Jill Barber, who is set to release her highly anticipated new album Chances. The album is available online and in stores October 14th, 2008. Drawing on the classic orchestral style from the 50's Chances invokes Barber's life and career and will be showcased to her adoring audiences throughout Canada this October.
This January at the Banff Centre Barber collaborated with Ron Sexsmith and producer-arranger-guitarist Les Cooper in the writing her new album. "This was the first time that I had opened myself up to the idea of a musical collaboration. It was amazing experience and forced me to stretch my own songwriting muscles", exclaims Barber. From Banff to Toronto, Chances was recorded at Blue Rodeo's Woodshed Studios, which features string and horn arrangements that were separately recorded at the famed Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto. Barber's album still delivers her distinctive sultry vocals, in an album of ten original, fully orchestrated songs that strongly evoke and could themselves become - classics. Exquisite guest vocals by the Good Lovelies, The Sojourners and a special appearance by Ron Sexsmith complete this timeless album.
Barber has proven to be one of Canada's leading singer-songwriters, having been nominated for over 20 awards and winner of the East Coast Music Awards for FACTOR Recording of the Year and Female Solo Recording of the Year. Barber has previously toured with acts such as Wintersleep, Joel Plaskett, Josh Ritter and Ron Sexsmith.

Canadian Tour Dates:

October 4 Vancouver, BC Chan Centre for Performing Arts (w/ Ron Sexsmith)

October 24 Sackville, NB Sackville United Church

October 26 Fredericton, NB Playhouse Theatre

October 29 Summerside, PEI Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre

October 30 Halifax, NS Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

October 31 Antigonish, NS Bauer Theater

November 1 Antigonish, NS Bauer Theatre

November 2 Chester, NS Chester Playhouse

November 4 Margaretsville, NS Evergreen Theatre

November 5 Liverpool, NS Astor Theatre

November 6 Shelburne, NS Osprey Arts Centre

November 7 Wolfville, NS Festival Theatre

November 8 Port Hawksbury, NS SAERC

November 9 Glace Bay, NS Savoy Theatre

November 14 Calgary, AB Knox United Church

November 15 St. Albert, AB Arden Theatre

November 18 Regina, SK The Exchange

November 19 Winnipeg, MB Park Theatre

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Queen Elisabeth Competition - Results Singing 2008


1st Prize

2nd Prize
Isabelle DRUET

3rd Prize
Bernadetta GRABIAS

4th Prize

5th Prize

6th Prize
unranked laureates : Elizabeth BAILEY


LIM Changhan
YOON Jung Nan

VOD (video on demand) of the final and the semi-final
until 15 September 2008 on

Order your 2 CD box live :

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