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Calmus Vocal Ensemble to Perform at the Met Museum, 12/8

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Calmus Vocal Ensemble to Perform at the Met Museum, 12/8

The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents the exceptional a cappella ensemble Calmus from Leipzig's prestigious St. Thomas Church Choir School on Sunday, December 8th at 7:00 p.m. at Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The program titled "Christmas A Cappella" will feature and eclectic selection of holiday songs ranging from traditional Christmas songs dating back to the 13th century to works by Bach to songs by such contemporary composers as Ariel Ramirez.

Tickets are $60 ($1 tickets for kids 7-16 are available) and can be purchased online at www.metmuseum.org.

"Nothing short of remarkable...they, quite simply, bring whatever they sing to glorious life." That is how the Deseret Morning News described a concert by Calmus, the First Prize Winner of the 2009 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Founded in 1999 in Germany, the a cappella quintet embodies the rich choral tradition of its hometown of Leipzig, the city so closely associated with Bach and Mendelssohn. Whether singing music by those German masters or another work in its diverse repertoire, Calmus captivates both audiences and critics with its charming stage presence, flawless technique and entertaining presentation.

All graduates of Leipzig's renowned St. Thomas Church Choir School, Calmus offers the unique combination of a pure soprano voice with four male voices ranging from bass to countertenor. The seamless blend of these five voices lends itself to the almost limitless range of music the ensemble offers, from renaissance and baroque masters through great German romantic works, all the way to contemporary choral repertoire and popular songs. Calmus conveys everything it performs with great respect and also with a sense of joy in singing that is obvious to the listener: "...the singers bring tremendous character and musical depth to their interpretations... that transcends the language of the lyrics." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Featured 2013-14 engagements for Calmus include two debut performances in New York City: the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Concerts & Lectures Series, where they will sing a Christmas program; and Schneider Concerts at the New School, where they are the first vocal ensemble ever engaged to perform on this renowned chamber music series. This follows the quintet's recent Lincoln Center debut on the Great Performers series in April 2013 and a special sacred program in fall 2012 at Manhattan's Holy Trinity Lutheran Church to celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the St. Thomas Choir School of Leipzig. Other recent North American highlights include Calmus' New York debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall on the CAG Winners Series, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Purdue University Convocations, Ravinia's Rising Stars series, Washington Performing Arts Society, University of Iowa's Hancher Auditorium, Dallas Chamber Music Society, Clemson University's Brooks Center for the Performing Arts, Lancaster (CA) Performing Arts Center and Northeastern Illinois University's Jewel Box series in Chicago. US Festival appearances include: the Virginia Arts Festival; Rockport Chamber Music Festival (twice); Chautauqua Institution; Madison Early Music Festival and the Green Lake Festival, both in Wisconsin.

With more than a dozen recordings to its credit, Calmus received the 2009 Echo Klassik Award for Lied:gut!, a disc of treasured German folksongs. The group's latest CD, entitled Touched was released in Fall 2012, featuring a unique intermingling of classical and popular songs ranging from Purcell and Monteverdi to Elton John and Sting. The prior release was Mythos 116, highlighting six different settings of Psalm 116, including three written in 1616 and two brand new works commissioned by Calmus. Other recent releases include Hausmusik in 2011 (featuring music of Clara and Robert Schumann), and the Christmas Carols album, Calmus' first CD of music for the holidays which has been received enthusiastically: "...perfectly balanced ensemble singing, every note, every chord given exacting importance, delivered in the most vocally attractive, musically expressive style (Classics Today).

An active concert schedule worldwide has taken Calmus across Germany, Austria Belgium, Switzerland, France, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and North and South America. Festival appearances include International a cappella Week in Hannover and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival where the group attended a master class with the King's Singers. In addition to garnering First Prize and numerous performance prizes at the CAG Competition, other prestigious awards bestowed upon the ensemble include First Prizes at the fourth annual Robert Schumann Choral Competition, the International Competition for Vocal Ensembles in Finland and the 37th Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain.

Founded in 1951 with a mission to discover, nurture & promote young musicians, Concert Artists Guild has helped several hundred young musicians start careers over the past sixty years. And the range of artistry has been great: from the heart of the tradition to the cutting edge. Notable alumni artists include violinist Jennifer Koh, clarinetists David Krakauer and David Shifrin, flutists Carol Wincenc and Marina Piccinini, Imani Winds, the Grammy-winning ensembles eighth blackbird, Pacifica and Parker String Quartets, and MacArthur Fellow flutist and arts entrepreneur Claire Chase.

CAG provides support to a roster of talented artists during the critical and formative time between completion of formal studies and the achievement of an established career. Artists are selected through a rigorous multi-round annual competition open to traditional and non-traditional instrumentalists, ensembles and singers. CAG offers comprehensive management services including concert bookings and tour management, commissioning and recording opportunities and marketing and publicity support. Competition winners are also presented on the Concerts in New York at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

The NewMusic/New Places initiative presents CAG artists in non-traditional venues such as bars, clubs, and galleries, introducing diverse audiences to concert music. The CAG Records label enables roster musicians to get their music onto disc and into the marketplace. The CAG Commissioning Program ensures that classical music continues to be a living art form by fostering collaborations between performers and composers.

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