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Collegiate Chorale Presents CONTEMPORARY VOICES Tonight, 5/21

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The Collegiate Chorale presents Contemporary Voices tonight, May 21, 2012 at 7pm at St. Bartholomew's Church, 325 Park Avenue, NYC. The concert features five musical gems by 20th and 21st Century masters of choral composition. Single tickets start at $20 and are available online at collegiatechorale.org or by phone at The Chorale office at (646) 435-9465.

The performance will open with a work that The Chorale premiered in 1947, Aaron Copland's In The Beginning, for mezzo-soprano soloist and a cappella choir. The soloist will be Virginia Warnken. Following Avner Dorman's evocative Psalm 67 (NY premiere), Toru Takemitsu's pensive All That the Man Left Behind When He Died, and Krzysztof Penderecki's ethereal Song of the Cherubim, the Chorale will conclude their 70th Anniversary season with Francis Poulenc's beloved Gloria,with esteemed organist Christopher Creaghan and soprano soloist Marie Mascari. The sanctuary of St. Bartholomew's Church will provide a beautiful setting for this music, conducted by The Chorale's Music Director, James Bagwell.

Tickets for this concert can be purchased by contacting The Chorale office at (646) 435-9465 or online at collegiatechorale.org.

The Collegiate Chorale's 70th season concludes with a tour in July with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Performing under the batons of Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti, concerts will be held in Tel Aviv, Haifa and at the Salzburg Festival. The Chorale's performance at the Salzburg Festival will mark the first appearance of an American chorus at this prestigious Festival since 1989.

The mission of The Collegiate Chorale, led by Music Director James Bagwell, is to enrich its audiences through innovative programming and exceptional performances of a broad range of vocal music featuring a choral ensemble. Founded in 1941 by the legendary conductor Robert Shaw, The Chorale has established a preeminent reputation for its interpretations of the traditional choral repertoire, vocal works by American composers, and rarely heard operas-in-concert, as well as for commissions and premieres of new works by today's most exciting creative artists. The many guest artists with whom The Chorale has performed in recent years include: Bryn Terfel, Stephanie Blythe, Nathan Gunn, Kelli O'Hara, Victoria Clark, Renée Fleming, Thomas Hampson, and Deborah Voigt. Last season's highlights included a Brahms program at Carnegie Hall featuring Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens and Erin Morley, a critically acclaimed concert presentation of Kurt Weill's Knickerbocker Holiday featuring Victor Garber and Kelli O'Hara which was recorded and released commercially in the first complete cast album of that work, and a celebration of Broadway featuring Deborah Voigt and Paulo Szot under the baton of Ted Sperling. In addition to The Chorale's presentations, the chorus performed in five programs throughout the American Symphony Orchestra's 2010-11 season, returned to the Verbier Festival in the summer of 2011, and will perform with the Israel Philharmonic in Israel and Salzburg in July 2012.

Music Director James Bagwell maintains an active schedule throughout the United States as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He has recently been named Principal Guest Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra in New York and is Director of the Music Program at Bard College. At Bard SummerScape he has led numerous theatrical works, most notably Copland's The Tender Land, which received unanimous praise from The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Opera News. He frequently appears as guest conductor for orchestras around the country and abroad, including the Jerusalem Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. He has also prepared The Concert Chorale of New York for performances with the American Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Mostly Mozart Festival (broadcast nationally in 2006 on Live from Lincoln Center), all in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. He has trained choruses for a number of major American and international orchestras and worked with noted conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Louis Langrée, Leon Botstein, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Raymond Leppard, James Conlon, Jesús López-Cobos, Erich Kunzel, Leon Fleischer, and Robert Shaw.

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