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DCINY to Celebrate Karl Jenkins' 70th Birthday at Carnegie Hall, 1/20

Now entering its 7th season, Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) continues its tradition of bringing the haunting, expansive, and multi-ethnic music of Welsh composer Karl Jenkins to America. On January 20 at 7pm at Carnegie Hall, DCINY presents the U.S. premiere of Jenkins' The Bards of Wales, a setting of a heroic poem by Hungarian János Arany, as well as the composer's Stabat Mater and the "Benedictus" from The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Jonathan Griffith leads the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and a truly international chorus, comprised of singers from the U.S., Canada, The Netherlands, France, Hong Kong, and Argentina.

Karl Jenkins, who will be in residence on January 20, is one of the most prolific, popular, and performed composers in the world today. Jenkins' most recent large scale work, The Bards of Wales, for soloists, chorus and full orchestra, sets the poem by János Arany (1817-82) in Hungarian, Welsh and English. Forging an unexpected link between Hungary and the composer's homeland, Arany's poem was commissioned to praise the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph. But, as the Austrian overlords had just suppressed the 1848 Hungarian Revolution, the poet did the opposite. To satisfy the state censor, the poem was written in terms of Welsh history rather than Hungarian, telling how Edward I of England executed Welsh bards for failing to sing his praises at a banquet in Montgomery Castle in 1277. The performance will feature popular Welsh tenor Rhys Meirion, mezzo-soprano Charlotte Daw Paulsen, baritone Darik Knutsen, bass-baritone Samuel Smith, and Belinda Sykes on vocals and mey, a double-reed instrument of Turkish origin.

For his Stabat Mater, Karl Jenkins added six texts to the 13th-century Catholic poem, both ancient and modern, in Aramaic, Arabic and English. The rich score features ancient instruments, such as the darabuca, def, doholla and modes, such as Hijaz and Bayati. Stabat Mater will also feature soloists Belinda Sykes and Charlotte Daw Paulsen.The birthday celebration will also feature the "Benedictus" from The Armed Man: A Mass For Peace. Karl Jenkins' most popular work, The Armed Man has been performed more than 700 times in 20 different countries, notably by DCINY on the 10th anniversary of September 11th and with several hundred musicians.

Karl Jenkins' music has transcended musical boundaries, from classical to jazz, from the global crossover phenomenon Adiemus, to film and commercial soundtracks. He has composed music for HRH The Prince of Wales, Bryn Terfel, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Evelyn Glennie, and the London Symphony Orchestra, among many others, and his recorded output has resulted in 17 gold and platinum disc awards. A doctor of music, Mr. Jenkins has also been granted numerous honorary doctorates, including the Royal Academy of Music, where a room has been named in his honor. Karl Jenkins was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE), by Her Majesty The Queen, in the 2005 New Year's Honors List "for services to music."

An acclaimed conductor, educator and lecturer, Jonathan Griffith has led performances across North America, Europe and Asia. Griffith is co-founder and Artistic Director of DCINY, which has brought together, under Griffith's artistic leadership, thousands of musicians and choral singers in concert at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and Disney Hall. Griffith also oversees DCINY's mentoring program for conductors. Maestro Griffith's additional conducting credits include the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City; Manhattan Philharmonic and New England Symphonic Ensemble; The European Symphony Orchestra in Spain; Bohuslava Martin? Philharmonia and Philharmonia Chorus, Virtuosi Pregensis Chamber Orchestra, Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, and Dvorák Chamber Orchestra, in the Czech Republic; and the Bialystok State Philharmonic in Poland, as well as numerous orchestras and choruses across the United States.

Founded by Iris Derke (General Director) and Jonathan Griffith (Artistic Director and Principal Conductor), DCINY is driven by passion and unwavering commitment to create unforgettable audience and performer experiences. DCINY's 2014 season will feature composers Eric Whitacre, Steven Schwartz, Christopher Tin, conductor Vance George, a reprise of this year's sold-out Messiah ... Refreshed!, as well as numerous world premieres, and musicians from across the country and the world. For up-to-date details, see: www.DCINY.org.

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