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JUBILATIONS, HANDEL'S MESSIAH and More Highlight Musica Sacra's 2012-13 Season

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Musica Sacra has announced its 2012-2013 season of three programs featuring the Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra and a stellar cast of internationally acclaimed soloists under the leadership of Music Director Kent Tritle.

The season begins with “JUBILATIONS” on Monday, October 22, 2012 at 8 PM, at Alice Tully Hall, with a performance of three choral masterpieces: Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, and Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass. The solo motet Exsultate, Jubilate will feature rising-star soprano Susanna Phillips in her debut performance with Musica Sacra. Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy will feature pianist Anna Shelest playing the formidable piano solo that Beethoven composed for himself. Soloists Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo soprano, John Tiranno, tenor, and Charles Perry Sprawls, bass will join Ms. Phillips and the Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra for the Beethoven and Haydn.

On Thursday, December 20, 2012 and Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 8:00 PM at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, Kent Tritle leads the choir and orchestra in Musica Sacra’s annual Messiah performances. While there are many occasions to hear Handel’s Messiah in New York City each holiday season, Musica Sacra’s presentations are the longest consecutive running performances by a fully professional chorus in the city’s history. Its performances have been hailed as “impressively transparent and vibrant” and with “cleanly enunciated and radiant singing of the chorus” by The New York Times, and New York Magazine declared, “I doubt if the city offers a better version of Messiah.” The featured soloists are soprano Kathryn Lewek, mezzo-soprano Kirsten Sollek, tenor Nicholas Phan, and bass Matthew Boehler.

The final concert of the season, “THE SOUL REJOICES” will be on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM. The Church of St. Paul the Apostle (Columbus Ave. at 60th Street) provides the perfect venue for the range of choral music featured in Musica Sacra’s spring concert. Selections include two contrasting Magnificats: Monteverdi’s with continuo from the Vespers of 1610 and Arvo Pärt’s a cappella Magnificat composed in 1989. John Tavener’s Svyati featuring cellist Arthur Fiacco and Felix Mendelssohn’s motets from Die Deutsche Liturgie for double chorus will round out the program.

Musica Sacra has a long history of releasing recordings to further the mission of sharing the finest choral music to the widest range of listeners possible. Messages to Myself was recorded in 2011 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music and is released on the independent classical label MSR Classics. It marks Musica Sacra’s first commercial release since 1993 and its first under the direction of Kent Tritle as Music Director and Conductor. The album for a cappella chorus features works composed exclusively in the last twenty-five years and includes commissions by Musica Sacra of compositions of Daniel Brewbaker and Michael Gilbertson as well as several world premiere recordings. For more information and track listing, visit www.msrcd.com/catalog/cd/MS1411.

2012-2013 Concert Season

Monday, October 22, 2012 — 8 PM
Alice Tully Hall
Broadway at 65th Street

JUBILATIONS:
MOZART, HAYDN AND BEETHOVEN

Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra

Mozart: Exsultate, Jubilate
Haydn: "Lord Nelson" Mass
Beethoven: Choral Fantasy

Susanna Phillips, soprano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo soprano
John Tiranno, tenor
Charles Perry Sprawls, bass
Anna Shelest, piano

Tickets: $25, $50, $75, $90

Thursday, December 20, 2012 — 8 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2012 — 8 PM
Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage (57th Street at 7th Avenue)

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL: Messiah

Musica Sacra Chorus and Orchestra
Kathryn Lewek, Soprano
Kirsten Sollek, Mezzo-Soprano
Nicholas Phan, Tenor
Matt Boehler, Bass

Tickets: $25 through $128

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 — 8 PM
The Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Columbus Ave. at W. 60th St.

THE SOUL REJOICES:
MAGNIFICATS OF MONTEVERDI AND PÄRT
With selections of Mendelssohn and Tavener

Musica Sacra Chamber Chorus and Continuo
Kent Tritle, Conductor
Arthur Fiacco, Cello

Tickets: $25 to $60

Tickets are available online at www.musicasacrany.com or by calling 212-330-7684.

Founded in 1964 by conductor Richard Westenburg, Musica Sacra is dedicated to presenting the highest caliber performances of great choral masterworks, as well as educating audiences in the different eras and styles of classical music to deepen the appreciation of the choral arts. In addition to its acknowledged affinity for Baroque music, Musica Sacra performs in all genres, from the earliest of Gregorian chant to commissioned works and premieres by leading contemporary composers such as Benjamin Britten, Dave Brubeck, Alessandro Cadario, Robert Convery, David Diamond, Aram Khatchaturian, and Ned Rorem. Highlights of previous seasons include performances of Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Bach’s St. John Passion, Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel and Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Mater for WNYC’s New Sounds Live at the World Financial Center. Musica Sacra has recorded on the RCA, BMG, MSR classics, and Deutsche Grammophon labels, including the first all-digital recording of Messiah released in 1982 by RCA/BMG and reissued on “High Performance,” BMG’s audiophile label. Most recently, MUSICA SACRA released a new studio recording entitled Messages to Myself featuring contemporary works for a cappella chorus. It was recorded in 2011 at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music and is released on the independent classical label MSR Classics.

Kent Tritle is one of America’s leading choral conductors. The 2012-2013 season marks his sixth season as Music Director of Musica Sacra, the longest continuously performing professional chorus in New York City. Additionally, Tritle is Director of Cathedral Music and Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Music Director of the Oratorio Society of New York, the acclaimed 200-voice volunteer chorus. In addition, Kent is Director of Choral Activities at the Manhattan School of Music and is a member of the graduate faculty of The Juilliard School. He is the host of the weekly radio show “The Choral Mix with Kent Tritle,” a weekly hour-long radio program on New York’s Classical 105.9 WQXR and www.wqxr.org devoted to the vibrant genre of choral music and the breadth of activity in the choral community. An acclaimed organ virtuoso, he is also the organist of the New York Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra.

Recent concerts with Musica Sacra have included an acclaimed performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, and a program of new works by Daniel Brewbaker, Christopher Theofanidis, and Behzad Ranjbaran, and others in their world or New York premiere performances which has just been released on CD by MSR Classics, as well as Mozart’s Mass in C Minor at Carnegie Hall, a program of works by Arvo Pärt and Morton Feldman for a WNYC New Sounds Live concert; Bach’s Mass in B Minor and St. John Passion, and the ensemble’s annual performances of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. Tritle holds graduate and undergraduate degrees from The Juilliard School in organ performance and choral conducting and has been on the Juilliard faculty since 1996, currently directing a graduate practicum on oratorio in collaboration with the school’s Vocal Arts Department, and teaching choral conducting. He has been featured on ABC World News Tonight, National Public Radio, and Minnesota Public Radio, as well as in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

For more information, sound clips, and updated concert information, visit www.kenttritle.com.

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