Kansas City Chorale Performs Rachmaninoff's ALL-NIGHT VIGIL with Phoenix Chorale Tonight
Artistic Director Charles Bruffy brings his two professional Grammy winning choirs, the Kansas City Chorale and the Phoenix Chorale, together to perform the pinnacle of Russian sacred music, Sergei Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil. Bruffy has led the Kansas City Chorale since 1988 and the Phoenix Chorale since 1999. The concert takes place tonight, May 23, 2014, in Kansas City at Redemptorist Church, 3333 Broadway.
"It's always a very special occasion for me to bring my two professional choruses together. With 50 voices, we are able to explore new repertoire, and I think Rachmaninoff's masterpiece is the perfect choice for our brand of singing." says Charles Bruffy. "The prospect of conducting this incredible ensemble performing one of the world's most beloved choral works is very thrilling. And very daunting!"
Building on the success of previous collaborations, these performances mark the eighth time the two choirs have performed together. Of their performance at Alice Tully Hall in New York, Vivien Schweitzer of The New York Times wrote that the choirs "performed with a buoyant pulse and energetic finesse," and she praised "the choirs' refined sound and elegant phrasing."
Kansas City Chorale alto Katherine Crawford is also looking forward to the joint concerts and said, "As a newer member of the Kansas City Chorale, I'm really excited for the groups to sing together. I believe that both of the groups bring a mutual respect for the other's talents as well as a shared love for the repertoire that will only lead to great things when we collaborate."
All-Night Vigil will be performed Saturday, April 26, 2014 - 7:30 pm at St. Mary's Basilica (231 North 3rd St., Phoenix, Arizona, 85004); Sunday, April 27, 2014 - 3:00 pm at Camelback Bible Church (3900 E. Stanford Dr., Paradise Valley, Arizona, 85253); and Friday, May 23, 2014 - 7:30 pm at Redemptorist Church (3333 Broadway, Kansas City, Missouri, 64111).
The Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale are regarded as two of the finest professional choral ensembles in the world. Their recordings have earned a combined total of ten GRAMMY Award nominations and four wins. The Kansas City Chorale was founded in 1982 and the Phoenix Chorale was founded in 1958.
Sergei Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil was written at the height of his compositional creativity prior to the 1917 Revolution in Russia, during which time all church music was banned in Russia. The All-Night Vigil, sometimes referred to as "Vespers," was written by Rachmaninoff in just two weeks in 1915 and is known as his last and greatest liturgical composition. It is both spiritual and sensational, harkening back to the days of chant, while at the same time featuring the lush harmonies that Rachmaninoff is known and loved for.
One of the most admired choral conductors in the United States, the GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Charles Bruffy began his career as a tenor soloist, performing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings and in concerts both in France and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Shaw encouraged his development as a conductor and in 1996 he was invited by American Public Media's 'Performance Today' to help celebrate Shaw's eightieth birthday with an on-air tribute. In 1999, The New York Times named him as the late, great conductor's potential heir. He has been Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988, the Phoenix Chorale since 1999, and Chorus Director of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus since 2008. He conducts workshops and clinics across the US; is a member of the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde; and served on the Board of Chorus America for seven years. Respected and renowned for his fresh and passionate interpretations of standards of the choral repertoire and for championing new music, Charles Bruffy has commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Ola Gjeilo, Matthew Harris, Libby Larsen, Zhou Long, Michael McGlynn, Stephen Paulus, Stephen Sametz, Steven Stucky, Eric Whitacre, and Chen Yi. Under his supervision, the Roger Dean Company, a division of the Lorenz Corporation, publishes a choral series specializing in music for professional ensembles and sophisticated high school and college choirs. His eclectic discography includes six recordings on the Nimbus label and five recordings for Chandos Records.