LA Master Chorale Pays Tribute to Morten Lauridsen With All-Lauridsen Concert, Film Screening Tonight
The Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) continues its epic 50th Anniversary Season with a heartfelt two-part tribute to National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Lauridsen, the choir's Composer In Residence from 1995 to 2001, the composer most closely associated with the renowned chorus and the most frequently performed American choral composer in modern history. The tribute begins with an exclusive screening of the award-winning documentary film "Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen" and post-screening conversation with Lauridsen, film director Michael Stillwater and LAMC Music Director Grant Gershon tonight, March 14, 2014, 8 pm, at the historic Alex Theatre in Glendale. The tribute concludes with the Chorale's highly anticipated all-Lauridsen concert featuring some of his most well known works conducted by Gershon with one work accompanied by composer himself on piano on Sunday, March 16, 2014, 7 pm, at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The concert repertoire reflects the extremely fruitful relationship between the composer and the Chorale, which produced such sublime Lauridsen "hits" as O Magnum Mysterium and Lux Aeterna, resulting in the Chorale's Grammy®-nominated best-selling recording Lux Aeterna (RCM 1998). The Chorale performs O Magnum Mysterium as well as such Lauridsen gems as Mid-Winter Songs, Ave Dulcissima Maria, Canticle/O Vos Omnes, Nocturnes, Madrigali and Les Chansons des Roses.
"Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen" documents this LA-based living legend who spends summers composing on the remote Waldron Island in the Pacific Northwest, and features intimate interviews with him in California, Scotland and Washington, interwoven with performances of his masterworks and commentaries by music contemporaries. Revealed through the lens of his passion for nature and music, Lauridsen expresses a presence of fierce compassion and unwavering dedication to the craft of composition. The film is the winner of two Best Documentary awards and an Audience Choice Award
Concert tickets ($29-$129) and film tickets ($15) are available at www.lamc.org or (213) 972-7282. The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The Alex Theatre is located at 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, CA 91203.
MORTEN LAURIDSEN was composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (1995-2001) and has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than 40 years, beginning in 1967, where he chaired the Composition department at the USC Thornton School of Music (1990-2002) and founded the School's Advanced Studies program in Film Scoring. A native of the Pacific Northwest, Lauridsen worked as a Forest Service firefighter and lookout (on an isolated tower near Mt. St. Helens) and attended Whitman College before traveling south to study composition USC with Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, Robert Linn, and Harold Owen. In 2006, Lauridsen was named an 'American Choral Master' by the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2007 he received the National Medal of Arts from the President in a White House ceremony, "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide." His works have been recorded on more than 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy Award nominations. O Magnum Mysterium, Dirait-on (from Les Chansons des Roses), O Nata Lux (from Lux Aeterna) and Sure On This Shining Night (from Nocturnes) have become the all-time best-selling choral octavos distributed by Theodore Presser, in business since 1783. A recipient of numerous grants, prizes, and commissions, he has held residencies as guest composer/lecturer at over 70 universities and has received honorary doctorates from Whitman College, Oklahoma State University, Westminster Choir College and King's College, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Referring to Lauridsen's sacred music, the musicologist and conductor Nick Strimple said he was "the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic, (whose) probing, serene work contains an elusive and indefinable ingredient which leaves the impression that all the questions have been answered ...From 1993 Lauridsen's music rapidly increased in international popularity, and by century's end he had eclipsed Randall Thompson as the most frequently performed American choral composer." In 2013, Lauridsen was named Honorary Artistic President of INTERKULTUR and the World Choir Games.