Conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather Appointed As Director Of The New York Philharmonic Chorus

Merriweather will be the first ever director, the New York Philharmonic Chorus has its premiere performances during the David Geffen Hall Opening Galas.

By: Oct. 11, 2022
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Conductor Malcolm J. Merriweather Appointed As Director Of The New York Philharmonic Chorus

New York City-based conductor and baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather has been appointed as the director of the New York Philharmonic Chorus.

A newly-formed ensemble that is also a fully professional AGMA chorus, of which Merriweather will be the first ever director, the New York Philharmonic Chorus has its premiere performances during the David Geffen Hall Opening Galas, starting with The Journey on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 7:00pm featuring some of opera and Broadway's biggest stars - Renée Fleming, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Bernadette Peters, and Vanessa Williams - and followed by The Joy on Friday, October 28, 2022 at 7:00pm featuring the world premiere of a New York Philharmonic-commissioned work by Angélica Negrón, with text by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9., conducted by Jaap van Zweden.

Merriweather returns to David Geffen Hall with the New York Philharmonic Chorus on Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 7:30pm and Saturday, March 4, 2022 at 7:30pm in a program entitled The March to Liberation that includes the world premiere of a New York Philharmonic-commissioned work by Courtney Bryan and Tazewell Thompson; William Grant Still's Symphony No. 2, Song of a New Race; and Adolphus Hailstork's Done Made My Vow, A Ceremony. Merriweather's final performances of the 2022-2023 season as Director of the New York Philharmonic Chorus take place on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 7:30pm, Friday, June 9, 2023 at 11:00am, and Saturday, June 10 at 7:30pm at David Geffen Hall in a program entitled From Water to Desert, which includes Britten's Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes; Takemitsu's I hear the water dreaming; and the New York premiere of a New York Philharmonic co-commissioned work by John Luther Adams, Become Desert.

Merriweather launched his 2022-2023 season as Music Director for the New York premiere of Craig Hella Johnson's fully-staged oratorio Considering Matthew Shepard, presented by Trinity Wall Street. Additional season highlights include conducting the Manhattan School of Music Chorale and Manhattan School of Music Chamber Singers in a program titled All of Us featuring works by Florence Price, George Walker, Samuel Coleridge Taylor, and more on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:00pm; singing Handel's Messiah with The Masterworks Chorus at Carnegie Hall on Friday, December 23 at 7:30pm; in addition to his role as Music Director of The Dessoff Choirs continuing through its 2022-23 season.

Merriweather's full season can be found at www.malcolmjmerriweather.com.


The Journey: David Geffen Hall Opening Gala

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 at 7:00pm
Wu Tsai Theater at David Geffen Hall | 10 Lincoln Center Plaza | NY, NY 10023
Link: https://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/2223/journey-dgh-opening-gala

Program to be announced.

Artists:
New York Philharmonic
Jaap van Zweden, conductor

New York Philharmonic Chorus
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director

The Joy: David Geffen Hall Opening Gala
Friday, October 28, 2022 at 7:00pm
Wu Tsai Theater at David Geffen Hall | 10 Lincoln Center Plaza | NY, NY 10023
Link: https://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/2223/joy-dgh-opening-gala

Program:
Angélica Negrón - You Are the Prelude, text by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado
(World Premiere; NY Philharmonic Commission)
Beethoven - Symphony No. 9

Artists:
New York Philharmonic
Jaap van Zweden, conductor

New York Philharmonic Chorus
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director

The March to Liberation

Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 7:30pm
Wu Tsai Theater at David Geffen Hall | 10 Lincoln Center Plaza | NY, NY 10023
Tickets: $49 - $161
Link: https://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/2223/the-march-to-liberation

Program:
Courtney Bryan & Tazewell Thompson - New work
(World Premiere; New York Philharmonic Commission)
William Still - Symphony No. 2, Song of a New Race
Adolphus Hailstork - Done Made My Vow, A Ceremony

Artists:
New York Philharmonic
Jaap van Zweden, conductor

New York Philharmonic Chorus
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director

From Water to Desert

Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 7:30pm
Friday, June, 9, 2023 at 11:00am
Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 7:30pm
Wu Tsai Theater at David Geffen Hall | 10 Lincoln Center Plaza | NY, NY 10023
Tickets: $51 - $167
Link: https://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/2223/from-water-to-desert

Program:
Britten - Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Takemitsu - I hear the water dreaming
John Luther Adams - Become Desert
(New York Premiere; New York Philharmonic Co-Commission with the Seattle Symphony,
San Diego Symphony, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra)

Artists:
New York Philharmonic
Jaap van Zweden, conductor

New York Philharmonic Chorus
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director

Additional 2022-2023 Season Concerts:

Duruflé and Lusitano

The Dessoff Choirs
David Enlow, organist
Lucia Bradford, mezzo-soprano
Thapelo Masita, violoncello
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor
Saturday, November 5, 2022 at 4:00pm
Union Theological Seminary, James Chapel | 90 Claremont Ave | NY, NY 10027

Autumn Concert

Brooklyn College Symphonic Choir
Brooklyn College Jazz Ensemble
Christoper Cooley, piano
Ronnie Burrage, conductor
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor
Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 7:00pm
Claire Tow Theatre, Brooklyn College Center for the Performing Arts | 2900 Bedford Ave | Brooklyn, NY 11210

NYSSMA Zone 2 Festival

Festival Chorus (grades 10-12)
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor
Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 2:30pm
Gates Chili High School | 1 Spartan Way | Rochester, NY 14624

All of us

Manhattan School of Music Chorale
Manhattan School of Music Chamber Singers
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor
Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 7:00pm
Union Theological Seminary, James Chapel | 90 Claremont Ave | NY, NY 10027

Messiah Sing

The Dessoff Choirs
Steven Ryan, piano
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor
Friday, December 2, 2022 at 7:30pm
Union Theological Seminary, James Chapel | 90 Claremont Ave | NY, NY 10027

Welcome Yule


The Dessoff Choirs
Steven Ryan, piano and organ
Vianca Alejandra, conductor
Byran Lin, conductor
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor
Friday, December 9, 2022 at 7:30pm
St. Paul the Apostle | 405 W 59th St | NY, NY 10019
Sunday, December 11, 2022 at 4:00pm
St. Paul's Carroll Street | 199 Carroll St | Brooklyn, NY 11231

Messiah

The Masterwork Chorus
Louise Fauteux, soprano
Alyson Harvey, mezzo-soprano
Jack Anthony Pott, tenor
Malcolm Merriweather, baritone
Friday, December 23, 2022 at 7:30pm
Carnegie Hall | 881 7th Ave | NY, NY 10019

Sanctuary Road

Penn Square Music Festival
Friday, February 3, 2023
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Lancaster, PA

Sondheim Revue

The Dessoff Choirs
Steven Ryan, piano
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director
Friday, February 10, 2023 at 7:30pm
Roulette Intermedium | 509 Atlantic Ave | Brooklyn, NY 11217

Carmina Burana

Manhattan School of Music Chorale
Manhattan School of Music Chamber Singers
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor
Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 4:00 pm
Union Theological Seminary, James Chapel | 90 Claremont Ave | NY, NY 10027

Sanctuary Road

Cincinnati May Festival
Cincinnati's Vocal Arts Ensemble
Craig Hella Johnson, conductor
Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 7:30pm
Jarson Kaplan Theatre | 650 Walnut St | Cincinnati, OH 45202

Envisioning Bach's St. John Passion

The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, director
Saturday May 6, 2023 at 4:00pm
Mother AME Zion Church | 140 W 137th St | NY, NY 10030

For a list of additional concerts during the 2022-2023 season, please visit www.malcolmjmerriweather.com

Conductor and baritone Malcolm J. Merriweather enjoys a versatile career with performances ranging from the songs of Margaret Bonds to gems of the symphonic choral repertoire. The baritone can be heard on the GRAMMY nominated recording of Paul Moravec's Sanctuary Road (NAXOS). Hailed by Opera News as "moving...expertly interpreted," Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs (AVIE) has earned considerable praise around the world.

He is the Director of The New York Philharmonic's Chorus and Music Director of New York City's The Dessoff Choirs, known for their performances of great choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. He is an Associate Professor, Director of Choral Studies, and Voice Department Coordinator at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and the Artistic Director of "Voices of Haiti," a 60-member children's choir in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, operated by the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.

Merriweather's 2022-2023 season includes galas and subscription concerts at David Geffen Hall as the New York Philharmonic's Chorus Director. He returns to conduct The Dessoff Choirs in their season programming, and guest conducts the NYSSMA Zone 2 Festival in Rochester, NY; Brooklyn College Symphony Choir's Autumn Concert; and the Manhattan School of Music Chorale and Chamber Singers. He was Music Director for the New York premiere of Considering Matthew Shepard presented by Trinity Wall Street. As a vocalist, he sings in Handel's Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus at Carnegie Hall, and in Paul Morovec's Sanctuary Road at Penn Square Music Festival and Cincinnati May Festival.

Merriweather made his Mostly Mozart debut during the 2018-2019 season conducting the West Choir in a world premiere of John Luther Adams' In the name of earth and appearances with Andrea Bocelli and "Voices of Haiti" at Madison Square Garden. This performance came shortly after leading "Voices of Haiti" in performances with Bocelli at Teatro del Silenzio and for Pope Francis at the Vatican. Merriweather has also led The Dessoff Choirs in world premiere performances of works by Eve Beglarian, Douglas Geers, and Matthew Aucoin as The Dessoff Choirs celebrated the bicentennial of the birth of poet and journalist, Walt Whitman. Merriweather has conducted the West Choir, Grace Chorale of Brooklyn, and Worcester Chorus, and made numerous appearances leading performances at Brooklyn College and the Harvard Club of New York. He was previously Organist and Choirmaster at the Church of St. Luke and St. Simon of Cyrene (Episcopal) in Rochester, NY, and, for five years, Associate Choirmaster at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.

Amidst the pandemic, Merriweather's 2020-2021 season was enriched with guest lectures and virtual appearances around the world, most notably at Yale University and Columbia University. He has inaugurated a series of virtual events entitled "Dessoff Dialogues." These conversations emphasize matters of social justice, equity, and inclusion as they relate to classical music and the choral art.

As a baritone, Merriweather has been featured as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, The Dessoff Choirs, the New York Choral Society, and Bach Vespers Choir and Orchestra at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in New York City. He has premiered contemporary solo works by Eve Beglarian, John Liberatore, Ju Ri Seo, Douglas Fisk, and James Adler, and has been a fellowship recipient at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and at the Tanglewood Music Center.

Merriweather holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the studio of Kent Tritle at the Manhattan School of Music, where his doctoral dissertation "Now I walk in Beauty, Gregg Smith: A Biography and Complete Works Catalog" constituted the first complete works list for the composer and conductor. He received Master of Music degrees in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance from the studio of Rita Shane at the Eastman School of Music, as well as his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Syracuse University, summa cum laude. His professional affiliations include membership in Pi Kappa Lambda, the American Choral Directors Association, and Chorus America.

Photo Credit: Stephanie Berger



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