Musica Viva NY Presents VOICES IN MOTION

Musica Viva NY Presents VOICES IN MOTION

Musica Viva NY presents its third installment ofVoices In Motion, Sunday, February 25 at 5:00 p.m at All Souls Church on the Upper East Side (Lexington Avenue at 80th Street).

The concert features the Musica Viva NY Choir, led by Artistic Director Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, with a guest appearance by founder Walter Klauss, together with organist Trent Johnson in an exploration of the relationship of sound and space through inspiring psalms, folk songs, and organ works from the Italian Renaissance to the 21st century with pieces by a diverse group of composers including G. Allegri, Holst, Eric Whitacre, Osvaldo Golijov, and more.

Tickets, priced at $40, are available by visiting or can be purchased at the door.

Founded in 1977, Musica Viva NY, a chamber choir of thirty professionals and highly skilled volunteers, is driven by a desire to share the transcendent power of choral and instrumental music with audiences in New York City and beyond, through its annual four-concert series at All Souls Church on the Upper East Side. The choir's broad repertoire includes new compositions and classic masterworks, emphasizing artistic excellence and transformative interpretations.

Additional concerts in Musica Viva NY's 2017-18 season at All Souls Church include Infinite Hope: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of MLK's Assassination on April 8, 2018 featuring the music of conductor, composer, and writer Alice Parker; and Sunrise in the City: Musica Viva NY Celebrates 40 Years on May 20, 2018 featuring a new commission by Elena Ruehr.

Program Information


Sunday, February 25, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
All Souls Church
1157 Lexington Avenue (at 80th Street)
New York, NY 10075

Musica Viva NY Choir
Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, Artistic Director
Walter Klauss, Guest Conductor
Trent Johnson, Organist

VELJO TORMIS Raua needmine (Curse Upon Iron)
A.R. Rahman Zikr
HERBERT HOWELLS Like as the Hart
HERBERT HOWELLS Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
Eric Whitacre Cloudburst

Organ works to be announced

About the Artists
Esteemed conductor, pianist, and composer Dr. Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez was named Artistic Director of Musica Viva NY and Director of Music of the historic Unitarian Church of All Souls in Manhattan in 2015. He is also Co-Founder of the New Orchestra of Washington and Artistic Director of the Victoria Bach Festival. He has earned accolades from The Washington Post as a conductor "with the incisive clarity of someone born to the idiom," as well as praise from The New York Times for leading "a stirring performance" of Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem. He is featured in El mundo en las manos/Creadores mexicanos en el extranjero (The World in Their Hands/Creative Mexicans Abroad), a book by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs honoring Mexican nationals who are leading figures in diverse artistic fields. He is the recipient of a 2016 Shenandoah Conservatory Alumni of Excellence Award for his exemplary contribution to his profession, national level of prominence, and exceptional integrity. He resides in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Walter Klauss received his M.A. degree from Case Western Reserve University and pursued doctoral studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York. At the age of 17, Mr. Klauss made his debut as an organ recitalist at the Cleveland Museum of Art; the museum later inviting him to perform the American premiere of Jean Langlais's "Organ Concerto" for the May Festival of Contemporary Music. At the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, Mr. Klauss was one of six organists invited to perform the complete works of Olivier Messiaen in a concert honoring the composer, who was present. He continues to appear as a recitalist, including performances with the Zurich Symphony at the Tonhalle and, for his 30th-anniversary concert at All Souls Unitarian Church, a performance of the Rheinberger rarely-heard "Concerto No. 2 for Organ and Orchestra".

Walter Klauss founded New York's critically acclaimed Musica Viva NY concert series in 1977 and now serves as its Artistic Director Emeritus. He has appeared as guest conductor of festival choruses and led workshops in choral conducting and performance techniques. Mr. Klauss has been guest conductor of choral and orchestral works with L'Orchestre de J.L. Petit in Paris, and conducted concerts in Zimbabwe. He served as Minister of Music at All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City from 1976 to 2014. Mr. Klauss also served as Chairman of the Music Department and Professor of Music at the C.W. Post Center of Long Island University. Upon his retirement from C.W. Post, the university honored him with the status of Professor Emeritus. Walter Klauss is currently on the music faculty of Queens College (CUNY).

Trent Johnson is an organist, composer, pianist and conductor. He is the Organist and Assistant Director of Music of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City and is the Music Director of the Oratorio Singers of Westfield, New Jersey. The Oratorio Singers perform the great choral masterworks with professional soloists and with members of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and The Juilliard School. His organ instructors have included John Weaver, Donald Sutherland, Peggy Haas-Howell, and Glenn Carow. In addition he has studied piano with Walter Hautzig, Glenn Carow and Edgar Cosimi. Major conducting influences have come from his work with Frederik Prausnitz, Dr. David A. Weadon and Norman Scribner of the Choral Arts Society of Washington DC. Mr. Johnson was formerly the Assistant Organist of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City.

An active organ recitalist, Mr. Johnson has performed recitals in many of the major churches, concert halls and cathedrals in the United States, Europe and Asia. Some notable recital venues in New York have included the Riverside Church, St. Thomas' Church 5th Avenue, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, and the Brick Presbyterian Church. He is an organist at Radio City Music Hall, where he plays the "Mighty Wurlitzer" organ for the Christmas Spectacular Show.

Image by Richard Termine

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