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U.S. Premiere of THE PSLAMS EXPERIENCE Comes to Lincoln Center's White Light Festival

U.S. Premiere of THE PSLAMS EXPERIENCE Comes to Lincoln Center's White Light Festival This fall, Lincoln Center's White Light Festival will present the U.S. premiere of The Psalms Experience, an unprecedented choral project featuring four world-renowned choirs traversing 1,000 years of music over the course of 12 thematic concerts. Staged in four illuminated spaces across New York City November 1-11, the project will present all 150 psalms set to music by 150 composers, from Bach and Handel to living composers from around the globe, including new commissions by Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, and David Lang, among others.

For nearly 3,000 years, humans have reached out to the divine through the Psalms, the Hebrew Bible's book of hymns revealing the gratitude, fear, and longing of the human heart. For nearly as long, these texts have inspired musicians and artists to explore the profoundly personal, yet universal, themes within the texts.

The Psalms Experience brings together the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, the Netherlands Chamber Choir, the Tallis Scholars, and the Norwegian Soloists' Choir to survey centuries of primarily a cappella works in languages from Aramaic to Armenian to German, across repertoire that speaks to the traditions of each choir. Performances will take place at St. Paul's Chapel at Trinity Wall Street, the New York Society for Ethical Culture, James Memorial Chapel at Union Theological Seminary, and Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.

"There are no more universal expressions of hope, doubt, longing, fear, vengeance, and grace than the Psalms. The only book in the Bible where humans address God directly, this poetry has spoken to those across world cultures and spiritual traditions for thousands of years," said Jane Moss, Lincoln Center's Ehrenkranz Artistic Director. "In these challenging times, this project looks to these ancient texts and the glorious choral music they've inspired to celebrate their unifying force and ask what they can teach us today as individuals and as a community."

Each performance places select compositions within a thematic framework: Mortal Leadership, Divine Guidance; Faith; Justice; Powerlessness and Redemption; State of Humankind; Gratitude; Abandonment; Lamentation; Security and Trust; Pilgrimage of Life; Celebration of Life; and Consequences of Power. Concert introductions, a free panel discussion that kicks off the series, and an online gallery juxtaposing the Psalms with powerful contemporary photos from The New York Times' archive will further examine the history, spirituality, and contemporary relevance of the Psalms.

The eighth annuAl White Light Festival runs from October 18 through November 15. With more than 35 events presented in 13 venues throughout the city, the international festival will explore transcendence, interior illumination, and faith in the human spirit, as exhibited through artistic expression across continents and centuries.

Tickets for all concerts in The Psalms Experience start at $25 and are available online at WhiteLightFestival.org, by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or at the David Geffen or Alice Tully Hall Box Office (Broadway and 65th Street).

Background
The Psalms Experience was conceived by Tido Visser, artistic director of the Netherlands Chamber Choir, who observed the extraordinary breadth of choral repertoire based on the Psalms. He was aided by theologian Gerard Swüste, of Amsterdam, who divided the 150 psalms into 12 central themes. Each theme provides a focal point for one concert, with the psalms arranged to provide a narrative structure. Meanwhile, musicologist and composer Leo Samama researched the extensive repertoire of choral settings to select settings for all 150 psalms. Additional commissions from world-renowned composers added to the literature.

Commissions
Nine living composers have been commission to write new settings of psalms, adding to the rich collection of psalms literature already in the choral repertoire. The Psalms Experience will present a world premiere by Caroline Shaw and the U.S. premieres of works by Michel van der Aa, Mohammed Fairouz, William Knight, David Lang, Zad Moultaka, Nico Muhly, Evelin Seppar and Isidora Žebeljan. (See biographies below).

The White Light Festival is a presentation of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (LCPA) , which serves three primary roles: presenter of artistic programming, national leader in arts and education and community engagement, and manager of the Lincoln Center campus. A presenter of more than 3,000 free and ticketed events, performances, tours, and educational activities annually, LCPA offers 16 series, festivals, and programs, including American Songbook, Avery Fisher Career Grants and Artist program, David Rubenstein Atrium programming, Great Performers, The Performing Arts Hall of Fame at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center at the Movies, Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Awards, Lincoln Center Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center Vera List Art Project, Midsummer Night Swing, Mostly Mozart Festival, White Light Festival, the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center, which airs nationally on PBS, and Lincoln Center Education, which is celebrating 41 years enriching the lives of students, educators, and lifelong learners. As manager of the Lincoln Center campus, LCPA provides support and services for the Lincoln Center complex and the 11 resident organizations: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center Theater, The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, School of American Ballet, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Lincoln Center has become a leading force in using new media and technology to reach and inspire a wider and global audience. Reaching audiences where they are-physically and digitally-has become a cornerstone of making the performing arts more accessible to New Yorkers and beyond. The reimagination of David Geffen Hall will play an important part in these efforts. For more information, visit LincolnCenter.org.

Lincoln Center is committed to providing and improving accessibility for people with disabilities. For information, call the Department of Programs and Services for People with Disabilities at 212.875.5375.


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