Cantata Singers Announces 2018-19 Season

By: Mar. 21, 2018
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Cantata Singers Announces 2018-19 Season On Saturday, November 3rd, 2018 at 8pm in NEC's Jordan Hall, Cantata Singers begins the season with J.S. Bach's exquisite cantata BWV 140, "Wachet auf," alongside the first complete performance of John Harbison's Sacred Trilogy. Presented in honor of the composers' 80th birthday, the three cantatas that form the Trilogy are all works commissioned by, and composed for, Cantata Singers. The first cantata, The Flight Into Egypt (1986), winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize. It tells the story of the escape of Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus from Judea. The second cantata, But Mary Stood (2006), recounts Mary Magdalene's recognition of Jesus after the resurrection. The third and final cantata, The Supper at Emmaus (2014), co-commissioned with Emmanuel Music, presents the encounters of two disciplines with the resurrected Jesus. This will be the first time all three works will be presented together on one concert.

Cantata Singers presents a holiday offering with "A Renaissance Christmas." The seasonal program features Renaissance motets of beloved composers Heinrich Schütz, Michael Praetorius, Tomás Luis de Victoria, and Orlande de Lassus for eighteen singers and chamber orchestra. Celebrate the season on Friday, December 7, 2018 at 8pm and Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3pm, both at First Lutheran Church, Boston.

On Friday, January 25, 2019 at 8pm in NEC's Jordan Hall, Cantata Singers returns to James Primosch's Matins, featuring renowned oboist Peggy Pearson. A joint commission by Cantata Singers and Winsor Music in 2003, Matins sets gorgeous poetry by Mary Oliver and Gerard Manley Hopkins for solo oboe, chorus, and string orchestra. The work is a provocative medication on creation, brokenness, and renewal inspired by the morning prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours, a set of prayers marking the hours of each day. Following Matins on the program is Hungarian composer Bela Bartók's Divertimento for Strings, the last work written by Bartók before fleeing Hungary in 1940 for the United States at the onset of World War II. The three-movement work was written for string orchestra, and was the fourth work commissioned by Swiss composer Paul Sacher for the Basel Chamber Orchestra. Concluding the program is Arvo Pärt's transcendent and gripping Te Deum, a continuation of Cantata Singers' celebration of the centennial of the Baltic Nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Employing Pärt's signature tintinnabuli compositional style, the work is scored for three choirs (women's choir, men's choir, and mixed choir), prepared piano, strings, and tape (wind harp).

Cantata Singers returns to Haydn's beloved oratorio The Creation for the first time in over 25 years on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 8pm in NEC's Jordan Hall. One of Haydn's great masterpieces, The Creation recounts the story of the creation of the world from the Book of Genesis. Music Director David Hoose, considered one of the finest conductors of Haydn in Boston, leads soloists, chorus, and orchestra in this exciting retelling that features some of the most thrilling choral writing ever conceived.

The season concludes on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 8pm in St. Paul's Church in Cambridge with works by Bruckner, Stravinsky, and Gabrieli. The enthralling Mass in E minor by Anton Bruckner is written for chorus and wind instruments. Its harmonic language is based strongly on Gregorian chant-style singing, and features stunning a cappella passages that create a miniature, yet spacious Mass setting. In contrast, Igor Stravinsky's Mass was written between 1944-1948, during the composer's neoclassical period. Also written for chorus and wind instruments, Stravinsky's setting contrasts greatly with Bruckners with its prickly yet poignant sound, enhanced by its use of cooler-sounding wind instruments. Giovanni Gabrieli's uplifting and celebratory Jubilate Deo brings Cantata Singers' 55th season to a glorious close.

Cantata Singers will return to the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Cambridge for a two-concert Chamber Series. Led by Chamber Series Director Allison Voth, this season will feature works exclusively by female composers. Beginning on Friday, February 8, 2019 at 7:30pm, "Women Composers of Europe" features music for voice and piano by composers Fanny Mendelssohn, Francesca Caccini, Pauline Viardot, Dora Peja?evi?, and Clara Schumann. The series concludes on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 7:30pm with "Women Composer of America" and music of twentieth- and twenty-first century American women composers, including Ruth Crawford Seeger, Amy Beach, Missy Mazzoli, Katharine Parker, and Libby Larson.

55th Season subscriptions-which start at just $106 for the full season- are on sale now, and can be purchased online at, or by calling 617.868.5885. Single tickets will go on sale on September 1, 2017, and range in price from $25-$75.

For more information, contact Cantata Singers at 617.868.5885, or visit our website,

About David Hoose

David Hoose's 36-year tenure with Cantata Singers has been marked by many accolades and honors. In 2016, David Hoose was awarded the Silver Jan Masaryk Honorary Medal for his and Cantata Singers' performances of music by Jan Dismas Zelenka by the Foreign Embassy of the Czech Republic. Mr. Hoose has also been honored by the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative for his contributions to the understanding and appreciation of culture from Eastern Europe, Russia, and the former USSR, as exemplified by his performances of Zelenka, Schnittke, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Gubaidulina, and Pärt. With Cantata Singers, Mr. Hoose is a recipient of the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming, and he is recipient of Choral Arts New England's Alfred Nash Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Alice M. Ditson Conductors Award for the Advancement of American Music. He received the Dmitri Mitropoulos Award at the Tanglewood Music Center and, as a founding member of the Emmanuel Wind Quintet, was co-recipient of the Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award. His recording with Collage New Music of John Harbison's Motetti di Montale was a GRAMMY-nominee for Best Recording with Small Ensemble. In addition to being Music Director of Cantata Singers for 35 years, David Hoose has been Music Director of Collage New Music for twenty-five years, and for eleven seasons he was Music Director of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Hoose has taught at the Longy School and at Brandeis University, and he is now Professor Emeritus at Boston University, where for twenty-nine years he taught conducting and was the School of Music's Director of Orchestras.

About Cantata Singers

A singular desire to bring to Boston's listeners music that isn't being heard anywhere else has inspired Cantata Singers' programming for 55 years.

In 1964, that music included the cantatas of J.S. Bach. Today, it may be hard for us to believe, but when Cantata Singers was founded in 1964, live performances of Bach cantatas were quite a rarity. In fact, Cantata Singers' early concerts featured the first Boston performances of many of the cantatas.

Bach's music, from the cantatas to the B-minor Mass to the Passions, remains an essential part of Cantata Singers' repertoire. However, the ensemble's repertoire has expanded to include music from the 17th century to today. Cantata Singers has commissioned 14 works for choir and orchestra-including one that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music-and has presented more than fifty Boston premieres of music both old and new.

Many of Boston's most talented musicians perform regularly with Cantata Singers. The chorus is made up of singers who have careers as musicians, educators, doctors, and architects. Many of these members appear as soloists with Cantata Singers, as well as with other highly respected organizations; some conduct other choruses and orchestras in the area. Although many of our musicians perform actively as solo singers, they choose to sing with Cantata Singers because of the reward they find in performing music of the choral canon at the highest possible level.

Cantata Singers has always focused on the music-be it by Bach, Verdi, Harbison, or Pärt-and its audiences do, too. Our audiences return year after year to hear fresh visions of iconic music, or an intriguing unfamiliar work that is-in fact-quite approachable. Each Cantata Singers concert is often surprising, sometimes challenging, always beautiful, and ultimately inspiring.