Houston Chamber Choir Presents WHAT SWEETER MUSIC with Simon Carrington Tonight
Houston Chamber Choir presents What Sweeter Music with special guest, notEd English conductor Simon Carrington, tonight, March 2, 7:30pm at The Church of St. John the Divine (2450 River Oaks Blvd., Houston, TX) and Sunday, March 3 at 4:00 pm at the Imperial Arts, Center for the Arts (823 3rd Street, Rosenberg, TX). The Chamber Choir and Simon Carrington offer a sampling of British a cappella music that includes works by Benjamin Britten, Bob Chilcott, James MacMillan and Pete Townshend of The Who.
Simon Carrington first gained wide attention as a member and co-founder of The King's Singers, an internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble in which he sang for 25 years. After leaving The King's Singers Carrington taught at the New England Conservatory in Boston and the University of Kansas before serving as professor of choral conducting at Yale University from 2003 to 2009. Artistic Director Robert Simpson on working with Carrington: "I am eager to bring world-class conductors to Houston to perform with the Houston Chamber Choir, and Simon Carrington has been at the top of my list for some time. It will be exciting for our musicians and our audience to experience his artistry in literature that is so close to his heart."
What Sweeter Music spans five centuries of British a cappella repertoire, from Lamentations of Jeremiah by Elizabethan composer Robert White, to Pete Townshend's Pinball Wizard from The Who's 1969 rock opera Tommy. Additional works include Bob Chilcott's (fellow former member of The King's Singers) Weather Report, written for the BBC Singers as an encore at the International Federation for Choral Music World Symposium in Tokyo, and Benjamin Britten's settings of seven poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, A.M.D.G (Ad majorem Dei gloriam). Simon Carrington explains, "Our program ranges from the piercing melancholy of English renaissance Lamentations to wildly contrasting works from this century by James MacMillan and Bob Chilcott and a celebration of Benjamin Britten's centenary. More corners of the British a cappella tradition are filled with three of Parry's heartfelt Songs of Farewell from the closing years of the First World War and a virtuosic arrangement of The Who's most iconic song: Pinball Wizard."
Tickets for tonight's March 2 concert in Houston are $30 for general admission and $27 for seniors and can be purchased through the Chamber Choir website at www.houstonchamberchoir.org or by calling (713) 224-5566. Tickets for the March 3 concert in Rosenberg can be purchased through the Imperial Arts, Center for the Arts website, www.imperialperformingarts.org, or by calling (281) 277- 7444.
ABOUT SIMON CARRINGTON: Simon Carrington, Yale University professor emeritus, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, in the UK and the USA. From 2003 to 2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale University and director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, a 24-voice chamber choir which he brought to national and now international prominence. From 2001 until his Yale appointment he was director of choral activities at the New England Conservatory, Boston, where he was selected by the students for the Krasner Teaching Excellence Award, and from 1994 to 2001 he held a similar position at the University of Kansas. Prior to coming to the United States, Mr. Carrington was a creative force for twenty-five years with the internationally acclaimed British vocal ensemble The King's Singers, which he co-founded at Cambridge University. The King's Singers gave 3,000 performances at many of the world's most prestigious festivals and concert halls, made more than seventy recordings, and appeared on countless television and radio programs, including nine appearances on the Tonight Show with the late Johnny Carson. Mr. Carrington keeps up an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes round the world. Once a year he also gathers together his own ensemble, the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers for concerts and recordings. Simon divides his time between London and southwest France, where he lives with Hilary, his wife of 43 years.
ABOUT THE HOUSTON CHAMBER CHOIR: The Houston Chamber Choir is a professional ensemble dedicated to increasing the awareness, appreciation and esteem of choral music and musicians through performance, outreach and education. Described by Peter Phillips, founder of the Tallis Scholars, as "one of this country's leading ensembles," the Houston Chamber Choir was established in 1995 by Artistic Director Robert Simpson. The Choir has toured internationally from Mexico to Wales and appeared nationally at conventions of The American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, and most recently at Trinity Wall Street in New York and Yale University where it presented a master class and concert. The Chamber Choir is showcased on the world premiere recording of Psalmi ad Vesperas (1694) by late 17th century Italian composer Giovanni Paolo Colonna, currently available on the MSR label.
Photo of Simon Carrington courtesy of the artist