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Musica Sacra Announces Three Performances for Spring 2022

The season concludes with nine performances in A Midsummer Night's Dream with the New York City Ballet.

Musica Sacra Announces Three Performances for Spring 2022

Musica Sacra, Kent Tritle, Music Director, performs in three concerts this spring whose variety is emblematic of its identity as New York's elite professional chorus.

The group presents two of the events: a diverse program of works by Arvo Pärt, Wang Jie, Viktor Kalabis, and Brahms at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on March 22, and Bach's Magnificat and Mozart's Mass in C Minor at Carnegie Hall on April 6. And the chorus is featured in a performance with the Juilliard Orchestra led by Barbara Hannigan of Debussy's La damoiselle élue at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall on March 31.

The March 22 program led by Kent Tritle continues Musica Sacra's history of engagement with new and recent repertoire, featuring the world premiere of The Name That Never Dies, a commissioned work by Wang Jie; the Te Deum of Arvo Pärt; and Viktor Kalabis's Canticum canticorum (marking the Czech composer's centennial); along with Brahms's motet Schaffe in mir, Gott. The Kalibis work is a cantata, with text from the biblical Song of Songs, for alto and tenor soloists, choir, and chamber orchestra commissioned in 1986 by conductor Helmuth Rilling for his Gächinger Kantorei choir. Nicole Joy Mitchell, contralto, and John Riesen, tenor, are the concert's soloists.

The March 31 Juilliard Orchestra concert, which will be livestreamed, is also new to the schedule, part of Barbara Hannigan's work as a Juilliard Creative Associate in the 2021-22 season. La damoiselle élue (The Blessed Damozel) is a cantata setting of a poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti for soprano soloist, children's and contralto choirs, and orchestra. The performance is the latest in Musica Sacra's series of high-profile collaborations this season that included the January 31 Carnegie Hall concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Vassily Petrenko (Holst's The Planets) that was the first performance by a foreign orchestra at the hall in almost two years; a performance by the Orchestra of St. Luke's and Bernard Labadie of Mozart's Requiem and Haydn's Te Deum on November 19; and the New York premiere of Robert Paterson's Graffiti Canons as well as motets by Palestrina on a program with the American Modern Ensemble on November 5.

The April 6 concert was scheduled when Musica Sacra's annual Carnegie Hall performance of Handel's Messiah on December 21 had to be canceled at the last minute due to pandemic protocols. Tickets for the Dec. 21 date will be honored on April 6. Kent Tritle leads the program of Bach's Magnificat and Mozart's Mass in C Minor, which continues Musica Sacra's celebrated history performing the jewels of the choral repertoire, particularly the music of Bach. The program's soloists are Jennifer Zetlan, soprano; Heather Petrie, mezzo-soprano; Bernard Damon Holcomb, tenor; and Enrico Lagasca, bass-baritone.

The Musica Sacra season concludes May 21-29 with guest appearances with the New York City Ballet in nine performances of A Midsummer Night's Dream, George Balanchine's ballet to Mendelssohn's score, continuing Musica Sacra's collaboration with the NYCB.

Since its founding in 1964 by conductor Richard Westenburg, the mission of Musica Sacra has been to create definitive, professional, choral performances of the highest caliber: profound statements made simply and elegantly. It does so with concerts, recording, the commissioning and performing of new choral works, and collaborating with other top tier performing arts organizations.

Musica Sacra is known for its interpretations of the masterpieces of choral music - Tallis's Spem in Alium, the choral oeuvre of J. S. Bach, the masses of Mozart and Haydn, the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, and Fauré, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Strauss's Deutsche Motette, Bruckner's motets, and Schönberg's Friede auf Erden, among others - and its involvement in contemporary repertoire; the group has given the world and New York premieres of choral works by composers including Benjamin Britten, Dave Brubeck, Anthony Davis, Aaron Copland, David Diamond, Aram Khachaturian, Duncan Patton, Vincent Persichetti, Daniel Pinkham, Bernard Rands, and Peter Schickele.

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