Saint Thomas More Chapel at Yale to Perform at Carnegie Hall, 6/29

By: Jun. 23, 2015
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Saint Thomas More Chapel at Yale formally launches the Saint Thomas More Center for Music and Liturgy with a June 29, 2015 inaugural concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The evening will feature well-known and important sacred works by Mozart, Bach, Bruckner, and Monteverdi, as well as William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Toivo Kuula and Knut Nystedt, culminating with two new world premieres of liturgical music by Orjan Matre, Composer in Residence, Oslo Philharmonic (Norway) and by Julian Revie, composer in Residence, Saint Thomas More Chapel at Yale (Connecticut).

This special, one night only event presents some of the world's most esteemed and distinguished choirs joining forces as the 400-voice International Festival Chorus: Oslo Chamber Choir (Norway), Tapiola Chamber Choir (Finland), Choir of Sidney Sussex College (Cambridge University, United Kingdom), Choir of Saint Thomas More Chapel (Yale, Connecticut), Schola Contorum of the Cathedral of Saint Joseph (Connecticut); singers from Westminster Williamson Voices (Westminster Choir College, NJ), Vassar College Choir (Vassar College, Massachusetts) and University of Massachusetts Choir (UMass Amherst), along with the Archdiocesan Children's Choir of Philadelphia, Nittany Valley Children's Chorus, and the 150-voice National Children's Chorus.

Audiences will also hear individual performances from: The Choir of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; Tapiola Chamber Choir; Oslo Chamber Choir, and the National Children's Chorus.

No less than six esteemed conductors will lead various works from the stage: David Skinner (Director, Choir of Sidney Sussex College, Fellow, Praelector and Osborn Director of Music at Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge); Luke McEndarfer (Artistic Director, National Children's Chorus); Richard Gard (Director for the Center for Music and Liturgy and Music Director of Saint Thomas More Chapel at Yale); Hannu Norjanen (Artistic Director, Helsinki Philharmonic Chorus and Contores Minores Boys' Choir); Hakon Daniel Nystedt (Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Oslo Chamber Choir and the Norwegian contemporary music choir Ginnungagap), and Stephen Layton (Founder and Conductor, Polyphony; Director, Choir of Trinity College Cambridge; Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the City of London Sinfonia), who oversees the entire evening, along with Mr. Gard.

Highlighting the evening are the last two works to be performed on the concert: the world premieres of Orjan Matre's Halleluja, var strid er endt (Hallelujah, the strife is over) and Julian Revie's Mass of the Divine Shepherd.

Matre's work is based on a haunting Norwegian folksong traditionally sung at funerals, with the final verse of profound gratitude and exaltation sung as the coffin is lowered into the ground. Matre presents the folksong melody first in a single voice before allowing it to blossom into a richly textured fourteen-part choral setting with children's chorus and orchestra. The work culminates with the tutti final verse filled with diffuse and luminous harmonies which characterize much of Matre's orchestral oeuvre. It is this blend of traditional influences with more abstract sonorities and performance techniques that has led Matre to develop a distinct voice in Norwegian music, resulting in high-profile commissions, recent performances by leading orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, and an upcoming performance at this year's BBC Proms.

Revie's work, the first orchestral setting of the revised English Order of Mass instituted by the Vatican in 2011, has been written specifically for this special inaugural concert. The culminating piece of the evening, the hour long work will feature soloists mezzo-soprano Karolina Wojteczko and tenor Stuart Neill joined by all 650 of the evening's performers - the International Festival Chorus, the 52-member International Festival Orchestra and over 200 handbell players overseen by conductor Rick Wood, including the Reykjanesbær Music School Bell Choir from Iceland. With performers both on stage and in the balconies, surrounding the audience with the sound of six hundred handbells floating down from the top balcony, the piece will create an immersive musical dialogue that will bring the hall to life in a way that has never before occurred.

The Program:

CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI Domine ad adjuvandum, Vespers for the Blessed Virgin
International Festival Chorus; David Skinner, conductor

J.S. BACH Sheep May Safely Graze, Cantata 203

National Children's Chorus; Luke McEndarfer, conductor

Veni, Creator Spiritus (9th century plainchant)
International Festival Chorus; Richard Gard, conductor

WILLIAM BYRD Ne irascaris Domine
The Choir of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; David Skinner, conductor

International Festival Chorus; Richard Gard, conductor

International Festival Chorus; Richard Gard, conductor

TOIVO KUULA Auringon Nousetessa
Tapiola Chamber Choir; Hannu Norjanen, conductor

Oslo Chamber Choir, Hakon Daniel Nystedt, Conductor
Performed in tribute to the life of Knut Nystedt, an acknowledged master of the choral art and lover of humanity.
The Oslo Chamber Choir is conducted by his grandson.

ORJAN MATRE Halleluja, var strid er endt (World Premiere)
International Festival Chorus; Hakon Daniel Nystedt, conductor

JULIAN DARIUS REVIE Mass of the Divine Shepherd (World Premiere)
International Festival Chorus, Orchestra and Handbells
Karolina Wojteczko, mezzo-soprano; Stuart Neill, tenor; Stephen Layton, conductor

The Saint Thomas More Center for Music and Liturgy is a major initiative to fuel the creation of new Catholic music, freely disseminate the finest sacred music, and support musical excellence in the worldwide Church. The Center will offer free and open Internet-based access to sheet music and musical instruction, with an emphasis on availability to those who may not otherwise have access to such materials and opportunities.

The Center for Music and Liturgy is honored to be welcoming world leaders of music, education, finance, and the Church, including its Honorary Patrons: Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford, Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport, and Bishop David O'Connell of Trenton, New Jersey.

Tickets for Alleluia! at Carnegie Hall are available from $24 - $154
Box Office at 57th and Seventh; at; Carnegie Charge 212-247-7800

A special gala event immediately follows the concert. Please contact Richard Gard at for further details.

For more information about the Center for Music and Liturgy at Saint Thomas More, please visit:


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