Sir Karl Jenkins' 'Miserere: Songs Of Mercy And Redemption' Premieres At Carnegie Hall
DCINY brings the North American premiere of "Miserere: Songs of Mercy and Redemption", Sir Karl Jenkins' new work for soloists, choir and orchestra to Carnegie Hall. A special highlight of the program is the 20th anniversary of "The Armed Man, A Mass For Peace", a work, composed in 1999 and performed over 2500 times since then. A film produced by Hefin Owen will accompany "The Armed Man".
Maestro Jonathan Griffith leads the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International featuring Claudia Chapa as soloist. WQXR Host, Jeff Spurgeon, will conduct a Q & A with Sir Karl Jenkins and Maestro Jonathan Griffith prior to the second part of the concert. The concert is held on Monday, January 20 at 7 pm at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall. Tickets start at $20 and may be purchased by visiting DCINY.org.
"Miserere: Songs of Mercy and Redemption" is dedicated to those who have suffered or perished during the conflicts in the Middle East over the last 70 years. The work is scored for countertenor, mixed chorus, solo cello, strings, harp and percussion, which includes instruments indigenous to the Middle East: riq, darbuca, zarband, bendir. The mey, an ancient double reed oboe-like instrument from the region, is also heard, as is the qanun, a kind of large zither from the Arab world. The text is, in the main, sung in Latin and English but the word 'mercy' (in the sense of compassion) is also heard in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek (the languages of the Holy Land of Biblical times), as well as present-day Arabic.
"Miserere again demonstrates the musical genius of Sir Karl Jenkins in writing music that crosses geopolitical borders, different religions, various cultures into one complete and homogenous work", states Maestro Griffith. "Twenty years ago Sir Karl gave us 'The Armed Man', a work that incorporated both Christian and Muslim texts, as well as other literature from across the globe. I am honored to be able to conduct the North American premiere of 'Miserere' and to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 'The Armed Man, A Mass for Peace', on the same concert. And DCINY is most grateful to the Metropolitan Opera for giving approval for Iestyn Davies, countertenor, to perform in the Miserere."
"Miserere" features Gramophone Award-winning British countertenor Iestyn Davies and Iraqi singer Baidar Al Basri. Participating international choirs are the Chor der Stadtpfarrkirche St. Blasius (Germany), City of Birmingham Choir (UK), Coleraine Grammar School (UK), Dedham Choral Society (US), die Damen e. V. (Germany), Ellwanger Kantorei (Germany), Emmeram Singers (Germany), Voce Eylsian (Switzerland), Grosser Chor Hoyerswerda (Germany), Kings Chorale (Canada), Lincoln Choral Society (US), Musikschule Vöcklabruck (Austria), Pennsbury High School (US), Sittingbourne Orpheus Choral Society (UK), St. Johannis Soltau (Germany), Stadtchor Klosterneuburg (Austria), Swinging Notes (Germany), Swiss "Ad-Hoc" Singers (Switzerland), The Gisborne Singers (Australia), Vocalin Drenthe (The Netherlands), Voce Vic (Australia), and Vox Kiwiana (New Zealand).
SIR KARL JENKINS' works for choir, soloists, and orchestra are among the most popular in the genre by any living composer, including "Adiemus", "The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace" - performed over 2500 times - "Requiem", "Stabat Mater", "Gloria", "Te Deum", "The Peacemakers" and "Cantata Memoria". His prolific career spans the worlds of classical, jazz, and film music. Jenkins was educated at Cardiff University and the Royal Academy of Music and his recorded output has resulted in seventeen gold and platinum disc awards. He was awarded a Knighthood in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honors.
Born in York in 1979, countertenor IESTYN DAVIES began his singing career aged eight in the choir of St John's College, Cambridge, where he later returned as a choral scholar before studying at the Royal Academy of Music. Now widely regarded as one of the finest countertenors of his generation, critical recognition of his work can be seen in two Gramophone Awards, a Grammy Award, a RPS Award for Young Singer of the Year, the Critics' Circle Award and recently an Olivier Award Nomination. He was awarded the MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List 2017 for services to music.
BAIDAR EL BASRI was born in Baghdad and now lives in the Netherlands. She studied ballet and singing at the High Institute of Music in Damascus and the Royal Conservatoire of Dan Haag, Holland. She won first place in the Super Star competition held online by Iraqi University. El Basri sings in Arabic, Dutch, and French. She has participated in numerous operas and musicals and was a soloist in Jenkins' "Stabat Mater". El Basri was honored by the Youth of the Iraqi Diaspora in Holland and Al Anqaa Iraqi International.