Piffaro to Present WELCOME THE PEOPLE: the Musical Legacy of the Reformation in Philadelphia

Piffaro to Present WELCOME THE PEOPLE: the Musical Legacy of the Reformation in PhiladelphiaPiffaro, The Renaissance Band, will present Welcome the People: the Musical Legacy of the Reformation, marking the 500th anniversary of a religious and cultural revolution. Concerts take place October 20th through 22nd in Philadelphia and Wilmington.

Tickets are $29-$49 (full-time students free with ID), and are available at www.piffaro.org or by calling 215-235-8469.

On October 31, 1517, a monk named Martin Luther set in motion a spiritual movement that would transform sacred music. In this collaboration with the Twin Cities' award-winning chorus, The Rose Ensemble, Piffaro will guide listeners through the first formative century of the Reformation.

"When Luther nailed his "Ninety-five Theses" to the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, his hammer blows shattered sacred musical tradition," says Piffaro co-artistic director Bob Wiemkin. "Luther was a great lover of music. He called it 'the unshackled art' and 'the greatest treasure in the world' after the Word of God. He believed that we could discover the "great and perfect wisdom of God" in music and wrote beautiful hymns. The most recognized of these, of course, is Ein feste Burg (A Mighty Fortress)." Singable yet sophisticated hymns have become a hallmark of Lutheran religious life.

After calling the audience to attention with hammer blows, Piffaro and Rose will present music from the first generation of Lutheran composers, performed on the instruments and in the style of the 16th century. The program will include chorales and hymns by Johann Walther, Adam Gumpelzhaimer, Jakob Regnart and others; a reconstruction of an early 17th-century celebratory mass in grand style; Michael Praetorius' magnificent triple-choir Te Deum; and an opportunity for the audience to join their voices to those on stage in a singing of Ein feste Burg.

Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Jordan Sramek and now in its 22nd performance season, Saint Paul, MN-based professional chorus The Rose Ensemble produces musical performances and educational programs that connect each individual to compelling stories of human culture and spirituality from around the world. Each season, the group illuminates several centuries of rarely heard repertoire, bringing to modern audiences research from the world's manuscript libraries and fresh perspectives on music, history, languages, politics, religion, and more. With ten critically acclaimed recordings and a diverse selection of concert programs, The Rose Ensemble has thrilled audiences across the United States, Europe, and Latin America with repertoire spanning 1,000 years and over 25 languages, including recent unique programs highlighting Maltese, Hawaiian, Middle Eastern, and Cuban repertoire.

Mr. Sramek is the 2010 recipient of the Chorus America Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal and his ensemble is the recipient of the 2005 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence and took first place in both secular and sacred categories at the 2012 Tolosa (Spain) Choral Competition.



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