The Annenberg Center Presents Noted Early Music Vocal Ensemble Vox Luminis
The Annenberg Center presents Belgium-based early music ensemble Vox Luminis, Friday, November 1, at 7:30 PM, at St. Mary's Church, Hamilton Village at 3916 Locust Walk on the University of Pennsylvania campus. One of the foremost vocal ensembles specializing in performances of Renaissance and Baroque music, and led by Artistic Director Lionel Meunier, the award-winning Vox Luminis makes its Annenberg Center debut in a celebration of the Italian Baroque, featuring works by Claudio Monteverdi and Domenico Scarlatti, including the latter's Stabat Mater, the signature work that inspired the group's founding. Visit AnnenbergCenter.org for ticket information.
Vox Luminis includes sopranos Zsuzsi Tóth, Stefanie Tru, and Victoria Cassano; altos Barnabas Hegyi and Jan Kullman; tenors Robert Buckland and Phillippe Froelinger; and basses Sebastian Myrus and Lionel Meunier (Artistic Director). The ensemble also features instrumentalists Anthony Romaniuk, organ; Ricardo Rodriguez Miranda, viola de gamba; Julia Seager Scott, Baroque harp; and Daniel Swenberg, theorbe.
One project, one objective, one path: introduce today's audiences to early vocal music, passionately conveying its quintessence and touching the light through the voice.
Vox Luminis is a Belgian early music vocal ensemble created in 2004 by Artistic Director Lionel Meunier. The ensemble performs over 60 concerts a year, appearing on stages in Belgium, across Europe and around the world. Since its inception, the ensemble has been defined by its unique sound, appealing as much through the personality of each timbre as it does through the color and the uniformity of the voices. The size and composition of the group depends on the repertoire, with the core of soloists, mostly from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, often joined by additional performers. The repertoire is essentially Italian, English and German and spans from the 16th to the 18th century.
Recent highlights include Vox Luminis' residence at the Juilliard School in New York and a debut at Lincoln Center, along with debuts at the Arsenal in Metz and at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, at the National Concert Hall in Dublin, and at the Our Lady of Ambronay Abbey. In 2019, Vox Luminis celebrates 15 years with multiple collaborations and a busy touring schedule. The group will record and tour with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and with the Café Zimmermann ensemble performing the Saint John Passion. Vox Luminis will see its first performances in Romania and Scotland. While in residence at the Aldeburgh Festival, Vox Luminis will have the honor of giving three concerts at the Snape Maltings. The ensemble will take part in the entire cycle of cantatas at the Leipzig Bachfest. It will open the Musica Antiqua Brugge with King Arthur, as well as open the Vezelay Festival and the Musikfest Bremen, and then close the Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht. A recording of the cantatas by the Bach family (on the Ricercar label) will celebrate this anniversary with a bonus of several concerts in Paris and Brugge, culminating at the Boston Early Music Festival.
Vox Luminis has released 13 internationally-acclaimed albums on the labels Alpha Classics, Ricercar, Ramée, and Musique en Wallonie. These recordings have won numerous prizes including the prestigious Gramophone Recording of the Year in 2012 for the Musicalische Exequien by Heinrich Schütz, and the 2018 Choral Award from BBC Music Magazine for their recording of music of the Reformation, Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott, released on Ricercar Records. In 2018, Alpha Classics released two albums: a collaboration with the Franco-Canadian ensemble, Masques in Abendmusiken by Dietrich Buxtehude, and a recording of Purcell's King Arthur.
Vox Luminis has performed extensively at festivals in Belgium, Europe and overseas, and has performed in Wigmore Hall in London, the Oratoire du Louvre in Paris, the Auditoria Nacional de Música in Madrid, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, and the Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. The ensemble has held residencies at the Abbey of Sainte-Marie-des-Dames, the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, the Concertgebouw in Brugge, the prestigious Festival of Early Music in Utrecht, and the "Musique et Mémoire Festival." Since 2017, the ensemble has also been in residence at Aldeburgh Festival in England, founded by Benjamin Britten.
Vox Luminis receives support from Federation Wallonia-Brussels, the city of Namur and Namur Confluent Culture and is recognized by the Art and Life Tours.
The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts serves as a major cultural destination and crossroads connecting Penn and the greater Philadelphia region through innovative human expression in theatre, music, dance, and film, serving an annual audience of over 60,000. The Annenberg Center also serves as a key resource for the arts at Penn, connecting master artists with Penn students in support of and as an enhancement to the arts curriculum. Student performing arts groups are also key users of the Annenberg Center's multiple performance and rehearsal spaces, while also staffing many operational roles throughout the academic year. In reflection of Penn's core values as a world-respected academic institution, the Annenberg Center emphasizes artistic and intellectual excellence, diversity, and rigor in its presentations; prioritizes broad inclusiveness in the artists, audiences, and groups it serves; manages outstanding performance, conference, and meeting facilities; and stresses comprehensive event planning, production support, and customer service. The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is a major provider of performing arts access for school children and actively engages a broad range of primary, secondary, and post-secondary student audiences and inclusive constituencies from the campus, community, and greater Philadelphia region. Visit AnnenbergCenter.org.