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The New Orchestra of Washington and Choral Arts Present Day of the Dead Concert

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The annual concert will go virtual on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 7:30pm ET and feature Brahms’s Requiem.

The New Orchestra of Washington and Choral Arts Present Day of the Dead Concert

The New Orchestra of Washington (NOW) and Choral Arts will celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in a joint presentation featuring Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem. The concert, which will be livestreamed on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 7:30pm ET, will honor and commemorate the lives of those around the world who have lost their battle with COVID-19.

Portions of the concert will be performed and recorded from the Music Center at Strathmore where strict COVID-19 safety precautions are practiced including extreme social distancing, special air circulation technology, temperature checks, and shields for wind players. The stage is set backwards, placing choristers in the house, facing the back of the stage where the conductor is. These live performances will be woven together with previously-recorded performances and photos from 2019's concert of the same piece. Solos by Laura Choi Stuart (soprano) and Brian Mextorf (Baritone) will be included from 2019's performance which took place at the Mexican Cultural Institute, as well as a solo by Trevor Scheunemann (Baritone) recorded at Strathmore early this October. As we journey together, we will build a virtual ofrenda to honor the lives of over 1 million world citizens who were lost in the pandemic and to acknowledge the pain of those who remain.

NOW Artistic Director Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez describes Brahms's Requiem as a universal, human requiem apt for the current state of the world and the holiday for which it will be performed.

"Johannes Brahms composed this requiem in German instead of traditional Latin, and ventured outside of the liturgy for new texts," said Hernandez-Valdez. "Composed while Brahms grieved the deaths of multiple friends and loved ones, the music and text embrace death as a part of our shared destiny. This spirit is inherent in the Mexican tradition of Día de los Muertos: a spirit of celebrating, not mourning, the lives of those that are lost," he continues.

Día De Los Muertos is a beloved Mexican holiday where family and friends gather to pray, remember and support the spiritual journey of those who have died. Each year during this time, the Mexican Cultural Institute creates an elaborate ofrenda - a collection of objects placed on ritual display. Photos of these ofrendas will populate the livestream presentation - creating the perfect backdrop and inspiration for NOW's annual Día de los Muertos concert.

On Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm, the organizations will host A Spirited Discussion: Requiems and Día de los Muertos, a pre-concert virtual conversation about the history of Día de los Muertos with the Mexican Cultural Institute. Speakers include Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, Scott Tucker, and Ix-Nic Iruegas, Executive Director of the Mexican Cultural Institute. Complimentary admission is included with ticket purchase.

DETAILS:

WHAT: Día de los Muertos: Featuring Brahms's Requiem Presented by Choral Arts and New Orchestra of Washington

WHEN: Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 7:30 pm

WHERE: https://choralarts.org/dia-de-los-muertos

TICKETS: $15 at https://choralarts.org/dia-de-los-muertos

The Program:

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem

Featured Artists:

Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, conductor

New Orchestra of Washington

Choral Arts Chamber Singers & Symphonic Chorus

Scott Tucker, Artistic Director

Trevor Scheunemann, baritone

Laura Choi Stuart, soprano

Brian Mextorf, baritone



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