During the 2011-2012 season the Westminster Symphonic Choir will continue its 77-year tradition of performing major choral works with some of the world’s greatest conductors and orchestras.
The season will open shortly after the academic year begins with a special concert with renowned tenor Andrea Bocelli and the New York Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert. Presented in New York’s Central Park on Thursday, September 15, the concert will include opera arias and choruses. It will be recorded for broadcast on the PBS Great Performances program later in the fall.
In November the choir will perform for the first time under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The program will feature Johannes Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem). Nézet-Séguin studied choral conducting for two summers with Westminster’s conductor laureate Joseph Flummerfelt. When his appointment as the orchestra’s new music director was announced, he recalled that experience for New York Times reporter Daniel Wakin. “I vividly remember everything about his way of breathing with the group and how the hands are in touch with the sound,” he said of Flummerfelt. “The human voice is what every orchestra instrument is imitating.”
The choir will return to New York in December to perform Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Peter Schreier. On February 25 it will perform Mahler’s Symphony No 2 “Resurrection” with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Simon Rattle.
On April 14, Princeton-area residents will have the rare opportunity to hear the women of the choir, conducted by Amanda Quist, perform works for women’s voices at Princeton Presbyterian Church. The program will include a commissioned choral/orchestral work by Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo, whose music has been performed and recorded in more than 30 countries worldwide.
The season will conclude on May 9 when the men of the choir perform Varèse’s Nocturnal and Busoni’s Piano Concerto in C major with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jacques Lacombe as part of Carnegie Hall’s Spring for Music Festival.
For a schedule of performances with related links go to www.rider.edu/symphonicchoir.