Thursday, February 27, 2014
This concert will be broadcast live on WWFM The Classical Network.
The Westminster Choir and conductor Joe Miller will celebrate their return to Princeton after a January concert tour of Oklahoma and Texas with a free concert for the community on Monday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall on the Princeton University campus. They will be joined by the Westminster Festival Chamber Orchestra. Admission is free.
The concert will preview one of the ensemble’s performances at the 2014 Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, S.C. The program will feature two settings of Te Deum, the early Christian hymn of praise, by George Frideric Handel and Arvo Pärt. Handel’s Dettingen Te Deum, written in 1743 to celebrate King George II’s triumphant return from defeating France in battle, features all the radiance and intricacy of Baroque choral music. Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s haunting setting, written in 1985, mimics the effortless harmonies associated with bells, paired with their anomalous overtones.
Setting the standard for choral excellence for 93 years, the Westminster Choir is composed of students at Westminster Choir College, a division of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts. It has been the chorus-in-residence for the Spoleto Festival USA since 1977, performing both in concert and as the opera chorus.
The Westminster Choir has made three recordings with Joe Miller. Its latest, The Heart’s Reflection: Music of Daniel Elder, has been hailed by Classics Today as “first rate” and “highly recommended.” The choir’s debut recording with Maestro Miller, Flower of Beauty, received four stars from Choir & Organ magazine and earned critical praise from American Record Guide, which described the Westminster Choir as “the gold standard for academic choirs in America.”
Praised by The New York Times for its “full-bodied, incisive singing,” the Westminster Choir also forms the core of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, which has performed and recorded with the leading conductors and orchestras of our time.
Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. He is also artistic director for choral activities for the Spoleto Festival USA. As conductor of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Dr. Miller has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, earning him critical praise. The New York Times wrote about the Symphonic Choir’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra, “Joe Miller's Westminster Symphonic Choir was subtle when asked and powerful when turned loose.” Recent seasons have included performances with Sir Simon Rattle and Philharmoniker Berliner, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela.
Dr. Miller is also founder and conductor of the Westminster Summer Choral Festival Chamber Choir, a program that offers professional-level choral and vocal artists the opportunity to explore challenging works for one week each summer on the Westminster campus in Princeton.
The concert also celebrates the Princeton Adult School’s 75th Anniversary. “The Westminster Choir’s annual homecoming concert is one of the highlights of our concert season,” says Westminster Choir College Dean and Director Robert L. Annis, “We are grateful for Glenmede Trust Company’s generous support, which has enabled us to offer this special Spoleto Festival USA preview to our community.”
Admission to the concert is free; however, tickets are required. Tickets are available through the Princeton University ticketing office at 609-258-9220.