The Westminster Williamson Voices, conducted by James Jordan, will perform the New York City premiere of James Whitbourn’s Annelies, the first major choral setting of The Diary of Anne Frank, on Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 8 p.m. at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. They will be joined by soprano Arianna Zukerman, The Lincoln Trio and clarinetist Bharat Chandra.
The ensemble’s recording of the work was nominated for a 2013 GRAMMY Award for Best Choral Performance. Annelies is the first authorized musical setting of the Diary of Anne Frank. It exists in two scorings: soloist, choir and orchestra or soloist, choir and chamber ensemble. “Melanie Challenger’s libretto distills the diary into this sequence of beautiful and mature, spiritually-charged texts,” says composer James Whitbourn.
The concert on April 26 will feature the chamber version. Whitbourn recalls the first orchestral performance: “Bernd (Buddy) Elias, Anne Frank's first cousin, introduced the new work and said: ‘if Anne could be with us tonight, I know she would shed tears of joy and pride, and she would be so happy - happy the way I remember when I saw her last.’”
The Washington Post has praised Arianna Zukerman as one of the most compelling vocal artists of her generation, thanks to “a remarkable voice that combines the range, warmth and facility of a Rossini mezzo with shimmering, round high notes and exquisite pianissimos that would make any soprano jealous,” Her extensive career includes performances with an impressive group of conductors including James Levine, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, Lorin Maazel, Pinchas Zukerman, and Marin Alsop. In addition to her work in concert and opera, she is an avid chamber musician, and she has made multiple appearances at leading chamber music festivals including the Vail Valley Music Festival and the Savannah Music Festival.
The Lincoln Trio, composed of Desirée Ruhstrat, violin; David Cunliffe, cello and Marta Aznavoorian, piano, has been praised for its polished presentations of well-known chamber works and its ability to forge new paths with contemporary repertoire. The trio has performed throughout the United States, including appearances at Carnegie's Weil Hall, Ravinia Festival, the Indianapolis Beethoven Chamber Music Series, Lane Concert Series, University of Chicago, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, Music in the Loft and Poisson Rouge. It is an ensemble-in-residence at the Music Institute of Chicago.
Bharat Chandra’s performances have frequently earned generous reviews, and he has been featured in special chamber music tours across the northeastern United States, Monte Carlo, and Vienna. Each summer he serves as principal clarinetist with the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, led by Marin Alsop.
Westminster Williamson Voices, has quickly established itself as a voice of composers of our time and has been acclaimed for its creative programming and collaborations with other art forms.
James Jordan is the author of more than 30 books and DVDs on all aspects of the choral art. He is acclaimed for his two books, Evoking Sound and The Conductor’s Gesture, among others, as well as his Naxos recording Living Voices: The Music of James Whitbourn. Dr. Jordan is professor and senior conductor at Westminster Choir College, where he conducts Westminster Schola Cantorum and the Westminster Williamson Voices.
For tickets and to learn more about this concert, go to www.schwartzarts.com.