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Westminster Symphonic Choir Announces 2019-2020 Season

08/19/2019

The Westminster Symphonic Choir will present three series of performances with The Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia and New York during the 2019-2020 season.

In December, the ensemble will join the orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin to present three performances of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. Completed the year before he died, Bach’s Mass in B Minor has been described as a work of towering musicality and deep spirituality and a fitting summation of J.S. Bach's epochal career.  It's “above and beyond every piece of music that's been created for liturgical purposes,” says Maestro Nézet-Séguin. This series of performances is particularly meaningful for Westminster since the Westminster Choir performed Bach's choral masterwork with The Philadelphia Orchestra for the first time in 1934 when Leopold Stokowski brought the orchestra to Princeton to perform the Mass in B Minor with the Westminster Choir in the Princeton University Chapel in celebration of the opening of the Westminster Choir College campus.  The 2019 performances will be December 5, 6 and 7.

The Choir will return to Philadelphia February 13, 14, and 15 to perform Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Magic Spells), conducted by Stéphane Denève. This one-act fairy tale opera has a libretto by renowned French author Colette; soloists for the performance will be from the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. 

In April, the Westminster Symphonic Choir, The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven with a series of performances featuring works by contemporary composers in dialogue with works by Beethoven. The Symphonic Choir will be joined by Community Voices to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, his profound ode to brotherhood, salvation, and pure joy.  Performances will be April 2, 4 and 5.  They will travel to New York City on Friday, April 3 to present this milestone concert at Carnegie Hall. 

Composed of students at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, the Westminster Symphonic Choir has recorded and performed with major orchestras under virtually every internationally acclaimed conductor of the past 85 years.  Its first major collaboration was in 1934 when Leopold Stokowski brought the Philadelphia Orchestra to Princeton to perform Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Westminster Symphonic Choir in the Princeton University Chapel to celebrate the opening of the Westminster Choir College campus.  Recognized as one of the world’s leading choral ensembles, the choir has sung more than 500 performances with the New York Philharmonic alone.  Recent seasons have included performances of Bernstein’s Mass with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Berg's Wozzeck with the London Philharmonia and Esa-Pekka Salonen; Villa-Lobos' Choros No. 10 and Estévez’ Cantata Criolla with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim and Rouse’s Requiem with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert

Performances with the Westminster Symphonic Choir are defining milestones in the musical lives of Westminster alumni.