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LA MASTER CHORALE ILLUMINATES ENGLAND’S RICH CHORAL TRADITION WITH ALL-BRITISH PROGRAM, “LONDON BRIDGES”

Location: California, USA
Choir type: Professional Choirs
Voicing: Mixed
The Los Angeles Master Chorale explores England’s grand choral tradition through the ages with “London Bridges,” an all-British program conducted by Music Director Grant Gershon featuring the music of William Byrd, Judith Weir, John Tavener and Benjamin Britten, along with a selection of English madrigals, on Sunday, January 30, 2011, 7:00 p.m., at Disney Hall.  Lesley Leighton, appointed Assistant Conductor of the chorus in July 2010, makes her Los Angeles Master Chorale conducting debut leading Hymn to St. Cecelia, one of two Britten works to be spotlighted.  Organist Paul Meier is the guest artist.

“No other country has such as rich a choral heritage as Great Britain,” states Gershon, a self-professed “choral geek” from a young age who was drawn, in particular, to British choral works as a high school student.  “Resonant sound, rich harmonic elements and overtones are among the music’s hallmarks.  The English were the first to embrace major and minor chords and thirds, giving tremendous dimension and emotional range to their early musical compositions.  I’m delighted to share conducting duties for this concert with my colleague Lesley Leighton.”

The program includes John Tavener’s hauntingly beautiful Song for Athene, heard at Princess Diana’s funeral and first performed by the Chorale at Disney Hall in January 2005. Known as the Dean of Mysticism, Tavener – who draws from Elizabethan, Middle-Eastern and New Age influences – is a leading figure in the world of 20th-century British music.  Providing a musical contrast are Elizabethan composer William Byrd’s Four-Part Mass in D, Britten’s Missa Brevis, a selection of English madrigals andJudith Weir’s Two Human Hymns, written in 1995 for six-part choir and based on poems by 17th Century English poets George Herbert and Henry King.  In addition, Leighton leads Britten’s lyrical Hymn to St. Cecilia, an homage to St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, set toW.H. Auden’s poem “Anthem for St. Cecilia’s Day.” 

Concert tickets to range from $19 to $124.  Student Rush seats are $10 and are available at the box office two hours before the performance.  For tickets and information, please call (213) 972-7282, or visit www.lamc.org.  (Tickets can no longer be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.)  The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue at First Street in downtown Los Angeles.
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