Chicago-based Arts Organization Part of Intercontinental Commission of Scottish composer James MacMillan
Date: May 23, 2012
Location: Oklahoma, USA
Soli Deo Gloria partners with the Edinburgh International Festival,
Hebrides Ensemble and Kings Place to commission world premiere for August 2012.
CHICAGO, May 23, 2012/Soli Deo Gloria/- SOLI DEO GLORIA is part of an intercontinental commission, along with the Hebrides Ensemble, Edinburgh International Festival and King’s Place, of an hour-long new work by leading Scotland composer James MacMillan to be premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival on Wednesday August 22, 2012. This will be followed by a second performance at King’s Place, London, on September 29, 2012 before touring in 2013 to Amsterdam on March 21, Leeds on March 23 and to Perth (UK) on a date in April 2013. Soli Deo Gloria is working to secure a U.S. premiere.
The new work is entitled “Since it was the Day of Preparation…” in which James MacMillan tells one of the greatest stories ever told, that of The Resurrection. It follows his setting of the St John Passion, which takes the narrative up to the death of Christ.
“When I completed my St John Passion some years ago, it felt like an unfinished story, and I wanted to get back to it quickly. By taking up St John’s narrative from the death of Christ through to the end of the Gospel was an exciting musical and spiritual journey for me.”—James MacMillan
William Conway, cellist and artistic director of Hebrides Ensemble, who will be performing the premiere, describes this very lyrical and dramatic work as, “music and drama of real depth from a master craftsman.” Since it was the Day of Preparation… will be a showcase for outstanding chamber musicians. Scored for a small chamber ensemble and singers, with just five instrumentalists and five singers, it will be performed by Hebrides Ensemble and Synergy Vocals, featuring bass Brindley Sherratt, under the artistic direction of William Conway. The line-up of instruments is very unusual (clarinet, French horn, cello, harp and theorbo with soprano, alto, tenor and bass, plus bass soloist) and throughout the piece, MacMillan writes interludes where each of the five instrumentalists have solo moments of real virtuosity.
James MacMillan has continually demonstrated, across the breadth of his compositions, his commitment to sacred music. His work is programmed around the world by such noted orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra. His interpreters include soloists Evelyn Glennie, Wayne Marshall and Colin Currie; and conductors Leonard Slatkin, John Nelson, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis and Osmo Vänskä. Through worldwide performances and an extensive discography, MacMillan’s music, which is celebrated for its spiritual and emotional power, has achieved a broad following rare among modern composers. His percussion concerto, Veni, Veni, Emmanuel, has received over 400 performances
For Soli Deo Gloria, this is not the first MacMillan collaboration. In June 2011, SDG brought MacMillan to the University of Chicago for the premiere of his commissioned choral work Alpha and Omega, premiered at Rockefeller Chapel by the Rockefeller Chapel Choir and the University of Chicago Motet, under the direction of James Kallembach. James MacMillan also serves as an Advisory Board member to Soli Deo Gloria.
About the commissioners
Soli Deo Gloria (SDG) is an international arts organization based in Chicago that has gained recognition as a distinctive, behind-the-scenes advocate of sacred music. Taking its name from the Latin phrase inscribed by Bach on many of his compositions, meaning “to God alone be the glory,” SDG seeks to commission new sacred music from the world’s leading composers. Since its founding in 1993, SDG has commissioned over 25 works to date, including Pulitzer Prize-winners Christopher Rouse and Yehudi Wyner, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Composer-in-Residence Augusta Read Thomas. Projects underway include composers Gavin Bryars, Aaron Kernis, Roxanna Panufnik, and Eriks Esenvalds. www.SDGmusic.org
The Edinburgh International Festival is a world-renowned festival that brings the best in classical music, theatre, opera, dance and visual art from across the globe to Edinburgh for three weeks each summer. The Festival is hosting the world premiere of Since it was the Day of Preparation… with the support of the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund as part of a series of early evening concerts in Greyfriars Kirk. www.eif.co.uk
Hebrides Ensemble is renowned for quality of performance, diversity of programming and its commitment to supporting new composers and commissioning new works. It is a collective of outstanding musicians, performing chamber music, music theatre and chamber operas in new and interesting ways. www.hebridesensemble.com
Kings Place is a hub for music, art, dialogue and food, housed in an award-winning building in Kings Cross, London. Since opening to the public in September 2008, a diverse and open-minded programme has established it as one of Europe’s leading cultural landmarks. www.kingsplace.co.uk