LA Master Chorale Opens 49th Season with Panache
Date: October 30, 2012
Location: California, USA
Choir type: Professional Choirs
The Los Angeles Master Chorale launched the 2012|13 season, its 49th, on Sunday, October 21, 2012, at Walt Disney Concert Hall, with a sublime organ and choral music extravaganza led by Music Director Grant Gershon that showcased the majesty and power of the venue’s iconic pipe organ and was capped by a glittering post-concert gala attended by 255 people that raised $275,000 for the Chorale’s artistic and education programs. Special guests at the concert included organists Paul Meier and Kimo Smith and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, under the direction of Anne Tomlinson.
The concert featured two West Coast premieres – Nico Muhly’s choral tapestry, A Good Understanding, performed with the Los Angeles Children's Chorus, and Judith Weir’s Ascending Into Heaven, a soaring journey into the clouds. In addition, Gershon conducted a second Muhly piece, Bright Mass with Canons, which received its West Coast premiere by the Chorale in 2010. Both Muhly works are featured on the Chorale’s CD A Good Understanding recorded in Disney Hall and released to tremendous critical acclaim by Decca in 2010.
The repertoire also included mystic Arvo Pärt’s The Beatitudes, Tarik O’Regan’s Dorchester Canticles, Kurt Weill’s Kiddush, Gerald Finzi’s gloriously thundering God Is Gone Up, and Sr. David Willcocks’ Psalm 150 performed by the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) and conducted by Tomlinson. A pair of royal anthems rounded out the concert – British composer Hubert Parry’s I Was Glad, conducted by LAMC Associate Conductor Lesley Leighton, as well as noted contemporary Welsh composer Paul Mealor’s Ubi caritas, composed for the April 2011 nuptials of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton. The Telegraph proclaimed Meaolor’s motet “the real hit of the Royal wedding music.”
For the 20th consecutive year, BNY Mellon sponsored the glamorous post-concert gala, which was held in BP Hall and featured musical entertainment by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and Tony Award-winning composer/pianist/playwright Jason Robert Brown. The Chorale’s signature surround sing, in which Chorale members encircle guests and envelope them in song, included Gershon conducting Brown’s Music of Heaven, the 9th movement of Henryk Górecki’s Miserere, the hymn Unclouded Day arranged by LAMC Composer In Residence Shawn Kirchner, and Zion’s Wall, a revivalist song arranged by Aaron Copland. Other event highlights included actress Jane Kaczmarek conducting a live auction for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conduct the Hallelujah Chorus on stage at the Chorale’s beloved Messiah Sing-Along on December 17 for which Tom and Judy Beckmen made the winning bid of $4,500. Guests dined on Ahi tuna towers, braised beef short ribs, farmer’s market vegetables and apple crumble tart with crème fraiche sherbet.