In 2004, the MCE began its commissioning project, New Music for New York. Through this project, the MCE has commissioned more than 20 works for choir from aspiring and established composers, focusing on local New York City composers. This extraordinary commitment to fostering new choral music has given the MCE the opportunity to work with some of the leading living New York composers, including George Andoniadis, George Steel, Patrick Castillo, Charles Griffen, and Nico Muhly. Part of this project is an effort to allow chorus members and audiences into the compositional process though intimate dinners with the composers, the exploration of early drafts as the works are created, recorded interviews by Director Thomas Cunningham with the composers, and opportunities for audience members to meet and talk with composers after the premieres. Additionally, the largest commission for each season is given to a composer selected democratically by the members of the choir, giving the membership a voice in the direction of the project.
I Cannot Attain Unto It
The American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein premiered Mr. Muhly’s Fits & Bursts at Avery Fisher Hall in February 2003, and the Juilliard Orchestra under Jeffrey Milarsky premiered his Out of the Loop at the Juilliard Theater. Out of the Loop went on to win an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award. In April 2004, his So to Speak was premiered by the Juilliard Orchestra under Jeffrey Milarsky in Alice Tully Hall. For more information, visit: http://nicomuhly.com.
Meeting the British (mp3)
A.J.’s music has been performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, as well as by several Boston-area ensembles. He has been featured on Boston Modern Orchestra Project’s “The Next Next” new music series, and has recently been named Composer-in-Residence for the Radius Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber group. He currently lives in the Boston area, where he is the Chair of Theory and Composition at the Community Music Center of Boston.
A Piece of Coffee (mp3)
Composer Patrick Castillo serves as founding Co-Artistic Director of the Pharos Music Project. In June 2005, his work Lola for Pierrot ensemble was awarded the Brian M. Israel Prize by the Society for New Music (Syracuse, NY). Highlights of the 2005-06 season include premieres of Patrick Castillo’s chamber and choral works by Anti-Social Music, the Canticum Novum Singers, Cerddorion, the Pharos Music Project, and the Society for New Music. Patrick Castillo moonlights with various vocal ensembles and daylights as Artistic Administrator for [email protected], a chamber music festival in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mixed Choir + Soprano
George Andoniadis was born in Montreal, and grew up in the Chicago area where he began playing and composing music. He studied at Northwestern University and the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Andoniadis has composed numerous theater scores and much vocal music, both solo and choral, and has received world premiere performances from the Gregg Smith Singers, the Bowdoin College Chamber Choir, the University of Southern Maine Chamber Singers, and the Choral Art Society of Portland, Maine. His music has also been featured on concerts of the Ohio University Chamber Singers and the Lancaster Chorale.
The Clothes of Heaven
The Clothes of Heaven is based on a short poem by William Butler Yeats. The tapestry of love and longing woven by the singers’ lyrical interplay reflects that woven by Yeats in the text.
Joelle Wallach composes music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, choruses and solo voice. Her String Quartet 1995 was the American Composers Alliance nominee for the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in Music. The New York Philharmonic Ensembles premiered her octet, From the Forest of Chimneys, written to celebrate their 10th anniversary; and the New York Choral Society commissioned her secular oratorio, Toward a Time of Renewal, for 200 voices and orchestra to commemorate their 35th Anniversary Season in Carnegie Hall.