Continuing a proud history of commissioning and performing new music, Music Director Kent Tritle leads the renowned Musica Sacra Chorus in Messages to Myself, a program of new works for a cappella chorus on Friday May 13, 2011 (8pm) at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. An essential part of Musica Sacra's mission is to provide a forum for contemporary composers through important premieres. Accordingly, its concerts have included first New York performances of works by Benjamin Britten, Dave Brubeck, David Diamond, Aaron Copland, Aram Khatchaturian, Vincent Persichetti, and Daniel Pinkham. Musica Sacra has commissioned compositions by Ned Rorem, Richard Danielpour, Ricky Ian Gordon, Alan Hovhaness, Libby Larsen, Meredith Monk, McNeil Robinson, and Alessandro Cadario. Musica Sacra was one of only three choral organizations in the country (with San Francisco's Chanticleer and St. Paul's Dale Warland Singers) to have been awarded a Reader's Digest/Meet the Composer commissioning sponsorship, arranged in conjunction with a project coordinated by the National Endowment for the Arts. These funds made it possible for Musica Sacra to present New York premieres by composers such as Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q. Bach), Anthony Davis, and Bernard Rands.
Mr. Tritle, in his fourth season as music director of Musica Sacra, says, "It has been a real joy pulling together these selections from the young musical voices of today. The music is lush and intense and vibrant and transcendent, and comes from an emotional place deep within."
The titular work, Christopher Theofanidis's Messages to Myself, sets poems by Whitman, Rumi, Kirsten and Yeats, and receives its New York premiere with this performance. Also receiving New York premieres are We Are One by Iranian composer and Juilliard faculty member Behzad Ranjbaran, and Magnificat, Amen. by new voice Zachary Patten. Musica Sacra performs the world premiere of Michael Gilbertson's Three Songs After Dowland, featuring two movements commissioned by the ensemble; and also Daniel Brewbaker's Mother, Father, on texts of E. E. Cummings. Robert Convery's The Lamb, Aaron Jay Kernis's Effortlessly Love Flows (from his Ecstatic Meditations), and another E.E. Cummings setting, i thank You God, by Elliot Z. Levine are featured, as is Christina Whitten Thomas's enchanting Choral de Bêtes (The Creatures' Choir), winner of the Sorel Organization's 2007 Medallion.
Ticket prices range from $25-110 and are available through Lincoln Center online (www.lincolncenter.org), by phone (CenterCharge, (212)721-6500); or in person (Alice Tully Hall Box Office, 1941 Broadway at 65th Street). For additional information on the program and composers, please visit www.musicasacrany.com.