A world premiere, a recently revived masterwork, familiar favorites and new works mark the 52nd season for Chorus Austin.
“The 2016-2017 Chorus Austin season brings more joy and excitement to our community’s musical offerings with several premieres and celebrations,” said Ryan Heller, who is beginning his eighth season as Chorus Austin’s artistic director and conductor.
The Chorus Austin Chamber Ensemble with Youth Chorus open the season Nov. 5 and Nov. 6 with the world premiere of The Book of Rounds by Emil Adler and Julie Flanders, best known along with Marina Belica as the acclaimed band October Project. “The rounds are spectacular pieces that wonderfully evoke Flanders’s stunning poetry and can only be described as an experience at once reflective, beautiful, meditative, personal and celebratory,” Heller said. “For an added treat, we are delighted that October Project will be with us for the performances.
Chorus Austin’s Symphonic Chorus follows with the fall season audience favorite “Sing-It-Yourself Messiah” on Dec. 3. The three ensembles then join for the group’s holiday classic “On a Winter’s Eve” Dec. 17. “This concert will include several arrangements by Robert Shaw, whose 100th birthday we commemorate this year,” Heller said.
The Chamber Ensemble is featured in two concerts in the spring. “Voices of Mercy,” on Feb. 4, 2017, and Feb. 5, 2017, showcases Poulenc’s Mass in G and Vaughan Williams’ Mass in G minor. Also on the program is James MacMillan’s Miserere. “Southwest Voices,” on May 20, 2017, and May 21, 2017, highlights composers from Austin and around Texas, many premiering their works, plus the winner for the fourth annual Chorus Austin Young Composers Competition.
Chorus Austin Symphonic Chorus with soloists and orchestra will present the Texas premiere of Esther by Cristiano Lidarti on April 22, 2017, and April 23, 2017. “This 18th century masterpiece is the story made famous by Handel,” Heller said, “but Lidarti’s work is told entirely in Hebrew.”