Lamont Strings to Perform with Eric Whitacre
This article originally appeared on NewmanCenterPresents.com.
Grammy Award-winning Eric Whitacre is among today’s most programmed composers. Whitacre conducts Denver’s own Kantorei, one of the nation’s premier choral ensembles, along with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra Strings in a performance of “The Sacred Veil" on Saturday, October 8, at 7:30pm and Sunday, October 9 at 2:00pm.
“The Sacred Veil” is a 12-movement work and the most recent collaboration between Eric Whitacre and poet/lyricist Charles Anthony Silvestri. It tells a story of life, love and loss. Silvestri’s wife, Julie, died of ovarian cancer at age 36 in 2005, leaving two young children.
Including texts from Silvestri, Whitacre and Julie herself, the intimate, compelling score tells a story of courtship, love, loss and the search for solace. Although inspired by this extraordinary and moving friendship, the piece does not mention Julie by name and shares a very human journey –one that so many of us can relate to.
“’The Sacred Veil’ may be the single most important musical contribution in our time, perhaps in any time, to a non-religious, as well as non-political — perhaps we might say non-teleological understanding of death and loss. Its length and difficulty may preclude it from inclusion in your average funeral, but to experience it in performance with 40 singers, or perhaps in recorded form, may be transformative for those whose grief, recent or deep-seated, has never completely found closure.” – PeoplesWorld.org
“‘The Sacred Veil’ is notable simply as one of the most deeply personal pieces of concert music heard in quite some time. Yet there is more to its profound effect than this. Whitacre responds to the texts with a sober language akin to but quite distinct from his usual style, something like the dark language cultivated by Renaissance composers for the requiem mass and other serious texts. Whitacre’s music is quietly tragic, and it brings his collaborator’s personal agony into the realm of the universal implied by the title.” - AllMusic
About Eric Whitacre:
A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Eric completed his second term as Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in 2020 having served five years as Composer in Residence at the University of Cambridge. In 2021, Eric was named a Yamaha Artist, as well as launching the Virtual School with its first course “The Beautiful Mess: Lessons in Composition and Creativity.”
His compositions have been widely recorded and his debut album as a conductor on Universal, Light and Gold, went straight to the top of the charts, earning a Grammy. As a guest conductor he has drawn capacity audiences to concerts with many of the world’s leading orchestras and choirs in venues from Carnegie Hall (New York) to the Royal Albert Hall (London). Insatiably curious and a lover of all types of music, Eric has worked with legendary Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, as well as British pop icons Laura Mvula, Imogen Heap and Annie Lennox.
A charismatic speaker, Eric Whitacre has given keynote addresses for TED, Apple, Google, the United Nations Speaker’s Program, in education and for numerous global institutions. His collaboration with Spitfire Audio resulted in a trail-blazing vocal sample library, became an instant best-seller and is used by composers the world-over.
Formed in 1997 under the leadership of six friends and artistic director Richard Larson, Kantorei has established itself as one of the nation’s premier choral ensembles. Kantorei’s singers reside throughout the greater Denver area. Some serve as choral music educators, church choir conductors, and vocal instructors. Others are doctors, social workers, optometrists, counselors, clinical psychologists, accountants, realtors–all brought together in weekly rehearsals for shared artistic excellence and community.
Kantorei has performed for major choral conventions across the U.S., toured the world, and has commissioned and premiered new choral works from such renowned composers as Kim André Arnesen, Eric William Barnum, Abbie Betinis, René Clausen, Ola Gjeilo, Jocelyn Hagen, Sarah Quartel, Jake Runestad, Joshua Shank, and Eric Whitacre.
Kantorei has released two recordings on the Naxos label. “Sing, Wearing the Sky” (2020) choral music of Jake Runestad reached the #3 best-selling classical album on iTunes, #4 on the Traditional Classical Billboard Charts, and the top ten in both the best-selling classical album and new classical release categories on Amazon. “Infinity: Choral Works of Kim André Arnesen” (2018) climbed to the #2 best-selling classical album on iTunes, #6 on the Traditional Classical Billboard Charts and #19 on the overall Classical Billboard charts.
“…This is an impressive ensemble, always precise and always well-blended.” – Raymond Tuttle, Fanfare Magazine, July 2018
“Maestro Rinsema’s Kantorei sound gorgeous here.” – Philip Greenfield, American Record Guide, July 2018
“What finer advocates for his music could a composer have than these excellent singers of Kantorei?” – David Vernier, Classics Today, April 2018
About Lamont Symphony Orchestra Strings:
The award-winning Lamont Symphony Orchestra is often listed among the top college orchestras in the nation. Music Director and Conductor Lawrence Golan auditions members of the orchestra from music majors and student musicians across the university. In addition to performing works from the classical canon, the LSO performs with Lamont Opera Theatre and presents an annual concert with the Lamont Chorale and combined choirs.
Tickets are available to purchase through the Newman Center website.