Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services
QUEENS COLLEGECHORAL SOCIETY AND ORCHESTRA TO PRESENT ANNUAL WINTER CONCERT WITH OVER 200 SINGERS DECEMBER 13
-- Beethoven’s Monumental Symphony No. 9 and Bach’s Cantata 122,
A Newborn Child, Celebrate Enduring Themes of Peace,
Harmony and Unity --
FLUSHING, NY, November 25, 2008—The Queens College Choral Society and Orchestra will join with all of the choral ensembles in the Aaron Copland School of Music—forming a chorus of over 200 singers—to perform the college’s 68th annual winter concert on Saturday, December 13 at 8 pm in Colden Center Auditorium. They will be led by Guest Conductor Maurice Peress. The Aaron Copland School of Music is part of the college’s Kupferberg Center for the Arts.
The program features two great works that celebrate joy: Bach’s Cantata No. 122, Ein neugeborene Kindelein (A Newborn Child) and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Op. 125. In Bach’s cantata, the Christ child is referred to as the joy of angels. Beethoven’s symphony celebrates the joy of fellowship—going beyond religion, race, and social status to true equality. The Ninth Symphony was the first large-scale symphonic work to include vocal soloists and chorus, and inspired generations of composers. The final movement is a setting of Friedrich Schiller’s famous “Ode to Joy” (An die Freude).
Guest Conductor Maurice Peress has had an illustrious international career. He was selected by Leonard Bernstein to serve as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic in 1961 and went on to lead three American orchestras: Corpus Christi, Austin and the Kansas City Philharmonic. Maestro Peress joined the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music in 1989 and established a master of arts program for conductors. He has appeared with the Vienna State Opera and in London with Jessye Norman and the Barbican Center Orchestra in a tribute to Duke Ellington. Maestro Peress has performed in Rome, Melbourne, Shanghai, Korea and Hong Kong, has toured China four times and is currently Principal Guest Conductor of the Shenzhen Symphony.
Soloists for the Bach cantata are Sharon Eisert, Soprano; Shannon Rolbiecki, Mezzo-Soprano; Chad Smyser, Tenor; and Brian Goff, Baritone. Performing the Beethoven work are Frédérique Vézina, Soprano; Ann McMahon Quintero, Mezzo-Soprano; Gilad Paz, Tenor; and Nathan Resika, Bass. The soloists are students from the Copland School and accomplished young professional singers from the New York area.
Tickets for the concert are $20 and $18, and are available through the Kupferberg Center Box office at (718) 793-8080 or online at www.kupferbergcenter.org/qcchoral.htm. For directions to Queens College, visit http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/directions.php.