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Queens College Choral Society to Present Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Works by Brahms at its 76th Annual Winter Concert on December 10

-- Beethoven Work Will be Performed Under the Baton
of Distinguished Guest Conductor Maurice Peress --

Flushing, NY, December 2, 2016—The Queens College Choral Society, joined by the QC Orchestra and QC Choir, will perform Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture and Nänie along with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on Saturday, December 10, at 8 pm in Colden Auditorium.

The Academic Festival Overture is one of Brahms’s most engaging works. Composed as a gesture of thanks to the University of Breslau for granting Brahms an honorary doctorate, it is based on four popular student songs, including the famous “Gaudeamus igitur.” Brahms’s ethereal setting of Schiller’s poem Nänie is an extraordinary “requiem in miniature,” providing comfort to those who have experienced loss. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony concludes with a glorious setting of Schiller’s famous “Ode to Joy,” highlighting themes of freedom, unity, and fellowship, which are particularly poignant at this time throughout the world. Paired together, these works highlight Schiller’s genius, and create an evening that is deeply meaningful and uplifting.

James John, professor of music and music director of the QC Choral Society, will conduct the works by Brahms. The Beethoven will be performed under the baton of distinguished Guest Conductor Maurice Peress, who has had an illustrious 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. Internationally, he has performed in Rome, Melbourne, Shanghai, Korea, and Hong Kong. Maestro Peress has toured China four times and is currently principal guest conductor of the Shenzhen Symphony.

Soloists for the performance are Eleni Calenos, soprano; Amelia Lubrano, mezzo-soprano; Victor Starsky, tenor; and Xiomeng Zhang, baritone. Calenos, Lubrano, and Starsky are distinguished alumni of the Copland School; Zhang is a graduate diploma student at the Juilliard School of Music.

The Queens College Choral Society is “a singing organization of and for the public, and the students and staff of Queens College.” QCCS is unique in its diversity of singers; from high school musicians (through the high school outreach program) to singers who have performed with the society for over 40 years, QCCS is one of the borough’s treasures. The Society typically performs two concerts each year with orchestra (in December and May) devoted to the masterpieces of choral literature, such as Verdi’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Britten’s War Requiem. The QCCS has performed numerous premieres of new works, including pieces composed by Copland School faculty.

Tickets are $20 and are available through the Kupferberg Center Box office at (718) 793-8080 or online at Group discounts for high school students and teachers are also available. To take advantage of this offer, visit For directions to Queens College, visit

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Deputy Director of News Services
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(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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