Vocal ensemble Chanticleer, winner of multiple Grammy Awards, premiered composer Nico Muhly’s Beauty of the Day this spring at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center Cultural Campus (April 13).
Commissioned by Chanticleer, Beauty of the Day is a work inspired by the transcendent power of nature and designed for collaboration, with additional parts for pipe organ and large SATB choir. For the first time, Chanticleer welcomes the Philadelphia Chorale and organist Alan Morrison, the head of the organ department at the Curtis Institute of Music who has been praised by the American organist for his “compelling” performances. Chanticleer will resume work in Santa Fe in May with the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus and organist Maxine Thévenot (May 5) and in San Luis Obispo with organist Paul Woodring and two Cal Poly choirs: the School Chamber Choir and PolyPhonics (May 12).
Following these performances, the next highlights of Chanticleer’s summer include the ninth edition of the Chanticleer in Sonoma Choral Workshop (June 15-19), as well as a performance at one of the group’s longtime favorite summer destinations – the Ravinia Festival (July 28).
Long known for a deep commitment to commissioning new compositions and arrangements, Chanticleer has also dedicated much of his vast catalog of recordings to these commissions, which have earned two Grammy Awards and accolades including Chorus America’s Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award. and the Chorus America / ASCAP Award for Adventure Programming. Beauty of the Day is the ensemble’s second collaboration with Muhly, having commissioned him Three Moon Songs in 2015 and recorded it on the live album Over the Moon. Chanticleer’s new music director Tim Keeler explains:
“Part of what makes choral music so special is its ability to create communities around shared visions and experiences. In 2020, we commissioned Nico Muhly to write an opera for Chanticleer that would be a vehicle for this kind of sharing with outdoor groups as we travel the country Beauty of the Day is a setting of lyrics that capture the wonder and grandeur of the natural world, and we cannot imagine a more perfect topic to facilitate the shared experience of choral music than the shared experience to experience this planet “.
From June 15-19, Chanticleer returns to Sonoma State University in North Bay for the Chanticleer in Sonoma Choral Workshop, the ninth iteration of the five-day event since its inception in 2005. The workshop is aimed at adult amateur choral singers who love the ‘ensemble sing and want to improve their skills. Chanticleer’s twelve members participate in coaching sessions, workshops and demonstrations of test techniques, as well as more informal interactions with workshop attendees. The workshop closes with a concert for family and friends with workshop participants singing with Chanticleer members.
Chanticleer’s concert in Ravinia this summer marks a return to familiar territory; Past performances at the legendary summer festival have earned praise for “vocal pyrotechnics” complemented by “a broad spectrum of emotional expressions” (Chicago Classical Review) and has been declared “electrifying” (The View From Here). In 2003, the Chicago Tribune recognized what has been one of the group’s hallmarks during its four and a half decades of existence: “They approach their arsenal of pop, jazz and spiritual with the same technical discipline and musical integrity that they lead to. their classical repertoire “.
Chanticleer is committed to the health and safety of all customers, artists and staff and will comply with all local, state and CDC guidelines relating to public performances, updating policies as guidelines change. Current COVID-19 policies can be found here.
The Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer has been hailed as “the reigning male choir of the world” by the New Yorker and is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for its vast repertoire and dazzling virtuosity. Founded in San Francisco in 1978 by singer and musicologist Louis Botto, Chanticleer has quickly established itself as one of the most prolific touring and recording ensembles in the world, selling more than a million recordings and performing thousands of live concerts for audiences around. the world.
Rooted in the Renaissance, Chanticleer’s repertoire has been expanded to include a wide range of classical, gospel, jazz and popular music and to reflect a deep commitment to commissioning new compositions and arrangements. The ensemble has dedicated much of its vast record catalog to these commissions, earning Grammy Awards for recordings of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations & Praises and for the ambitious collection of commissioned works entitled Colors of Love. Chanticleer received the Chorus America’s Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award and the Chorus America / ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. During his tenure with Chanticleer, his music director emeritus Joseph H. Jennings received the Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award for his contribution to the African American choral tradition.
Named for the “light rooster” in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer continues to maintain ambitious programming in his hometown of San Francisco, including an extensive education and outreach program, which recently reached more than 8,000 people, and an annual concert series that includes his legendary holiday tradition, “A Chanticleer Christmas”.