Eastman Celebrates Vocal Stars of Today and Tomorrow with Two Choirs and a Vocal Competition

November 2, 2006

More Information:
Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

Rochester, N.Y. — The sweet sounds of the human voice will ring through the halls of Eastman November 17 — 19, when three back-to-back events bring together vocal stars of today and tomorrow. The weekend begins with a performance by the Eastman Chorale November 17, continues with the Friends of Eastman Opera Sixth Annual Voice Competition November 18, and concludes with a recital by the world-renowned RIAS Kammerchor Berlin November 19, part of Eastman’s Kilbourn Series.

Details about each event are below. Please call 585/274-1110 for more information:

Eastman Chorale
Friday, November 17
8 p.m., Kilbourn Hall

The Eastman Chorale, under the direction of William Weinert, presents a program of “Music of Mystery and Romance,” including choral songs of Brahms and Debussy and Irving Fine’s The Hour-Glass, based on poems by Ben Jonson, a Renaissance poet and playwright. The concert is highlighted by the first performance of Arcana, by the distinguished American composer and Eastman School alumnus Jacob Avshalomov. This concert is free and open to the public.

The Eastman Chorale is a select ensemble of singers from the Eastman School of Music performing a variety of the finest choral repertoire from the past five centuries, ranging from Renaissance masterworks to first performances of compositions from the 21st century. The choir tours every year, participates in annual recordings of selected compositions by Eastman student composers, and collaborates regularly with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus and Eastman orchestras in performances.

Friends of Eastman Opera Sixth Annual Voice Competition
Saturday, November 18
3 p.m., Kilbourn Hall

Voice and opera students at Eastman will vie for awards and accolades at the Friends of Eastman Opera Sixth Annual Voice Competition where eight pre-screened vocal finalists will prepare three arias in two languages for the final round of the competition, which is free and open to the public. Each will sing one aria of his or her choice, and will follow it with another aria chosen by the adjudicator. At the conclusion of the program, winners will be announced and $2,250 in prizes will be distributed. The first prize of $1,000 is the Lynne Clarke Vocal Prize, generously donated by FEO founding member John Clarke in memory of his wife.

“This competition enhances the students’ ability to be viewed as professionals by professionals,” says Friends of Eastman Opera Chair Rose-Marie Klipstein. “And, the fact that the Rochester community gets a sneak peek at some of the stars of tomorrow makes it a great event for everyone!”

This year’s adjudicator is Eve Queler, music director of the Opera Orchestra of New York. Founded in 1974, “OONY” is renowned for its concert performances of rarely heard operas (often receiving New York or American premieres), and as a showcase for rising young talent. Past OONY productions have featured José Carreras, Renée Fleming and Deborah Voigt.
Friends of Eastman Opera, which presents this annual competition, supports the Eastman School of Music’s opera students, programs and productions, and promotes Eastman Opera Theatre in the Rochester community.

RIAS Kammerchor Berlin
Sunday, November 19
3 p.m., Kilbourn Hall
Tickets $18 – $8

Eastman welcomes the internationally renowned RIAS Kammerchor Berlin as part of its Kilbourn Series in a stop on its North American debut tour. The 35-voice chorus, directed by James Wood, is one of Europe’s most acclaimed choral ensembles, dedicated to performing challenging repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to contemporary music. The program includes unaccompanied choral works by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Mahler, and concludes with three choral works by György Ligeti (1923-2006), presented as a tribute to the late Hungarian composer.

The RIAS Kammerchor was founded in 1946 to perform on the Federal Republic of Germany’s radio program “Wired Radio in the American Sector” (DIAS), which soon became “Radio in the American Sector” (RIAS). The ensemble officially became a full-time professional choir in October 1948, and gained international standing through its intensive travels and prestigious recordings. It was a regular partner of conductors Ferenc Fricsay and Herbert von Karajan, its radio recordings are broadcast all over the world, and it has premiered works by Krzyzstof Penderecki, Arnold Schoenberg, Hans Werner Henze, and Carl Orff.

Tickets for the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin range from $8 to $18, with discounts available for University of Rochester ID holders. Tickets are available from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Box Office, 108 East Avenue (454-2100), and one hour before the concert at the Kilbourn Hall box office.

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