For members on the East Coast, there is a unique cultural event coming up at the end of this month. From June 26-29 the Oslo Chamber Choir will be giving four performances as part of a limited-engagement tour that includes participation in the Washington DC Choral Festival and a special concert at the world famous Carnegie Hall.
The Oslo Chamber Choir was founded in 1984 by Grete Pedersen, with the ambition of being one of the absolute top choirs of Norway, and an innovative voice in the international arena. They’ve clearly achieved their goal, having been selected to perform at high profile events, like the opening ceremony of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, the Norwegian church’s millennial anniversary celebration, and the European Union’s culture city exhibition representing Norway.
This tour is sure to be a highlight in their performance repertoire as they will be performing new and traditional pieces alongside some the most talented choirs on earth.
First, under the direction of Håkon Daniel Nystedt, they will give two performances on June 26 as part of the “Serenade! Washington DC Choral Festival,” which is the only summer festival of its kind in the US. The choir will open a concert in Damascus, Maryland, that features groups from Australia and Zimbabwe at the United Methodist Church before rushing to Alexandria, Virginia, for a performance alongside a choir from Cuba. Then, as part of the closing ceremonies for the choral festival, the Oslo Chamber Choir will perform in conjunction with the other 11 international festival ensembles at the Music Center at Strathmore.
Following the festival, the choir will then move on to a performance at the world renowned Carnegie Hall where they will join other European and American groups to form a 400-voice International Festival Chorus. They will be joined by soloists Karolina Wojteczko and Stuart Neill, a full symphony orchestra, and 180 handbell players, including the Reykjanesbær Music School Bell Choir from Iceland, all conducted by Stephen Layton (Polyphony; Choir of Trinity College Cambridge).
The program will include sacred masterpieces by Bach, Monteverdi, and Bruckner, as well as world premières of new works by Ørjan Matre, Composer in Residence of the Oslo Philharmonic, and Julian Darius Revie, Composer in Residence of the Center for Music and Liturgy. In this large-scale work, all 600 performers will fill the stage and balconies, enveloping the audience in melodic beauty. Over 200 children will sing from the boxes, and the sound of 600 handbells will float down from the top balconies, bathing the audience in a gentle wash of soft, pure tones as they are guided through a musical journey.
DC area events:
Suggested donation of $5-$15 (except Strathmore) collected at each concert.
Strathmore ticket sales: https://www.strathmore.org/events-and-tickets/serenade-2015
Carnegie Hall concert:
Tickets are available at www.carnegiehall.org and through the Yale website at www.music-and-liturgy.org. Tickets range in price from about $30 to $150. Also, be sure to take advantage of the 30% discount being offered to members by using promo code: RLB21754.