Multiple Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer gives the world premiere of 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 chorus. For the premiere, 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 “riveting” performances. Chanticleer will reprise the 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 choirs from Cal Poly: the school’s Chamber Choir and PolyPhonics (May 12).
Following those performances, Chanticleer’s upcoming summer highlights 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 longstanding favorite summer destinations: the Ravinia Festival (July 28).
Long known for a deep commitment to the commissioning of new compositions and arrangements, Chanticleer has also dedicated much of its vast recording catalogue to these commissions, which have yielded two Grammy Awards and honors including Chorus America’s Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award and the Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Beauty of the Day is the ensemble’s second collaboration with Muhly, after commissioning Three Moon Songs from him in 2015 and recording 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 shared experiences. In 2020, we commissioned Nico Muhly to write a work for Chanticleer that would be a vehicle for this kind of sharing with outside ensembles as we travel around the country. Beauty of the Day is a setting of texts that capture the wonder and grandeur of the natural world, and we can’t imagine a more perfect topic to facilitate the shared experience of choral music than the shared experience of living on this planet.”
From June 15-19, Chanticleer returns to the North Bay’s Sonoma State University for the Chanticleer in Sonoma Choral Workshop, the ninth iteration of the five-day event since its beginnings in 2005. The workshop is aimed at adult amateur choral singers who love ensemble singing and want to improve their skills. Chanticleer’s twelve members participate in coaching sessions, workshops, and demonstrations of rehearsal techniques, as well as more informal interactions with workshop participants. The workshop closes with a concert for family and friends featuring workshop participants singing with the members of Chanticleer.
Chanticleer’s concert at Ravinia this summer marks a return to familiar territory; past performances at the storied summer festival have earned raves for “vocal pyrotechnics” complemented by “a wide spectrum of emotional expression” (Chicago Classical Review) and been declared “electrifying” (The View From Here). In 2003 the Chicago Tribune recognized what has been one of the group’s hallmarks throughout its four-and-a-half decades of existence: “They approach their arsenal of pop, jazz and spirituals with the same technical discipline and musical integrity they bring to their classical repertory.”Chanticleer is committed to the health and safety of all patrons, artists and staff, and will comply with all local, state and CDC guidelines regarding public performances, updating policies when guidelines change. Current COVID-19 policies can be found here.
The Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer has been hailed as “the world’s reigning male chorus” by the New Yorker, and is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for its wide-ranging repertoire and dazzling virtuosity. Founded in San Francisco in 1978 by singer and musicologist Louis Botto, Chanticleer quickly took its place as one of the most prolific recording and touring ensembles in the world, selling more than one million recordings and performing thousands of live concerts to audiences around the globe.
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 the commissioning of new compositions and arrangements. The ensemble has dedicated much of its vast recording catalogue to these commissions, garnering Grammy Awards for its recordings of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations & Praises and the ambitious collection of commissioned works entitled Colors of Love. Chanticleer is the recipient of Chorus America’s Dale Warland Singers Commissioning Award and the Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. During his tenure with Chanticleer, its Music Director Emeritus Joseph H. Jennings received the Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award for his contribution to the African American choral tradition.Named for the “clear-singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer continues to maintain ambitious programming in its hometown of San Francisco, including a large education and outreach program, which recently reached more than 8,000 people, and an annual concert series that includes its legendary holiday tradition, “A Chanticleer Christmas.”