UK Music Concert Honors Composer’s 100th Birthday
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 18, 2013) — More than 300 performers from the University of Kentucky School of Music and the community will present Benjamin Britten’s powerful War Requiem at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The free public event brings together UK's finest musical and vocal talents in a rare combined performance.
Under the direction of John Nardolillo, Marcello Cormio and Lori Hetzel, conductors, with assistance from Jefferson Johnson, the UK Symphony Orchestra, the UK Chorale, the Lexington Singers and the Lexington Singers Children’s Choir will come together in a performance of Britten’s work, 100 years following the composer’s birth. Joining the orchestra and choirs for this performance will be guest vocalists doctoral candidate Catherine Clarke Nardolillo, soprano; alumnus Justin Vickers, tenor; and doctoral candidate Thomas Gunther, baritone.
War Requiem was written in 1962 for the dedication of the new cathedral building at St. John’s in Coventry, England. The original building was built in the late 14th century and destroyed in a German air raid in 1940. Britten was a passionate pacifist, and War Requiem demonstrates his statement against war. He set the Latin requiem mass honoring the dead, in the tradition of Mozart and Berlioz, and inserted excerpts of poems by Winfred Owen, an English poet and solider who was killed during World War I. The work requires a large group of performers, making it a rarely seen piece.
“We don't think the War Requiem has been performed previously in Lexington, and certainly not in the last 20 to 30 years,” Nardolillo said. “It calls for three conductors, a large chorus and orchestra, a chamber orchestra, three vocal soloists, organ and children's choir.”
Britten, born in 1913, was an English composer, conductor and pianist perhaps best known for Peter Grimes and The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Britten composed in a variety of genres from orchestral to opera to film.
Since Nardolillo took the conductor's podium of the UK Symphony Orchestra, it has enjoyed great success accumulating recording credits and sharing the stage with such acclaimed international artists as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, as well as Pink Martini and the Boston Pops. UK Symphony Orchestra has also received acclaim for recording projects, including the live recording of In Times Like These with folk icon Arlo Guthrie. UK Symphony Orchestra is one of a very select group of university orchestras under contract with Naxos, the world's largest classical recording label. UK Symphony Orchestra is one of several ensembles housed at the UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts.
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