NY Virtuoso Singers: American Invention

Sunday, February 19, at 3:00 pm

Christ & St. Stephen's Church
120 West 69th Street
New York, NY


The New York Virtuoso Singers conducted by Harold Rosenbaum will present a special concert, "American Invention," featuring American choral music from the 18th century to today. The concert will comprise a wide range of American works including World and New York Premieres by composers including Pultizer Prize winners Tania León ("Rezos") and Anthony Davis ("Great Lights"). There will also be World Premieres by Peter Zummo ("Blue Headlights"), Elena Ruehr ("In Time of Silver Rain"), and William McClelland ("Hail Lovely and Pure"), and a New York Premiere by David Patterson ("The Opossum"). Music by other outstanding living American composers, including Annea Lockwood, Jessie Montgomery, Mari Esabel Valverde, Nancy Wertsch, and Edie Hill, will be presented, as well as 18th, 19th, and 20th-century choral works by William Billings, Lowell Mason, Charles Ives and Milton Babbitt.

The program will embrace the inventive and adventurous spirit that has been part of American music's DNA since William Billings, the country's first great native-born composer, published his first collection, "The New-England Psalm-Singer," in 1770. This spirit infused the pioneering work of Charles Ives, one of the towering figures of 20th-century music, the innovations in electronic and serial music by Milton Babbitt, and the musical explorations by many of the contemporary composers on this program. At the same time, the works do not sacrifice feeling and beauty for mere originality, and there are many moving, joyful and uplifting compositions that will be performed. It is a concert not to be missed.

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