Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and Artistic Director Erick Lichte are pleased to announce the appointment of Canadian-American composer Zachary Wadsworth to a two-year term as the ensemble’s first-ever Composer-In-Residence.
Praised by the Washington Post as a composer of “fresh, deeply felt and strikingly original music,” Wadsworth’s compositions have been heard at the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Centre, and Tokyo’s Takinogawa Hall.
Winner of an international competition chaired by James MacMillan, Wadsworth’s anthem Out of the South Cometh the Whirlwind was performed at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. Other recent honours include awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ASCAP, and the American Composers Forum. Wadsworth’s music is widely broadcast and distributed, with recent publications by Novello, G. Schirmer, and E.C. Schirmer, and airings on NPR, BBC, and CBC.
Wadsworth’s first composition for Chor Leoni will be the November 10/11, 2018 world premiere of When There Is Peace, a concert-length oratorio marking the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice. Featuring a libretto by Peter Rothstein and Erick Lichte, the creative team of All Is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914, Wadsworth’s work traces the ache of the war to end all wars to that moment of incandescent joy when guns fell silent, hope bloomed again, and birdsong was heard once more. Renowned Canadian tenor Lawrence Wiliford, soprano Arwen Myers, and the Borealis String Quartet will join Chor Leoni for this world premiere.
In addition to this oratorio, Wadsworth will compose works for Chor Leoni’s holiday program and for the 2019 VanMan Male Choral Summit.
“We are thrilled to begin a lasting artistic relationship with Zachary Wadsworth for the next two seasons,” says Artistic Director, Erick Lichte. “We are excited that this relationship will also extend to our loyal audience. Creating and presenting new works is a passion for Chor Leoni, and we could not be more proud than to begin this residency with Zachary.”
Wadsworth is also enthused about this new partnership. “I am beyond thrilled to work with Chor Leoni as their first-ever Composer-in-Residence!” he says. I’ve been a fan of the choir for years now – anyone who has heard them knows how emotionally powerful their singing is. So it is an enormous honour to be invited to write music for this talented group, and to embark on the many musical journeys to come.”
Tickets for Chor Leoni’s 2018/19 season go on sale at TicketsTonight.ca on June 1st.