Now the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the direction of founder Dianne Berkun, concludes its anniversary celebration with four events in the next four months.
From February through June 2012, the chorus embarks on a string of performances that takes them through New York City’s premiere venues (Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Park Avenue Armory, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Roulette), commissioning composers-of-the-moment David T. Little and Sarah Kirkland Snider, creating original projects with indie rock icon Bryce Dessner of The National and The Brooklyn Philharmonic, singing challenging works by masters Philip Glass and George Crumb, and alongside leading orchestras (New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra).
Events such as Brooklyn Village in March and Bryce Dessner’s festival in May will highlight the BYC’s New Voices program, a commitment to develop and create projects with exciting artists and venues. With New Voices, composers and adventurous venues have the opportunity to collaborate closely with the BYC on large-scale projects that go beyond the scope of the average choral commission.
Brooklyn Village: Brooklyn Youth Chorus & Brooklyn Philharmonic at Roulette
March 24 & 25, 7:30pm
The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, celebrating its 20th anniversary under Dianne Berkun, and the Brooklyn Phil, in its debut “reboot” season under Alan Pierson, are two of the borough’s venerable arts institutions. Recently Roulette, the famed experimental music venue in Manhattan, moved into a new home in Downtown Brooklyn, a 1920’s art deco theater. Together all three are part of a cultural renaissance which is taking place in Brooklyn, and they have now formed an unprecedented partnership to present a multimedia spectacular: BROOKLYN VILLAGE, an homage to the creative spirit of Downtown Brooklyn as it has evolved over the last 200 years.
Brooklyn Village promises a highly unusual concert experience, a dramatic journey through time. It imagines the final day in 1880 of St. Ann's Church in Brooklyn as it is about to be razed to make way for the new massive Brooklyn Bridge. Locally written orchestra and choir music, spoken word, staging, audience interaction and film will combine into a musically immersive social event examining linkages between the 19th century and our own time, tracing the development of Brooklyn from a small village to a major global super city.
Woven into this night will be two premieres: Here, an a cappella work for solo children’s chorus, written by the acclaimed young composer Sarah Kirkland Snider, commissioned by the BYC; and Am I Born, a work for children’s chorus, orchestra, and soloist (soprano Mellissa Hughes), written by another fast-rising composer, David T. Little. Co-commissioned by the BYC and Brooklyn Phil, Am I Born is inspired by Francis Guy’s evocative 1820 painting “Winter Scene in Brooklyn,” which currently hangs in the Brooklyn Museum, and also by the great 19th century American tradition of shape note singing.
A team of artists joins the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and Roulette to craft the production into a cohesive whole, including Tony Award-winning stage director Ted Sperling, librettist Royce Vavrek, sound designer Woramon Jamjod, visual designer Laurie Olinder, and producer Beth Morrison.
Star-Child with American Symphony Orchestra
April 19, 8:00pm
The BYC returns to Carnegie Hall to perform alongside the American Symphony Orchestra in a presentation of the inimitable George Crumb’s gorgeous Grammy Award-winning Star-Child.
One of the most sought-after children’s choruses in the orchestra world, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, and under the batons of Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Lorin Maazel, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Reinbert de Leeuw, Charles Dutoit, and others.