Duruflé: Complete Choral Works receives accolades from world-renowned choral professionals

Houston Chamber Choir’s Duruflé: Complete Choral Works receives accolades from world-renowned choral professionals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carol Brejot, carol@carolbrejotpr.com, 713-503-3885

HOUSTON, April __, 2019 – Houston Chamber Choir’s newly released recording of Duruflé: Complete Choral Works, produced by Grammy® Award winning producer Blanton Alspaugh for Signum Records, has received accolades from two world-renowned choral professionals, Dale Warland and Simon Carrington.

On Apr. 13, Warland penned a review of the Houston Chamber Choir’s latest recording, noting its superiority among Duruflé works. He begins by saying, “This latest CD from Robert Simpson and his versatile Houston Chamber Choir is just what we’ve come to expect from them: beautiful, artistic singing and thoughtful, sensitive music-making at every turn.” He had high praise for “Messe Cum Jublio,” praising the men of the Choir for hitting their mark immediately, along with the 90-second “Notre Père,” calling it “stellar.”

Warland goes on to note that “It is the Houstonians’ account of the “Requiem,” a masterwork universally acknowledged, that will echo in my memory. Here is an inspiring instance of uncompromising craftsmanship married to heartfelt spirituality.” He concludes his review by saying, “Undergirding the admirable technical work exhibited in this recording are a sincerity and sense of commitment that, subtly permeating the entire disc, raise it several notches of inspiration above all other realizations of Duruflé that I know.”

As a choral conductor, composer and educator, Dale Warland has made an indelible impression on contemporary choral music, nationally and internationally. In a quarter-century with the Dale Warland Singers, he shaped an all-professional a cappella ensemble lauded for its exquisite sound, technical finesse, and stylistic range. From that platform, Warland not only offered stunning performances of traditional repertory but also commissioned and premiered some 270 works from composers around the globe.

In an earlier review, Yale University professor emeritus and King's Singers Founding Member and original Musical Director Simon Carrington stated, "I have listened to many recordings and performances of Durufle’s glorious choral music over the years, but this sumptuous new release captures its unique qualities better than any – with wonderfully radiant and flexible singing from the Houston Chamber Choir under their director Robert Simpson. Ken Cowan’s fluid playing, his colourful registrations on the magnificent organ at Rice University, the warm but not overly reverberant acoustic, the fine, vibrant vocal soloists, Norman Fischer’s superb cello playing and the refined and elegant singing of the choir combine in a superb recording to be treasured."

Carrington has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in music, performing as singer, double bass player and conductor, first in the United Kingdom, and later in the United States and around the world. From 2003 to 2009 he was professor of choral conducting at Yale University and director of the Yale Schola Cantorum, a 24-voice chamber choir which he brought to national and now international prominence. During his Yale tenure he led the introduction of a new graduate voice degree for singers specializing in oratorio, early music and chamber ensemble, and, with his faculty colleagues, he guided two Yale graduate students to their first prize wins in consecutive conducting competitions at American Choral Directors Association National Conventions.

The CD is now on sale for pre-order for $15 with autographed copies for $20. Visit 
https://houstonchamberchoir.org/durufle-complete-choral-works to order now. Links to the reviews can be found at https://houstonchamberchoir.org/dale-warland-durufle-review and https://houstonchamberchoir.org/simoncarringtonduruflreview.

The Houston Chamber Choir continues to be recognized for its outstanding work. In 2018, the organization received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America, the advocacy, research and leadership development organization that advances the choral field. Most recently, the Choir was invited to participate in the prestigious World Symposium on Choral Music 2020 (WSCM2020), to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2020, where 24 of the best choral ensembles in the world will perform. The festival, held every three years in different locations across the globe, received a record 179 entries this year. This is the first such invitation for the Houston Chamber Choir.

For more information about Houston Chamber Choir or to purchase tickets for concerts, visit us at houstonchamberchoir.org.

About Houston Chamber Choir
The Houston Chamber Choir has established itself as one of the premier professional choirs in the United States, serving Houston through concerts and educational initiatives that enlighten, entertain, and educate people of all ages. Winner of Chorus America’s 2018 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, it has been described by The Tallis Scholars founder Peter Phillips as “one of this country’s leading ensembles.” The Choir also received The American Prize for best choral performance in the country and its Artistic Director Robert Simpson received the award in the conducting category in 2015. The Chamber Choir released their fifth CD, The Complete Choral Works of Maurice Duruflé, with organist Ken Cowan in April 2019.

Led by Artistic Director Robert Simpson, the Houston Chamber Choir is composed of 20 professional singers, most of whom have studied at the top music schools and conservatories in the United States including Julliard, New England Conservatory, University of Houston, and the University of Texas. These musicians are selected through rigorous auditions from the finest singers in our region and are compensated for all rehearsals and performances.

Houston Chamber Choir Releases CD of Duruflé: Complete Choral Works


Houston Chamber Choir Releases CD of Duruflé: Complete Choral Works on Apr. 5 on British Label Signum Records

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carol Brejot, carol@carolbrejotpr.com, 713-503-3885

HOUSTON, March 28, 2019 – Houston Chamber Choir’s new recording of Duruflé: Complete Choral Works, produced by Grammy® Award winning producer Blanton Alspaugh for Signum Records, will be released Apr. 5. The Choir’s Artistic Director Robert Simpson joins renowned organist Ken Cowan of Rice University to help realize a dream of creating an iconic Houston Chamber Choir work of art. Signum Classics is one of the United Kingdom’s leading independent classical labels and home to diverse and eclectic repertoire by some of the finest artists and singers from around the world.

The choral works of 20th century French composer Maurice Duruflé, like his organ works, are small in number but beautifully crafted. Frequently written and rewritten, Duruflé was a composer who rethought and reconfigured his music until he had to let go of it. Often described as a man out of step with his times, his pieces look back to Gregorian chant and plainsong when the musical life of his home city of Paris was steeped in radical new compositional ideas – perhaps a testament to Duruflé’s enduring love of France’s choral heritage.

According to Yale University professor emeritus and King's Singers Founding Member and original Musical Director Simon Carrington, "I have listened to many recordings and performances of Durufle’s glorious choral music over the years, but this sumptuous new release captures its unique qualities better than any – with wonderfully radiant and flexible singing from the Houston Chamber Choir under their director Robert Simpson. Ken Cowan’s fluid playing, his colourful registrations on the magnificent organ at Rice University, the warm but not overly reverberant acoustic, the fine, vibrant vocal soloists, Norman Fischer’s superb cello playing and the refined and elegant singing of the choir combine in a superb recording to be treasured."

 The CD is now on sale for pre-order for $15 with autographed copies for $20. Visit 
https://houstonchamberchoir.org/durufle-complete-choral-works to order now.

A CD release party will be held Apr. 5 at the stylish Poitín Bar and Kitchen, 2313 Edwards St., at 7 p.m. The event will toast all who made the album possible, especially Houston Chamber Choir’s generous underwriters, and allow eager guests to mix and mingle while enjoying the company of the choir and musicians featured on the album. To learn more, visit https://houstonchamberchoir.org/durufle-complete-choral-works. Beverage passes will be provided to guests who RSVP to Mariam Khalili at Mariam@houstonchamberchoir.org.

Featured on the Houston Chamber Choir’s new CD are:

Requiem
Ken Cowan, organ (Professor of Organ at The Shepherd School, Rice University)
Norman Fischer, cello (Professor of Cello at The Shepherd School, Rice University)
Cecilia Duarte, mezzo-soprano
Eduardo Tercero, baritone

 Messe “Cum Jubilo” (men’s voice)
Ken Cowan, organ

Notre Père (a cappella)

Quatre Motets (a cappella)

Ubi caritas
Tota pulchra es
Tu es Petrus
Tantum ergo

The Houston Chamber Choir continues to be recognized for its outstanding work. In 2018, the organization received the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence from Chorus America, the advocacy, research and leadership development organization that advances the choral field. Most recently, the Choir was invited to participate in the prestigious World Symposium on Choral Music 2020 (WSCM2020), to be held in Auckland, New Zealand in 2020, where 24 of the best choral ensembles in the world will perform. The festival, held every three years in different locations across the globe, received a record 179 entries this year. This is the first such invitation for the Houston Chamber Choir.
Houston Chamber Choir opened its 23rd season last September with “This Is Why I Sing.” The next concert is Tarik O’Regan’s “Mass Observation” on Apr. 13 at St. Philip Presbyterian Church. Tickets are now on sale.
For more information about Houston Chamber Choir or to purchase tickets for concerts, visit us at houstonchamberchoir.org.

# # #

About Houston Chamber Choir
The Houston Chamber Choir has established itself as one of the premier professional choirs in the United States, serving Houston through concerts and educational initiatives that enlighten, entertain, and educate people of all ages. Winner of Chorus America’s 2018 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, it has been described by The Tallis Scholars founder Peter Phillips as “one of this country’s leading ensembles.” The Choir also received The American Prize for best choral performance in the country and its Artistic Director Robert Simpson received the award in the conducting category in 2015. The Chamber Choir recently finished recording their fifth CD, The Complete Choral Works of Maurice Duruflé, with organist Ken Cowan in April 2018.

Led by Artistic Director Robert Simpson, the Houston Chamber Choir is composed of 20 professional singers, most of whom have studied at the top music schools and conservatories in the United States including Julliard, New England Conservatory, University of Houston, and the University of Texas. These musicians are selected through rigorous auditions from the finest singers in our region and are compensated for all rehearsals and performances.

Photo Caption: The Houston Chamber Choir’s new CD, Duruflé: Complete Choral Works, will be released Apr. 5 by Signum Records, a renowned British classical music label. 

Recap: Houston Chamber Choir 23rd Season Kick-off Party

Recap: Houston Chamber Choir 23rd Season Kick-off Party

Some 85 Houston Chamber Choir supporters and singers mixed and mingled on a late Sunday afternoon to celebrate the Choir’s 23rd season, Art & Soul, with a first-ever season kick-off party. Guests enjoyed libations, including wine and beer, along with a delicious spread by Local Foods, in Greenwood King Properties’ striking lobby space in Upper Kirby, generously arranged by GK Associate Nancy Younger Kruka, a long-time Houston Chamber Choir supporter, and GK Associate Elaine Ellender.

Houston Chamber Choir Announces Diverse 2018-2019 Season, “Art & Soul”

Houston Chamber Choir Announces Diverse 2018-2019 Season, “Art & Soul”

HOUSTON, May 18, 2018 – Houston Chamber Choir is pleased to announce its 23rd season, “Art and Soul,” with a diverse and compelling repertoire featuring exciting guest artists and scholars. For the 2018-2019 season, the Chamber Choir performs with the Kinder HSPVA Chorale and director Shannon Carter, the Parker Elementary School Advanced Chorus and director Marianna Parnas-Simpson, guest artist Kim Nazarian of New York Voices, Musiqa, Apollo Chamber Players and University of Houston scholar and author Dr. Jeffrey Sposato.

Houston Chamber Choir presents Mind Craft: Gamesmanship, Eloquence, and Surprise in the Renaissance, with guest conductor Alexander Blachly on Feb. 24

Houston Chamber Choir presents Mind Craft: Gamesmanship, Eloquence, and Surprise in the Renaissance, with guest conductor Alexander Blachly on Feb. 24

Houston Chamber Choir presents Mind Craft: Gamesmanship, Eloquence, and Surprise in the Renaissance with guest conductor Alexander Blachly, Ph.D. Of the hundreds of works performed by Dr. Blachly’s ensemble Pomerium over the course of 43 years, this program contains a selection of his favorites by some of the leading composers of the Renaissance, from Josquin Desprez, the great master of imitative polyphony and musical canons, and Henricus Isaac, famed wizard of counterpoint, to Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, and the uncannily modern, tortured genius Carlo Gesualdo.

Chamber Choir Performs with Hans Zimmer Live on Tour!

Chamber Choir Performs with Hans Zimmer Live on Tour!

This past Friday, July 14, members of the Houston Chamber Choir performed with Hans Zimmer Live on Tour at the Smart Financial Center in Houston. The concert featured popular movie scores composed by Zimmer, including music from The Lion King, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dark Knight, and Interstellar.

Elena Sharkova Takes Audiences on a Musical Journey Through the Russian Soul

Brilliant young conductor Elena Sharkova leads Houston Chamber Choir in a concert entitled “A Window into the Russian Soul." The program will explore the depths of the mysterious Russian soul in a moving concert featuring works by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and the Houston premiere of Chimes by Valery Gavrillin.