St. Paul, Minn., October 11, 2017 – In observance of Veterans Day, the Oratorio Society of Minnesota presents a program -- BETTER IS PEACE, THE MUSIC OF KARL JENKINS on Friday, November 10 at 7:30pm in the Ordway Concert Hall -- dedicated to the universal longing for world peace. Joining the 90-member Oratorio chorus and orchestra will be the 40-member Prior Lake High School Concert Choir as part of OSM's Viva Coro! youth engagement program.
“Jenkin’s music is so accessible and immediately enjoyable because he seamlessly combines familiar popular styles with classical elements,” notes Artistic Director Matthew Mehaffey. “The results are at once beautiful and thrilling.”
THE ARMED MAN: A Mass for Peace recently celebrated a remarkable 2000 performances worldwide, confirming its status as the most frequently programmed new classical work for choir and orchestra of recent decades. It is a powerful and compelling account of the descent into, and terrible consequences of, war. Dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo crisis, this work is a contemporary example of a mass based on the 15th century French song L’homme armé (The Armed Man). Although set within the framework of the Christian mass, only four of its thirteen movements are traditional Mass elements. The composer uses additional texts from the Qur’an, the Psalms, the Mahàbhàrata, Rudyard Kipling, and Lord Tennyson. This is a major choral work which recognizes what the preamble to the United Nations Charter calls “the scourge of war” as a universal tragedy.
THE PEACEMAKERS (selections), premiered in 2012, the work sets words of peace from iconic, world-changing figures such as Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, along with other inspirational quotations of Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer, Anne Frank and the Dalai Lama. One line from the Persian mystic poet Rumi sums up the ethos of the work: All religions, all singing one song: Peace be with you.
KARL JENKINS A recent survey shows that Welsh born composer Karl Jenkins is now the most performed living composer in the world. His recorded output has resulted in 17 gold and platinum discs, while his The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace has received over 2000 performances worldwide since its premiere in 2000. Jenkins’ music, drawn from rock, jazz and classical forms, transcends traditional boundaries, from the global crossover phenomenon Adiemus to his hugely popular settings of Requiem and Stabat Mater.
More information: oratorio.org
Tickets: $48, $38 and $28; available at ordway.org or by calling 651-224-4222.
Artistic Director, Matthew Mehaffey is in his tenth season at the helm of the Oratorio Society of Minnesota. He is also Associate Professor of Music at the University of Minnesota, where he conducts the University Singers and Men's Chorus, and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Conducting and Literature and is a proud recipient of the Arthur “Red” Motley Exemplary Teaching Award. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehaffey holds degrees from Bucknell University (B.M.), Westminster Choir College (M.M.), and the University of Arizona (D.M.A).
Recent engagements include work with Washington National Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, Czech National Symphony Orchestra, the Prague Proms, VocalEssence, Minnesota Chorale, Singers in Accord, and Turner Network Television. He has lectured nationally and internationally on the topic of rehearsal technique and is a frequent guest conductor of festival choruses. He is the author of Choral Ensemble Intonation and the editor of Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, both for GIA Publications. He recently co-authored (with colleague Kathy Romey) a chapter on American choral music for the internationally released, The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music.
Additionally, Dr. Mehaffey serves as Music Director for The Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. He enjoys golf, baseball, and curling in his spare time. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife Libby, daughters Veda, Colette and Summer, son Charlie and their dog Bettis.