Rensselaer Holiday Concert
In celebration of winter and the turning of the year, Rensselaer invites you to the holiday concert at EMPAC – establishing a new tradition on campus.
Inside what The New York Times calls “the concert hall of the 21st century,” listeners will hear the Antioch Chamber Ensemble, performing holiday and winter songs, among others the Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, Hebrew Love Songs by Eric Whitacre, Mid-Winter Songs by Morten Lauridsen, and other festive music for the season.
This “spectacular example of what a classical choir should sound like” debuted at the gala opening of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and is now coming to our concert hall. Harp and voices will float through this pristine performance place especially well suited for vocal music.
After the applause dies down, linger awhile in the cascading lobby spaces of EMPAC at the top of the hill and gaze out through the endless glass wall at the lights of Troy and the Hudson Valley spread out below. The perfect close to Fall 2009 series of events and performances - and to a little over a year as THE national center dedicated to the convergence of art, science and technology and to ever new experiences for mind and soul.
Widely regarded as one of the finest professional vocal ensembles in the United States, The Antioch Chamber Ensemble is currently celebrating its 12th season of exceptional music-making, having made its debut at the gala opening of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in 1997. Under the leadership of founding Artistic Director Joshua Copeland, the ensemble strives to present as diverse a program as possible of the world’s greatest choral literature, both sacred and secular, and has performed works ranging from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary masterpieces with a core group of ten to twelve of the New York metropolitan area’s finest singers. In 2008, Antioch was awarded first-place honors in the highly prestigious Tolosa International Choral Competition in Spain, establishing them among the top rank of professional choirs in the world. In recent seasons, Antioch has been called “stellar,” “flawless,” “an exceptional group,” and “a spectacular example of what a classical choir should sound like” by the national press.
Antioch’s past performance highlights include feature performances for Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series, the Trinity Wall Street Noon-Day Concert Series, the American Choral Directors Association Eastern National Conference and the Nautilus Music Festival in Nova Scotia. In the coming season, Antioch will perform at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, hailed by the New York Times as a technological pleasure dome for the mind and senses. The ensemble will premiere a piece by composer Bruce Adolphe at the Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of a special exhibition of works by the Renaissance painter Agnolo Bronzino in March, and return to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina for their ninth consecutive performance in the Choral Artists Series in May. In July, Antioch will appear at the Musique en Morvan Festival and the Festival des Choeurs Laureats in France, where they will give the premiere European performance of American composer Eric Whitacre’s The City and the Sea.
Antioch’s first full-length recording, Winter Songs, featuring the Mid-Winter Songs by contemporary American composer Morten Lauridsen, was released in December of 2003 to wide-spread acclaim. The ensemble’s second CD will be released by MSR Classics in 2010.