FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sarah Snyder
College Park, MD— The UMD Symphony Orchestra and UMD Concert Choir, under the direction of Edward Maclary, explore the meaning of life and loss in Brahms’ German Requiem Friday, November 14 at 8pm in The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center’s Dekelboum Concert Hall.
The program also includes Steven Stucky’s Funeral Music for Queen Mary, for Wind Orchestra, an elaboration on music by Henry Purcell; Brahms’ motet “Warum ist das Licht gegeben;” and Earl Kim’s Where Grief Slumbers, featuring soprano Katie Baughman, a UMD alumna and 2014 UMSO concerto competition winner.
About Brahms’ German Requiem
Brahms composed his grandest choral work, Ein deutsches Requiem, between 1857 and 1868 and took his texts from Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible. He conducted the public premiere of the six-movement version in the Bremen Cathedral on April 10, 1868, and the premiere of the work in its final version was given in Leipzig on February 18 of the following year.
An agnostic, Brahms chose to set texts in his native vernacular as opposed to the traditional Latin. His Requiem is not a liturgical work, but a personal one. British critic William Mann wrote that nowhere in the Requiem “is there a suggestion of abject entreaty, nor any prayer for the souls of the dead. On the contrary, this is an act of consolation for the living, a hope that all may be well with us when we pass hence.” During the time that Brahms wrote the Requiem, he grieved from the loss of his best friend and mentor, Robert Schumann, as well as his mother. Yet he swore that the Requiem was not a memorial to any individual; rather, he had “the whole of humanity” in mind.
About the UMD Symphony Orchestra
The University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra (UMSO) is one of the nation's finest collegiate orchestras, a progressive ensemble on the cutting edge of 21st century orchestral performance experience for audiences and orchestra members alike. In addition to its ongoing search for ways to vitalize the presentation of classical music in concert, UMSO is revisiting the traditional relationship between conductor and orchestra.
About the UMD Concert Choir
The UMD Concert Choir is chosen by audition from among students throughout the University. The ensemble maintains a rigorous schedule of concerts both on and off campus and has established a reputation as one of the finest symphonic choruses in the DC Metro region. At The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the UMD Concert Choir has performed masterworks as diverse as the Bach Christmas Oratorio, the Mahler Symphony #2 and the Verdi Requiem, as well as repertoire by Boulanger, Brahms, Bruckner, Haydn, Ives, Mozart, Ravel and Stravinsky. In addition to its performances on campus, the UMD Concert Choir has, over the past decade, become a regular artistic partner of the major professional symphonies in the region. In November 2013, the ensemble had its first opportunity to collaborate with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in highly acclaimed performances of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem led by BSO Music Director Marin Alsop. The UMD Concert Choir will perform Bach Cantatas 63 and 110 with the National Symphony Orchestra in December 2014 and the Mozart Mass in C Minor with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in March 2015.
Located on the University of Maryland campus and a part of the College of Arts and Humanities, the School of Music is a dynamic arts community committed to cultivating and transforming musical traditions and preparing students for meaningful engagement with their art, their culture and the world community. The School is an integral part of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, a premier arts presenting venue and creative laboratory for professional artists, teachers and students, serving the university and community. The School of Music, the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, and the staff and administration of the Center comprise the Center‘s creative community.