Saturday, January 31, 2015

CSO Spiritual Ensemble Welcomes Renowned British Conductor Performing Mozart Requiem Saturday Feb 28, Charleston, South Carolina

Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799)
is featured at

Edward Higginbottom

Kimwana Doner

Ginger Jones-Robinson

January 29, 2015 Charleston SC ─ The Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Spiritual Ensemble, under the direction of guest conductor Edward Higginbottom, a leading British choral conductor, organist, and scholar, will performs the complete Mozart Requiem Saturday, February 28, 2015, 6:00pm at St. Philips Episcopal Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston.

Celebrating African-American History Month (February), this Requiem performance honors Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, an early 18th century black composer and contemporary of Mozart. The performance aims to shine light on the illustrious history and musical story of the world’s earliest black composers’ contribution to the classical music canon.

“The genesis for the inspiration in creating the Colour of Music Festival was the introduction of St. Georges to Charleston audiences. His legacy is fitting as we honor Black History Month. We are most privileged to return to St. Philips under the baton of an internationally-known scholar and conductor to perform this masterwork,” says Lee Pringle, President CSO Spiritual Ensemble and event producer.

"I am greatly honored to present this choral masterpiece here in Charleston, with a multicultural chamber orchestra and ensemble. I eagerly look forward to working with such talented musicians, including an exciting quartet of emerging vocal soloists," added Edward Higginbottom, conductor.

Featured soloists will include Kimwana Doner, soprano; Ginger Jones-Robinson, mezzo soprano; John Felder, tenor and Bryan Barr, bass.

Mozart’s Requiem
Featuring the CSO Spiritual Ensemble
Guest Conductor Edward Higginbottom and guest soloists
St Philips Episcopal Church, 142 Church Street, Charleston
Tickets: $35 adults; $25 seniors; $10 students with ID, (866) 811-4111 or cash or check up to one hour before performance

About Edward Higginbottom
Director, New College Choir, Oxford England
Edward Higginbottom is currently Emeritus Organist and Fellow, New College Oxford Emeritus Professor of Choral Music, University of Oxford in England. His work as a choral director established New College as an ensemble of the first rank, winner of numerous accolades and awards, covering a repertory stretching from the early 16th century to the contemporary.  

He has taken the Choir around the world, encouraged musical commissions, engaged in neglected repertories, championed standard classics, made some 120 CDs, collaborated with leading musicians in the Baroque field, and set up a new record label Novum.  

Higginbottom is an established scholar of French Baroque music, having contributed to Grove’s Dictionary of Music.  His special interests extend to historical approaches to performance, but also to the contemporary issues of how modern choral institutions best thrive.  He was an advisor to the French government on the recovery of their tradition of maîtrises and directed a summer academy of choir direction in Grasse during the 1990s.  The French government has recognized these contributions to French culture in the decoration Commandeur de l’ordre des arts et des lettres.  

Higginbottom became the first ever Professor of Choral Music at the University of Oxford (2008), in recognition of his distinction as a choral director, and as the primary mover behind a discography of unusual depth and variety.  He built up an anthology of English Church Music in some 20 issues, ranging from Taverner to Howells, via, Tallis, Byrd, Tomkins, Gibbons, Purcell, Croft, Greene, Boyce, Wesley, Parry.  Renaissance collections touched on de Monte and du Caurroy, as well as the more famous Lassus and Palestrina.  French music is represented in recordings of grands motets by Desmarest, Lalande and Mondonville.  On the Avie label intriguing collections of 20th-century American music are to be found, as well as a CD of contemporary British music. Recording for Erato brought his work to a worldwide audience, with collections of choral music of broad appeal (Agnus Dei).  This success was followed up with similar projects with Decca (Bluebird and Illumina.)

As a lecturer in the Oxford Faculty of Music he has taught subjects as varied as 16th-century counterpoint, analysis, Sibelius, French baroque aesthetics and early keyboard music.  He is now an emeritus professor of Oxford University and of New College  and is an honorary fellow of the Royal School of Church Music, the Guild of Church Musicians.  He holds honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music, London, and is a recipient of the Medal of the Royal College of Organists.

Earlier in his career he was active as an organist, as organ scholar at Corpus Christi College Cambridge, and a John Stewart of Rannoch Scholar in Sacred Music. 

About the CSO Spiritual Ensemble
The CSO Spiritual Ensemble is a 30-member repertory vocal group based in Charleston focusing on African-American spirituals, sacred and classical music. The Ensemble’s core musical offering honors the devout musical tradition that African-Americans formed as slaves after arriving in this country and in particular its relevant history in South Carolina. The spiritual has shaped and inspired the evolution of classically trained African-American composers and arrangers.

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