Seraphic Fire to mark 15 years with seven premieres

By Lawrence Budmen

2016-2017 marks Seraphic Fire’s 15th anniversary season and the Miami-based chamber choir plans a season-long celebration that focuses both on newly commissioned works, and choral music the group has performed in the past, well as a new educational initiative.

“Our 15th anniversary season is a culmination of Seraphic Fire’s indelible mark on South Florida,” artistic director said Patrick Dupré Quigley in a released statement.

Funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, seven new works will be presented, including scores by Miami-based composers Shawn Crouch and Alvaro Bermudez, both long associated with Seraphic Fire.

Highlights from Philip Glass’s opera Einstein on the Beach opens the series. (Glass celebrates his 80th birthday in January, 2017.) The music of J.S. Bach has been closely associated with the choir and the new season brings performances of Bach’s Easter Oratorio and complete motets.

Guest conductor Elena Sharkova leads a program of Russian choral music and an all-French evening brings performances of Requiem settings by Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé.

For the first time, Seraphic Fire appears with the Cleveland Orchestra under music director Franz Welser-Möst in Severance Hall.

The choir will present a four-concert series in Naples and a special performance in Washington, D.C. In January and March, 2017

Quigley opens the season October 19-23 with excerpts from Glass’ Einstein on the Beach with guest violinist Matthew Albert and the premiere of a new score by Christopher Theofanidis. Organist Nathan Laube is featured in performances of the Fauré and Duruflé requiems November 11-12. A new work by Douglas Cuomo completes the program which will receive a special performance November 13 at St. John’s Georgetown concert series in Washington, D.C.

Associate conductor James K. Bass leads the choir’s popular Christmas concerts December 7-18, this year including three new carol settings by Susan LaBarr.

Quigley returns for the January 18-22, 2017 anniversary celebration concert. New works by Crouch and Bermudez complement a “Best of Seraphic Fire” program. Quigley leads Bach’s complete motets on February 17-19.

Sharkova, director of the Silicon Valley Symphony Chorale, curates and directs a program called “Russian Choral Treasures,” music from the 17th to 20th centuries inspired by the liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church (March 8-12).

Quigley conducts Bach’s Easter Oratorio with a chamber instrumental ensemble on April 13-14. Bass directs the season’s concluding program of Cathedral Classics (May 10-14).

The choir will return to First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables, after an absence of two seasons, as ensemble in residence. Other performance venues include St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Miami, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Coral Gables, All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Ft. Lauderdale, All Souls Episcopal Church in Miami Beach and St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Boca Raton.

The group’s Miami Choral Academy, now under Bass’s direction, will be expanded to include training in the basics of music and singing for underprivileged elementary and middle school students. Members of Seraphic Fire and a specially selected music education student at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, will lead the classes.

Posted in News

Leave a Comment

Sun Mar 6, 2016
at 9:29 am
No Comments