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Los Angeles Master Chorale Launches 2010-11 Season

Los Angeles Master Chorale
Launches 2010|11 Season and Celebrates
Music Director Grant Gershon’s 10th Anniversary at Choir’s Helm
with Spectacular Concert and Gala Honoring the Acclaimed Maestro

Sunday, September 26, 2010, 7:00 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall
Highlights of Sunday evening’s performance will include: Rachmaninoff’s Crowning A Cappella Masterpiece All-Night Vigil; follwed by a Post-Concert Gala – “Bravo, Grant!â€

Cheers of “Bravo, Grant!†are sure to fill the soaring Walt Disney Concert Hall when the Los Angeles Master Chorale celebrates the 10th Anniversary of its acclaimed and beloved Maestro, Grant Gershon, at its 2010|11 season opening concert and post-concert gala extravaganza on Sunday, September 26, 2010, 7 p.m., in the landmark venue. The spotlight will focus on Gershon the entire night, which begins with him conducting Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, one of the most beautiful a cappella pieces in the choral literature and the sole work on the program. The Russian composer’s 70-minute masterpiece is considered the crowning achievement of the “Golden Age†of Russian Orthodox sacred choral music and is a magnificent showcase for the choir’s 110 singers. The festivities conclude with “Bravo, Grant!†, a spectacular black-tie-optional gala in BP Hall honoring Gershon for his unparalleled work with the Chorale. The concert is part of Daniel Pearl World Music Days, using music to promote tolerance and humanity.

Though Rachmaninoff’s piece is rarely performed, Gershon first conducted it with the Chorale in November 2006, elevating it with the choir’s ethereal sound and Disney Hall’s sparkling acoustics. Gershon personally selected the work to open the 2010-11 ten-concert season, which features some of the most compelling musical highlights of his tenure. He describes the piece, composed in 1915, as “a symphony for a cappella voices – the singers are like cellos, flutes, French horns and bells, creating a tapestry of pure vocal harmony.â€

Rachmaninoff’s astonishing music captivates with its sheer beauty and lofty expressiveness. Based on medieval chants and Russian Orthodox liturgy, the piece uses “choral orchestration†to create layers of lush sound, waves of dynamics and a vast range of choral color and sonic textures to capture the essence of these ancient prayers. The Vigil premiered in Moscow on the eve of World War I, two years before the 1917 October Revolution that sent the great Russian composer fleeing to the United States, where he spent his final years in Beverly Hills. Although Rachmaninoff composed few choral works, his masterful Vigil, using a living, breathing instrument – the human choir – to bring this quintessentially Russian piece to life, remains a pinnacle in choral literature.

Gala Detailed
The celebration of Gershon’s remarkable music legacy is the focus of the joyous black-tie optional gala, “Bravo, Grant!†The two-part celebration begins with pre-concert al fresco cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6 pm in the beautiful Disney Hall garden. Following the concert, the gala kicks into high gear – guests will enjoy dinner, dancing and the Chorale’s signature Surround-Sing, in which singers encircle the room and perform selected works, creating a powerful and moving musical experience. Gershon will be showered with tributes both musical and spoken from such luminaries as composer/pianist Ricky Ian Gordon, opera star Suzanna Guzmán, his wife, celebrated soprano Elissa Johnston, and the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. BNY Mellon is sponsoring the gala for the 18th consecutive year.

“The Los Angeles Master Chorale concerts during the past nine seasons, under the leadership of Music Director Grant Gershon, have been utterly transformative experiences,†says LAMC President/Gala Chair Mark Foster. “The extraordinarily high level of music making, the range of repertoire, and the wonderful adventures we’ve taken with Grant and the Chorale are simply unforgettable. Now, we have the opportunity to thank Grant for all of this and more.â€

Foster further notes, “Grant’s extraordinary musical gifts have helped put the LA Master Chorale on the world’s cultural map, drawn legions of fans to Chorale concerts, helped make choral music hip, expanded the choral repertoire considerably and taken the choir to a new level – all in just nine years. A true musical ambassador, he has also touched the lives of thousands of school children though his involvement with the LA Master Chorale’s education outreach programs. Since Grant joined the LA Master Chorale as Music Director, he has conducted more than 91 hours of music with the chorus at the Walt Disney Concert Hall alone. It literally would take 3 days, 19 hours and 44 minutes to hear it all back-to back.â€

Joyce and Kent Kresa are Honorary Gala Chairs. Gregory J. Annick and Nancy McAniff Annick, and Kiki and David Gindler are Patron Chairs. The Gala Committee includes Sue Bienkowski and Wang Lee, Kathy and Terry Dooley, H. Richard Cullen and Robert G. Finnerty, Alicia G. and Edward Clark, Lenore and Bernard Greenberg, Carol and Warner Henry, Weta and Allen Mathies, Judith and Clifford Miller, Helen Pashgian, Fred Ruopp, Carolyn and Scott Sanford, Michele and Russell Spoto, and Philip A. Swan.

Ticket Information
Concert tickets to range from $19 to $124. Student Rush seats are $10 and are available at the box office two hours before the performance. Gala tickets are $500 per person (concert ticket not included). For tickets and information, please call (213) 972-7282, or visit www.lamc.org. (Tickets can no longer be purchased at the Walt Disney Concert Hall Box Office except on concert days starting 2 hours prior to the performance.) The Walt Disney Concert Hall is located at 111 South Grand Avenue at First Street in downtown Los Angeles.

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