UNT Symphony Orchestra, Grand Chorus join forces in April 25 concert
What: University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra and Grand Chorus present an evening of choral masterpieces. The program includes Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings and Holst's The Hymn of Jesus.
David Itkin and Jerry McCoy, conductors
Richard Croft, tenor
Mark Houghton, horn
Jonathan Kroll, boy soprano
When: 8 p.m. April 25 (Wednesday)
Where: Winspear Hall in the Murchison Performing Arts Center, located along the north side of Interstate 35E at North Texas Boulevard
Contact: 940-369-7802 or www.theMPAC.com
DENTON (UNT), Texas -- The University of North Texas Symphony Orchestra and Grand Chorus will present an evening of choral masterpieces April 25 (Wednesday), as well as a performance from internationally renowned tenor and UNT faculty member Richard Croft.
The program includes Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and Holst's The Hymn of Jesus. Croft, UNT professor of music, will be featured in Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with soloist Mark Houghton, principal horn of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
Commissioned for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals' Festival at Chichester Cathedral, Bernstein's choral masterpiece Chichester Psalms features boy soprano Jonathan Kroll, an 11-year-old member of Children's Chorus of Greater Dallas, in addition to intricate double-harp passages. Bernstein arranged the text -- spread over an introduction, three movements and a finale -- from six Psalms in the original Hebrew.
Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms is considered one of the great masterworks of the 20th century. Commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the choral symphony also uses the Psalms as a basis for text. The instrumentation omits standard orchestral instruments, including violin, viola and clarinet, in favor of a large woodwind section and chorus.
Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings is a song cycle set to a selection of six poems by famous British poets, including William Blake, John Keats and Alfred Lord Tennyson, all dealing with the topic of "night." The prologue and epilogue are framed with challenging solo horn parts, making this work a standard repertoire piece for horns.
The Symphony Orchestra and Grand Chorus performance will take place at 8 p.m. in the Murchison Performing Arts Center's Winspear Performance Hall, located along the north side of Interstate 35E at North Texas Boulevard on the UNT campus.
Tickets are $8 to $10. Call the Murchison box office at 940-369-7802 or visit www.theMPAC.com.
About Richard Croft
Croft, a Grammy-nominated singer, has performed to critical acclaim with leading opera companies and orchestras around the world, including the Salzburg Festival, Opéra National de Paris, the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Staatsoper and Opera Zurich.
Croft also sang the lead role of Gandhi in the New York Metropolitan Opera's Satyagraha, a co-production with the English National Opera. He has also performed in the Met's productions of Cosi fan tutte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Barbiere di Siviglia and Don Giovanni.
About Mark Houghton
Houghton has performed as principal horn of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since 2005. Previously, he was principal horn of the Harrisburg and Phoenix symphony orchestras.
Houghton has performed with the Eastman Virtuosi, the Orion Septet, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and toured nationally with the Eastman Wind Ensemble and abroad with the Eastman Horn Choir and the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. He has performed as a soloist with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, The Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, The Phoenix Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
About the UNT College of Music
The UNT College of Music is one of the largest and most respected comprehensive music schools in the country. About 1,600 music students attend UNT each year, participating in more than 40 widely varied ensembles and pursuing specialized studies in performance, composition, music education or music scholarship. UNT faculty members and students have made appearances on the world's finest stages and have produced numerous recordings, many receiving Grammy awards and nominations. Distinguished UNT alumni can be found around the globe, in top music ensembles, opera companies, universities and schools.