Monday, 2010 February 8th, 8 PM
Latvian National Opera
CHANTICLEER (vocal group, USA)
Called “the world’s reigning male chorus,” by the New Yorker magazine, Chanticleer will perform more than 100 concerts in 2007-08, the GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble’s 30th Season. Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for their “tonal luxuriance and crisply etched clarity,” Chanticleer will tour to 22 states across the United States this season, including appearances at Walt Disney Concert Hall under the auspices of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. In January 2008, the ensemble will perform at prestigious venues in major European cities: Paris, Luxembourg, Bruges, Vienna, Prague, Budapest, and Vilnius. In Fall 2007 Chanticleer’s newest Christmas CD, Let It Snow, is released by Warner Classics and Jazz. Let It Snow features the ensemble with the Chanticleer Holiday Orchestra performing such favorites as “Feliz Navidad” and “The Christmas Song.”Chanticleer has been named the 2008 “Ensemble of the Year” by the editors of the Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts, the first time a vocal ensemble has been so recognized.
Chanticleer—based in San Francisco--has developed a remarkable reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music. With its seamless blend of twelve male voices, ranging from countertenor to bass, the ensemble has earned international renown as “an orchestra of voices.”
Chanticleer’s 31-concert Bay Area season opens in September with two premieres: Janika Vandervelde’s All Things Resounding, commissioned by the Jerome Foundation in memory of Maud Hill Schroll; and Gabriela Lena Frank’s Jalapeno Blues, featuring the poetry of the late Trinidad Sanchez, Jr. The beloved Christmas concerts follow in December. March 2008 will feature a brand new piece by Chen Yi (former Chanticleer Composer-In-Residence) entitled From the Path of Beauty. The renowned Shanghai Quartet will join Chanticleer for this remarkable piece, written in memory of San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Lau and Deputy Mayor Peter Henschel and in celebration of the friendship between Sister Cities San Francisco and Shanghai. In May 2008, Chanticleer will “travel the Mission Road” with El Camino Real, a program of Mission-era music to be performed in nine California Missions. This concert series is part of American Masterpieces – California, a program supported by the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for he Arts, the Western States Arts Federation and the E. Nakamichi Foundation.
Since 1994, Chanticleer has recorded for Warner Classics, making the group’s recordings available worldwide. 2007 sees the release of a fifth Christmas CD, Let It Snow. In 2005 Sound in Spirit, a mosaic of sacred chant from across time and cultures, was released. Writing for BBC Music, Anthony Burton calls Chanticleer’s performances on the recording “impeccably tuned and consistently beautiful,” and gave the album the magazine’s highest rating. In 2004, the ensemble released How Sweet the Sound: Spirituals and Traditional Gospel Music featuring guest artist Bishop Yvette Flunder. Colors of Love won the GRAMMY® Award in 2000 for Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without Conductor) and the Contemporary A Cappella Recording Award for Best Classical Album. The world-premiere recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises was released in January 2002 to critical acclaim, and garnered two GRAMMY® awards, for Classical Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without Conductor) and for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Chanticleer’s three Christmas recordings are especially popular, as is the DVD of the 2002 Christmas concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which is broadcast nationally on public television. Chanticleer’s most recent release, And On Earth, Peace: A Chanticleer Mass, received critical acclaim and reached position #5 on Billboard’s Classical Chart.
With the help of individual contributions and foundation and corporate support, the group brings the gift of singing to young people by conducting artist-in-the-schools residencies and Chanticleer Youth Choral Festivals™. In addition to extensive Bay Area educational activities, the ensemble conducts master classes while on tour, and in 2007-08 will conduct Chanticleer Youth Choral Festivals in San Francisco (both high school and middle school versions) and New Canaan, CT.
Chanticleer’s long-standing commitment to developing the choral repertoire has led the group to commission works from an ever-growing list of important composers. Past commissions include works by Mark Adamo, Chen Yi, Régis Campo, David Conte, Brent Michael Davids, Anthony Davis, Guido López-Gavilán, William Hawley, Jake Heggie, Jackson Hill, Jeeyoung Kim, Tania León, Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, John Musto, Bernard Rands, Steven Sametz, Carlos Sanchez-Guttierez, Paul Schoenfield, Steven Stucky, John Tavener and Augusta Read Thomas.
Named for the “clear-singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer was founded in 1978 by tenor Louis Botto, who sang with the group until 1989 and served as Artistic Director until his death in 1997. In 1999, Christine Bullin joined Chanticleer as President & General Director. Music Director Joseph Jennings joined the ensemble as a countertenor in 1983, and shortly thereafter assumed his current title. A prolific composer and arranger, Mr. Jennings has provided the group with some of its most popular repertoire, most notably spirituals, gospel music, and jazz standards.
Chanticleer is the recipient of major grants from The California Arts Council, The Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation,The Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, The Walter and Elise Haas Fund, The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, Meet the Composer, The E. Nakamichi Foundation, The Bernard Osher Foundation, The Western States Arts Federation, The Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Chanticleer’s activities as a not-for-profit corporation are supported by its administrative staff and Board of Trustees.