Composer Thea Musgrave To Celebrate Her 90th birthday In NYC

By Francisco Salazar

One of Britain’s most distinguished composers, Thea Musgrave celebrates her incredibly prolific seventy-year career with a 90th birthday concert on May 27 at The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City.

Known as a pioneer of the “dramatic-abstract” in the contemporary musical landscape, Musgrave has written more than 160 pieces, including 13 operas, 11 choral works, and 21 orchestral works. For her celebration the composer will be joined by Dr. Harold Rosenbaum and The New York Virtuoso Singers for an evening of choral music, solo music, and excerpts from Musgrave’s grand operas.

The program will open with the U.S. premiere of Musgrave’s oratorio for chorus, organ and brass quintet, The Voices of Our Ancestors, performed by The New York Virtuoso Singers and the American Brass Quintet. The program will also include World-famous oboist and frequent Musgrave collaborator, Nicholas Daniel.

The New York Virtuoso Singers will also perform Musgrave’s choral work written for the BBC Singers, Rorate Coeli for unaccompanied chorus, inspired by the poetry of William Dunbar.

There will also be a world premiere of “La Vida es Sueño,” performed by Mexican baritone, José Adán Pérez. The concert will conclude with excerpts from three of Musgrave’s dramatic and historically charged grand operas, tied together with narration by Tadeusz von Moltke, and featuring three heroines from three continents.

Full Program Below:

The New York Virtuoso Singers
Harold Rosenbaum, conductor

Musgrave: The Voices of Our Ancestors (2014) US premiere
Musgrave: Dawn (2012) US premiere | Nicholas Daniel, oboe
Musgrave: Rorate Coeli (1977)
Musgrave: La Vida es Sueño (2017) world premiere | José Adán Pérez and Michael Fennelly, piano
Musgrave: Manuela’s Aria from Simón Bolívar (1994) | Jenny Sandelin, soprano and Michael Fennelly, piano
Musgrave: Duet and Lament from Harriet, the Woman Called Moses (1984) | Marsha Johnson, soprano, Geraldine McMillian, mezzo-soprano and Michael Fennelly, piano
Musgrave: Ensemble from Mary, Queen of Scots (1977) | Jenny Sandelin, soprano, José Adán Pérez, baritone and Michael Fennelly, piano