Kristyn Michele to World Premiere Samuel Lord Kalcheim’s ‘Ancient Hymns and Prayers’

By David Salazar

Composer Samuel Lord Kalcheim will present “Ancient Wisdom, Emerging Voices” on Friday, March 3, 2023.

The showcase, which will take place at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York City, will feature two world-premiere pieces in addition to other unique works by Kalchiem.

At the forefront of this performance will be “Ancient Hymns and Prayers,” a song cycle based on translations of Greek texts by the composer himself. Performing the cycle will be non-binary tenor Kristyn Michele and pianist Jason Weisinger.

“In creating a substantial song cycle for non-binary tenor Kristyn Michele, my goal was to show Kristyn off as a singer and performer of new music. While adept at standard tenor repertoire, Kristyn’s beautiful changed voice has a unique sound and expressivity. These songs were specifically crafted with these qualities in mind. The texts for the cycle consist of my own translations from the Greek of Plato, Homer, Sappho, the Orphic Hymn to Night and the Seikilos Epitaph, as well as a small part of St. Francis’s Canticle of the Sun (from Umbrian Italian). These all come together to weave a sort of narrative, one deeply appreciative of the earth and of the basic aspects of nature and our lives,” Kalcheim said in an official press statement.

The other world premiere will be “Six Morning Miniatures for Piano” with Nicholas Pietromonaco. The concert will also include a Grand Duo for Alto Saxophone and piano featuring Tobiasz Siankiweicz and Daniel Beliavsky as well as the Sonata for Violoncello Solo, “Three Maxims of Delphi,” with Juan Aguilera Cerezo.