Concert: The Art of Tradition: Choral Music of Russia and the United States
About the Performers
The American University Chamber Singers is a highly select ensemble open to music majors and students studying music within American University’s broad tradition of outstanding liberal arts education. The 28-member group, chosen by audition, is known for its wide repertoire of music featuring different musical styles and periods including choral-orchestral literature with a particular emphasis on early music, a cappella works as well as Renaissance motets, Romantic anthems and part songs, folk arrangements, spirituals, and highly challenging contemporary composition. Recent programs have included the Bach’s Magnificat and his motets Jesu, meine Freude and Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Brahms’ Liebeslieder, Op. 52, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Vaughan Williams’ Flos Campi and Serenade To Music, Robert Convery’s Songs of Children, the U.S. premiere of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach’s Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet, as well as works by Gesualdo, Tallis, Tavener, Schickele, William Schuman, Libby Larsen, Ysaye Barnwell, and many others. Recent notable engagements include their appearance as the invited select ensemble for the 2006 Washington, D.C. Choral Festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, performances for both the 25th and 30th Anniversary of Mothers Against Drunk Driving “Celebration of Life” at the Ronald Reagan Center, and performances with the National Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to domestic touring, the AU Chamber Singers have a long tradition of cultural diplomacy through international performance including concert tours to South America and Mexico and most recently to Hungary & Romania (2009) and Spain & Portugal (2011).
Located in Washington, D.C., American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and more than 150 countries. American University provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world. AU actively promotes international understanding through its curricular offerings, faculty research, and the regular presence of world leaders on campus.
Daniel Abraham, Conductor, is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities in the Department of Performing Arts at American University. He has garnered praise for his performances from many noteworthy sources, including Gramophone, The Washington Post, Choral Journal, BBC Magazine, Fanfare, BBC Radio 3, American Record Review, and Early Music America. The late critic Joseph McLellan once remarked that as a conductor and musicologist, “Abraham blends those skills marvelously in programs that combine learning with enjoyment in ideal proportions.” The Washington Post has praised his performances as having “uncommon precision and exuberant vitality,” being “bright, energetic, and lovingly shaped,” and showing “keen insight and coherence.” As a conductor and scholar, he has often sought out works previously unknown to present-day audiences and has been responsible for numerous world, North American and regional early-music premieres with many performances using materials edited by Abraham from primary manuscript sources. He has conducted performances before two National Meeting of the American Musicological Society, has been broadcast nationally on NPR’s Performance Today and Sunday Baroque, and has appeared at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Music Center at Strathmore, The National Women’s Museum of the Arts, and many other major venues in the eastern United States. He has prepared choruses for national television broadcast including the Kennedy Center Honors Gala and Christmas in Washington and appeared on the nationally syndicated series History Detectives. With various ensembles he has presented concerts abroad in Canada, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Romania, and Egypt and he is a sought-after clinician who has given master classes and clinics throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.