About guest bass-baritone David Pittsinger
American bass-baritone David Pittsinger is renowned as a stage performer of the greatest distinction for his portrayals in the world's major opera houses. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Trulove in a new production of The Rake's Progress conducted by James Levine. His performances in Britten's Death in Venice and Handel's Orlando soon won him further acclaim. Of his Helen Hayes Award-nominated performance as Emile de Becque in Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific at the Kennedy Center, the Washington Times wrote, "His brilliant, knife-clean bass-baritone voice, impeccable enunciation-even with a French accent-and his authoritative, passionate delivery provide the perfect mix of romance, passion, and traditional masculine bravado."
About composer George Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
Handel, a German-British Baroque composer, is famous for his operas, oratorios, and concertos. Born in Germany, he received critical musical training in Italy before settling in London and becoming a naturalized British subject. Zadok the Priest is a coronation anthem Handel composed using texts from the King James Bible. It is one of four coronation anthems he composed for the coronation of George II of Great Britain in 1727. It has since been sung at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing.
About composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)
Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Ave verum corpus is a motet in D major written for Anton Stoll, musical coordinator in the parish of Baden bei Wien and a friend of Mozart and Haydn. The setting of the text was composed to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi and the autograph is dated June 17, 1791. It was completed less than six months before his death and foreshadows aspects of his Requiem.
About composer Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. The Symphony No. 9 in D minor is his final complete symphony. Completed in 1824, it is one of the best-known works of the Western classical repertoire. Among critics, it is universally considered to be among Beethoven's greatest works, and is considered by some to be the greatest piece of music ever written. The symphony was the first example of a major composer using voices (thus making it a choral symphony), taking words from "Ode to Joy," a poem written by Friedrich Schiller in 1785 and revised in 1803, with additions made by the composer.