The Beethoven work will be followed by A Sea Symphony, Ralph Vaughan Wiliiams's first large-scale work for chorus and orchestra and one of the composer's most powerful and beloved compositions. Prior to the musical performance of this expansive choral symphony by NYCS, Kathleen Turner will read a selection of the Whitman poetry on which the Symphony is based.
A truly monumental work, A Sea Symphony encompasses a vast range of emotion and musical experience, from the exultant full-chorus opening to the buoyant articulation of turbulent wind and waves, to the haunting nocturne and the lyrical, visionary finale. Inspired by the power and majesty of the ocean, Vaughan Williams presents the sea as a symbol of mankind's shared sense of life and purpose, and expresses ocean travel as a metaphor for the universal journey of self-discovery.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
David Hayes, Music Director and Conductor
David Hayes is a conductor with an unusually broad range of repertory, spanning the symphonic, oratorio/choral, and operatic genres. His role as music director of the New York Choral Society complements his existing roles as music director of The Philadelphia Singers; music director of the Mannes Orchestra; and staff conductor of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra.
For the past ten years, Maestro Hayes served as a member of the conducting staff of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also served as a cover conductor for the New York Philharmonic, as well as for Sir André Previn on the Curtis Symphony Orchestra's 1999 European tour with the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.
Recent guest conducting engagements have included leading Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore for Opera Memphis, Britten's The Rape of Lucretia, and the East Coast premiere performances of Tan Dun's Tea: A Mirror of Soul for the Opera Company of Philadelphia, as well as conducting the finals of the Fulbright Piano Competition with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra.
Past seasons have included concerts with such significant ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra 2001, Curtis Opera Theatre, European Center for Opera and Vocal Art, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Washington Chorus, Louisiana Philharmonic, Berkshire Choral Festival, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.
Trained as a violinist and violist, Maestro Hayes received his Bachelor of Music in musicology from the University of Hartford and a Diploma in Orchestral Conducting from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Otto-Werner Mueller. He also studied with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School. He served on the Board of Directors of Chorus America from 2000 to 2009.
Jennifer Forni, soprano
Praised for her "warm, gleaming lyric soprano" voice (Washington Post), Jennifer Forni is an American soprano on the rise. Ms. Forni made her Metropolitan Opera debut in February 2013 in the Met's new production of Wagner's Parsifal, which will be broadcast in HD in movie theaters around the world in March 2013.
Ms. Forni joined the New York City Opera in 2011. She recently appeared as Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen with the Springfield Regional Opera. The Springfield News-Leader said of that performance: "Forni drew sustained applause from the large opening night crowd with her vibrant, full-throated duet with Jose....The ovation that greeted her curtain call was rightly deserved." Other operatic engagements include appearances as a member of both the Portland Opera Studio and the prestigious Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, as well as the Opera Theater of St. Louis and the Maryland Opera Studio. Concert engagements include performances of Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Vaughan Williams's A Sea Symphony, and Richard Strauss' Four Last Songs.