Beyond the Binary
The robots are coming!
A world premiere commission, Beyond the Binary is a major new choral cantata by composer Andrea Clearfield with libretto by Ellen Frankel, plus newly designed percussion and electronic instruments by David Kontak. In an innovative partnership, audience members will have opportunities to interact with robotic sculptures and wearables both on-stage and placed throughout the venue. These custom-fabricated prototypes are being designed and built by students of the world-famous University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab and the Weitzman School of Design.
This performance, conducted by MCP’s artistic director Dominick DiOrio, features Philadelphia-based percussion-driven ensemble Square Peg Round Hole and drag performer Cookie Diorio as “The Oracle” alongside the 120-voice Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia. The concert will also include additional music by Carlos Cordero, Moira Smiley, and Moses Hogan.
Sunday, May 15, 2022 The Fillmore - Philadelphia
sunday, june 12 2022
Cordus & Friends
Cordus Mundi & Friends - Marie Tavianini
Cordus Mundi's traditional season-closing concert with our soprano & alto Friends takes on a different look & feel this season with the introduction of four ‘home-grown” guest conductors. Featuring my The Red-Gold Darkness of Rain. More information.
Dominick DiOrio is a conductor and composer who has won widespread acclaim for his contributions to American music. He has been recognized with The American Prizes in both Choral Composition (2014) and Choral Performance (2019, with NOTUS). In July 2020, he became the 14th Artistic Director & Conductor of the Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia.
DiOrio has conducted ensembles around the world, from the Houston Chamber Choir and Choral Arts Initiative in the USA to Allmänna Sången and Ars Veritas abroad. A strong advocate for new music, he has collaborated with Paquito D’Rivera, Melissa Dunphy, Tawnie Olson, Caroline Shaw, Moira Smiley, Christopher Theofanidis, and the late Swedish composer Sven-David Sandström. Committed to diversity, inclusion, and representation in artistic programming, DiOrio proudly programs works that reflect the diversity of our world.
As a composer, DiOrio has been hailed for a keenly intelligent, evocative style, which shows “a tour de force of inventive thinking and unique colour” (Gramophone). His over 50 published works have appeared at major venues around the world including the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. He writes music for singers and players of all ages and experiences, and his recent commissioning partners include the Children’s Chorus of Washington, the Worcester Youth Orchestras, The Choral Arts Society of Washington, and “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band.
Since 2012, he has been a member of the choral conducting faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he leads the select, new music chamber chorus NOTUS, one of only 24 choirs in the world selected by competitive audition to perform at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand, before it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
DiOrio currently serves as president of the National Collegiate Choral Organization. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting from the Yale School of Music, as well as the MMA and MM in conducting from Yale and the BM in composition summa cum laude from Ithaca College.
Today, Dominick is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to learn how his love for cooking influences his creative process, and how his latest release stands out from his other repertoire…
An emotional and collaborative tour de force, Dominick DiOrio’s FETTER & AIR presents the Mendelssohn Chorus of Philadelphia’s own words set to a haunting soundscape that explores each member’s innermost hopes, fears, dreams, and desires. The massive undertaking is a skillful combination of 562 audio files comprising spoken word and singing by 61 chorus members, combined into a single piece by DiOrio and sound designer Justin “JG” Geller. The personal thoughts and interweaving arrangements create a raw expressiveness and intimacy, ultimately rendering a reminder of how our own stories echo within us.
Release date: January 28, 2022. Learn more and listen here.
Released today, August 6, 2020: the world premiere recording and virtual release of Wire You Here by singer, composer, song-collector, and IU alumnus Moira Smiley. Recorded individually during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the work focuses on the spoken words of thirteen Indiana University students as they create art and share their anxieties and hopes in a time of disconnection and upheaval. Featuring NOTUS and produced by Moira Smiley, IU Jacobs School faculty members Dominick DiOrio and D. James Tagg, and video designer Samantha Dowd. Watch the video.
On April 1, 2020, Mendelssohn Club Chorus of Philadelphia (MCC) -- one of the most historic choral organizations in the country, now in its 146th season -- announced my appointment at their 14th Artistic Director & Conductor, effective July 1. Read the full press release or visit their website to learn more. In the press release, I describe the new partnership as based on mutual values which are “grounded in an artistic vision that is aspirational, adventurous, and collaborative. ... Together, we will start a new chapter in our collective journey, one in which the music we sing is sung not only because of its greatness or beauty, but also because of its potential to touch our listeners’ hearts, to comment on our collective stories, and to reach out to those in isolation, welcoming them into a greater song of hope, a wider circle of belonging.”
"The President's Own" United States Marine Band (Col. Jason Fettig, director) has released their latest album, "Anthems," which features the world premiere recording of Silent Moves the Symphony True, commissioned and premiered jointly by the USMB and the Choral Arts Society of Washington (Scott Tucker, artistic director). Listen to the recording or read the liner notes for this freely distributed educational recording.