As a part of the celebration of their fiftieth-anniversary season, the Cincinnati Boychoir has commissioned a twenty-minute choral-orchestral work that will receive its first performance on March 6, 2015—the anniversary of the Boychoir’s first rehearsal in 1965. The composer of the work is Dominick DiOrio, an emerging composer and conductor who recently joined the choral conducting faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
The six-movement work is entitled A Horizon Symphony and is comprised of poetry by Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane, and an anonymous poet from the twelfth century; scored for male voices, including male trebles, altos, tenors, and basses, the work also calls for a full chamber orchestra with several percussionists, harps, brass, and strings.
The work was conceived in part as a companion piece to Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms; Bernstein’s work, which also turns 50 in 2015, was written for the choir of men and boys at Chichester Cathedral in Sussex, England. It uses dramatic material (including some discarded themes from West Side Story) to relate Psalms 23, 100, and 108 in their Hebrew versions.
A Horizon Symphony will call upon the same choral and orchestral forces as Bernstein’s piece. Of the project, Boychoir Artistic Director Christopher Eanes said, “while performing the Chichester Psalms will allow us to look back exactly fifty years into our past, DiOrio’s work will allow us to look forward to what is next; the texts are about adventure, about always seeking something more, something better, something more meaningful in our lives.”
“I could not be more excited for this joyous collaboration,” said DiOrio. “The Cincinnati Boychoir is a first-rate musical organization, made up of some of the brightest young vocal artists in our country. A Horizon Symphony will make full use of their talents and their voices, woven beautifully together with the sounds and colors of the orchestra. I am exceedingly grateful to Christopher Eanes and the entire Boychoir family for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Called “a forward-thinking young composer filled with new ideas, ready to tackle anything,” Dominick DiOrio was recently named Best Composer 2011 by HoustonPress for Klytemnestra, his first opera with Divergence Vocal Theater. His second opera, The Little Blue One, was premiered in April 2014 in Boston with Juventas New Music Ensemble and was called a “gripping drama” and was said to “defy the widespread notion that contemporary classical music is inaccessible” (Boston Examiner).
DiOrio has been awarded prizes in composition from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and the American Choral Directors Association; as well as from Boston Metro Opera, the Yale Glee Club, the Young New Yorker’s Chorus and the Cantate Chamber Singers. His work is published with Alliance, Boosey & Hawkes, Éditions à Couer-Joie, Edition Peters, G. Schirmer, Lorenz, Mark Foster, Oxford and Santa Barbara. Since 2012, DiOrio has been assistant professor of choral conducting at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he directs NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, an auditioned chorus specializing in music of the last fifty years.
A Horizon Symphony
by Dominick DiOrio
Christopher Eanes, Artistic Director
March 6, 2015 | 8:00 pm
March 8, 2015 | 3:00 pm