9–12 September 2011
In Memoriam 9/11
Avery Fisher Hall, New York
Karl Jenkins: The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace
Karl Jenkins: For the Fallen
Samuel Barber: Adagio
René Clausen: Memorial
You can read a review of this concert here (opens in a new window).
This really was the opportunity of a lifetime—the chance to sing in New York’s prestigious Avery Fisher Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic, on the actual tenth anniversary of 9/11. Three hundred and twenty TRBC singers made the trip (quite an emotional pilgrimage for some), and performed The Armed Man : A Mass for Peace conducted by the work’s composer Karl Jenkins, and first sung by us at the Royal Albert Hall in July 2008 and again, most movingly, in Croatia (Dubrovnik) in March 2009. This was an apt work for the occasion with its themes of peace, reconciliation and the tragic effects of war on humanity, regardless of race, colour or creed, and a fitting tribute to the 2,753 people who lost their lives in the destruction of the Twin Towers. We also gave the US première of For the Fallen, written by Karl in memory of his uncle who was killed in action during World War II.
The event was promoted by Distinguished Concerts International New York (opens in a new window), whose Artistic Director Jonathan Griffith was our chorus master. The mezzo-soprano soloist was Charlotte Daw Paulsen. A surprise guest-appearance by Jessye Norman, who read a moving message from the Mayor of New York at the start of the concert, provided a poignant moment in a weekend of heightened emotions. We shared the concert with the American choirs constituting the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, which performed René Clausen’s work Memorial, and the choral works were accompanied by the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra International which also played the Adagio by Samuel Barber.
After the concert we all gathered for a reception at Rosie O’Grady’s, a traditional New York steak and seafood house, before settling down to be tourists in The Big Apple for a short while.