|Transient Glory: The Voices of Children|
- From founding YPC Board Member Holcomb Noble
- From WNYC's John Schaefer, Host of the Evening
- An excerpted review by Susan Brodie for the Classical Voice America Network
- Thank-you's from Francisco J. Núñez
- Blog All About It
- If You Missed Transient Glory®...
"How is it possible for the YPC to keep giving new concerts greater than the last? It's a kind of defiance of musical gravity. That happened again last Friday in Transient Glory - a celebration of 10 years of concerts at New York City's 92nd Street Y of the first music ever commissioned by serious classical composers for young people 19 and under with the exception of works for boy sopranos. (Why didn't they write for mixed choruses sooner? 'You never asked,' said one [composer].) This concert, including a musical prayer by the American maverick Michael Harrison, who combined Indian Ragas, rhythmic cycles and innovative harmonies, was one of the finest, most moving musical moments of my life, up there with the Boston Symphony's impromptu performance of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony on the day of John F. Kennedy's death."
"I have to say, Michael's piece really took me someplace. Beautiful performance. And what a fun evening that was - the audience was really into it and there was a terrific energy in the room! Congratulations and here's to the next ten years!"
I first encountered these wonderful young musicians on assignment a few years ago, and I've since enjoyed their contributions to events like the 2008 Bang on a Can All Stars Marathon and the 2010 Terry Riley In C anniversary concert in Carnegie Hall. The touchingly pure sound of young voices is irresistible to begin with; this ensemble's fearless performances of impressively difficult contemporary music is astonishing. So this isn't exactly an unbiased report.
The group's pride and joy is Transient Glory, a unique initiative for commissioning, performing, and publishing new music for youth choirs. John Schaefer, host of New Sounds, a local Public Radio show devoted to contemporary music, best expressed how unusual this project is: when Núñez first told him that he'd invited composers like Michael Torke and John Corigliano to write music for his chorus and how would he, John, like to host the first concert, Schaefer blurted, "You did WHAT??" Some composers at first hesitated, warning that they only wrote "difficult music." But Núñez and his singers conquered the challenges, at first with trepidation over the music's difficulty, and progressively with more confidence as the choristers learned to approach new music without fear. Ten years later, with close to 60 new works to their credit, YPC's accomplishments have earned respect in the musical establishment and, judging from the audience's whoops and cheers, an enthusiastic following. Schaefer's introductions created a relaxed ambiance and gave the diverse audience a wedge for approaching the varied and sophisticated program.
A big thank you to John Schaefer, our colleague and good will ambassador from WNYC, who hosted our very first Transient Glory® concert in 2001 and has continued to be our champion and historian year after year. Thank you to Michael Harrison for YPC's newest Transient Glory® composition Hijaz and to our fantastic guest artists, cellist Maya Beiser and percussionist Payton MacDonald. Our undying gratitude to the veteran Transient Glory® composers whose works were performed on the program and which YPC looks forward to performing again and again: John Corigliano, David Del Tredici, Paquito D'Rivera, Meredith Monk, and Michael Torke, the very first composer to accept a Transient Glory® commission.
Thank you also to the YPC choristers for their undying artistry, hard work, and commitment to the music; Jon Holden, YPC's longtime accompanist; YPC Executive Producer Nancy Bloom and conductors Elizabeth Núñez, Sophia Miller, and Amy Kotsonis, who worked so hard to help put this event together; NewMusicBox's Frank Oteri, who was kind enough to join our panel discussion and especially to Linda Golding, YPC's steadfast supporter, guardian angel, and as the former head of Boosey & Hawkes, the catalyst for the Transient Glory® series.
And thank you from the bottom of our hearts to YPC board member Felicia Lipson and her husband Robert for opening their home to a celebratory reception for YPC, the artists and composers following the concert.
Thank you to the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; and to the Aaron Copland Fund for Music, The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs for their support in making this concert possible.
You can visit the
to read more comments about the concert, including an
and comments from one
for whom the celebration brought back many fond memories of the past ten years.
If you weren't able to attend the May 6 concert, then mark your calendars for
Sunday, June 19
when YPC will have the honor of participating once again in Bang on a Can's annual
Bang on a Can Marathon
this year being held at the Winter Gardenwhere the choristers will reprise Michael Harrison's Hijaz and Michael Gordon's Exalted.
Transient Glory on CD
On January 8, 2007, the Young People's Chorus of New York City™ and its Artistic Director and Founder Francisco J. Núñez released their second recording of new works commissioned and premiered as part of the Transient Glory® concert series. Entitled Transient Glory® II, this recording on the Vital Records label comprises 11 compositions that were commissioned by or for the Young People's Chorus of New York City™ from Dominick Argento (Orpheus), Geoffrey Burgon (Shirtless Stephen and the Children's Crusade), David Del Tredici (Four Heartfelt Anthems), Kevin James (NYC Playground), Benjamin Lees (The Nervous Family), Tod Machover (I Dreamt a Dream), Michael Nyman (A Children's View of Colour), Jim Papoulis (Panta Rhei), Bright Sheng (Boatmen's Song), Nils Vigeland (Miracles), and Judith Weir (Little Tree)
Transient Glory® II CD
Works by Dominick Argento, Geoffrey Burgon, David Del Tredici, Tod Machover, Bright Sheng, Judith Weir, and Others are Included on this Vital Records CD
Read the full press release
"This recording represents the cutting edge of the 21st-century youth chorus, and the possibilities it embraces. Surely this is a standard for others to emulate.” Read more...
--American Guild of Organists' California Chronicle Review of the Transient Glory II CD, April 2009
"…But most impressively, they sounded better than most professional choruses, singing here—and elsewhere on the program—with impeccable intonation, exquisite blend of voicing and use of vibrato, excellent diction and precise rhythmic phrasing. Oh, and they sing everything from memory, allowing them to focus on the atmosphere of each work and their communication with the audience."
--New York Concert Review on the Transient Glory® VII concert, May 2008
“The Young People's Chorus of New York City has performed over 50 premieres since 2002 thanks to the commissioning efforts of its enterprising music director, Francisco J Nunez. This second self-produced sampler, Transient Glory® II, features some of the most prominent composers of our time, who clearly relish the unique challenges of writing for children's chorus while retaining their own stylistic fingerprints…The chorus exhibits an overall high level of accomplishment.”
--BBC Music Magazine on the Transient Glory® II CD, June 2008
Don’t let the fact that this is a young person’s chorus turn you off to this remarkable recital. As you can see in the heading, the composer list is quite formidable, and this album contains some incredible music that is rendered with love and highly competent execution. "
-- Audiophile on Transient Glory® II CD, April 2008
The Transient Glory® 10th Anniversary Concert is made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Additional support has been provided by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The ASCAP Foundation Irving Caesar Fund.