English-California choral concert plus jazz, Feb. 11

| January 26, 2023 | 0 Comments

CONDUCTOR and founder of The Golden Bridge, Suzi Digby.
Photo by Andreas Grieger

Choral works from the golden ages of composition of Tudor England and the European Renaissance will be reflected upon in new, contemporary California compositions, both being featured in a concert on Sat., Feb. 11, at 8 p.m., presented by The Golden Bridge, the professional singing consort based in Southern California.

Masterpieces from the English Reformation, some 500 years ago, will join modern commissions in the ensemble’s ninth season. The single performance will take place at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 504 N. Camden Dr., in Beverly Hills.

“We’ve really struck gold this year with five new commissions (Latin American and jazz vibes — and L.A.’s wunderkind, Samuel Siskind, aged 17! He’s L.A.’s Mozart),” Golden Bridge founder and artistic director, Suzi Digby, said in an email.

On Feb. 11, Digby, who is a visiting adjunct professor at USC, will conduct 20 professional vocalists from Los Angeles as they explore together the relationship between the two choral traditions.

This is an annual project that Digby produces as part of her duties as a professor of music at USC, where she teaches graduate choral studies, especially English choral literature, for about half a semester each year. At home in England, where she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) by the late Queen Elizabeth II in 2007, Digby is the founder and artistic director of ORA Singers. Learn more at orasingers.co.uk.

Grant Gershon, artistic director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and resident conductor of LA Opera, said recently of The Golden Bridge: “As a proud native Angeleno, I’m delighted by the legacy of great L.A. choral works created for the Golden Bridge series. Suzi Digby makes the musical connection between the glorious Tudor period and our own modern day choral renaissance vividly clear!”

SINGERS and conductor Suzi Digby perform at a prior year’s Golden Bridge concert at All Saints’ Beverly Hills.

At the Beverly Hills concert this year, there will be world premieres of four new works by Shelly Berg, Nick Strimple, Ernesto Herrera, and 17-year-old Siskind. The work by pianist Shelly Berg is unusual because it involves jazz and will be performed by him, Aaron Serfaty and Kevin Axt. Berg is the dean of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Before moving east, Berg was the McCoy / Sample Professor of Jazz Studies at the Thornton School of Music at USC.

Cristian Grases’ work “De Profundis,” which was commissioned by The Golden Bridge in 2019, also will be performed, along with contemporary vocal works by Morten Lauridsen, Toby Young and Renaissance pieces by Tallis and Byrd.

California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia will introduce the program. For tickets and more information, go to thegoldenbridge.org

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