Called “the world’s reigning male chorus” by the New Yorker, the San Francisco based GRAMMY® award-winning ensemble Chanticleer will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2018. Their world-wide tour includes a return to Kalamazoo on April 11, 7 pm, at Chenery Auditorium as part of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival’s 2016-17 season. The concert, titled My Secret Heart, features a world premiere by Jaakko Mantyjarvi, music by Whitacre, Palestrina, Guerrero, L’Heritier, de Monte, Glinka, Taneyev, Rachmaninoff, Augusta Read Thomas and others. John Musto, Evan Price, and Adam Ward contribute new arrangements of popular songs.
Two members of Chanticleer call West Michigan home and have strong ties to Kalamazoo. Tenor Andrew Van Allsberg is a native of Holland, Michigan and a graduate of Western Michigan University. Logan Shields, countertenor, is a native of Three Rivers, Michigan, has attended the Kalamazoo Bach Festival’s annual High School Choral Festival, and is a graduate of Grand Valley State University.
Praised by the New York Times for its “precise, pure, and deeply felt singing,” and by the Los Angeles Times for its “luxurious perfection,” the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer has developed a remarkable reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, and from gospel to venturesome new music. With its seamless blend of twelve male voices, ranging from countertenor to bass, the ensemble led by Music Director William Fred Scott, has earned international renown as “an orchestra of voices.”
Last in Kalamazoo in the autumn of 2012, Chanticleer makes a welcome return to Chenery Auditorium with a new program entitled “My Secret Heart”featuring a world premiere by Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, and a revival of “Love Songs” written for Chanticleer by multiple award-winning composer Augusta Read Thomas (recorded on the Grammy® awarding-winning album Colors of Love). These modern pieces take their place on a program which penetrates the hidden places of the heart in music ranging from Chanticleer’s signature Renaissance repertoire, works by Mikhail Glinka and Sergei Rachmaninov, and arrangements of works by George Gershwin, Freddy Mercury, Francis Poulenc, and Noël Coward.
Forty years ago a group of singers gathered together in California to perform early medieval and Renaissance music. The group included male voices only, in keeping with the practice for most churches in past centuries. The singers chose to name themselves “Chanticleer” after the “clear-singing” rooster in The Nun’s Priest’s Tale from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; the name derives from a combination of the French words chanter (“to sing”) and clair (“clear”). The group’s first international recognition came in 1984, when the ensemble was invited to perform at the International Josquin Symposium in Belgium. Today Chanticleer performs throughout the world, and at many noteworthy international festivals, including festivals in Austria, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, Belgium, and Italy.
Chanticleer’s recordings have received numerous awards. The ensemble’s recording of Sir John Tavener’s “Lamentations and Praises” won two Grammy-Awards for Best Classical Small Ensemble Performance (with or without a Conductor) and for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Also, “Colors of Love”, Chanticleer’s release devoted to contemporary choral works, won the Grammy-Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance (with or without a Conductor). Their recording titled “Magnificat” rose to the top five on Billboard’s Classical Music chart. Their recording, “By Request” is Chanticleer’s studio album featuring their most requested music.
Tickets for the April 11th concert are available through the Kalamazoo Bach Festival office, 269-337-7407 or visitwww.KalamazooBachFestival.org. Ticket prices are $29-$15 for adults, and $5 for students. Group rates are available.