Season Finale of Brevard Philharmonic - TribPapers
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Season Finale of Brevard Philharmonic

Norman Krieger is one of the most acclaimed pianists of his generation and is highly regarded as an artist of depth, sensitivity and virtuosic flair. Photo courtesy of Brevard Philharmonic.

Brevard – An exciting program highlighting over 40 voices of the Carolina Concert Choir, as well as an acclaimed piano soloist, Norman Krieger, will be the Brevard Philharmonic’s final concert on May 22nd. “With Voices Raised” will consist of a program of pieces by Fauré, Brahms, and Beethoven. It will be held at the Porter Center of Brevard College.

The concert will open with the full sound of the orchestra and the chorus, featuring soprano Kathryn Gresham, and baritone Michael Lancaster, in Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem. A serene Brahms lullaby follows, changing the mood, with the solo spotlight on Krieger at the piano. Johannes Brahms Intermezzo in E-flat Major, Op.117, No. 1 was inspired by two lines in an old Scottish ballad, Lady Anne Bothwell’s Lament: “Balow, my babe, lie still and sleep! It grieves me sore to see thee weep.” The piece so moved Clara Schumann, prompting her to claim, “I, at last, feel musical life stir once again in my soul.”

The Carolina Concert Choir is comprised of highly accomplished voices from this area. Photo courtesy of CCC.
The Carolina Concert Choir is comprised of highly accomplished voices from this area. Photo courtesy of CCC.

The Washington Post called Krieger, “…an artist of unusual sensitivity.” He is one of the most acclaimed pianists of his generation and is highly regarded as an artist of depth, sensitivity and virtuosic flair. He is professor of piano at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and has been on the faculty of the Brevard Music Center since 2008. Krieger regularly appears with the major orchestras of America, including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony. 

He is in demand as a performer worldwide having collaborated with many musical masters. He has played under the batons of Michael Tilson Thomas, and Zubin Mehta to name a few. 

The last piece of the afternoon brings back the full orchestra, with Krieger at the piano and the Carolina Concert Choir. Fantasia in C Minor, Op.80, for piano, chorus, and orchestra, also known as the “Choral Fantasy,” written by a 38-year-old Beethoven, as the concluding work for a benefit concert. “With Voices Raised” aims to leave the Brevard Philharmonic audience with a triumphant send-off. This concert is sponsored by Gypsy Richardson.

Tickets are on sale now for the 3 PM Sunday, May 22nd, concert. Go to https://ci.ovationtix.com/35448/production/1075520 to purchase or call (828) 884-4221 for more information. 

Carolina Concert Choir

The Carolina Concert Choir is comprised of highly capable voices of auditioned singers from Hendersonville, Asheville, Brevard and upstate South Carolina. Their repertoire is a varied mix from the classical choral and choral/symphonic literature as well as lighter fare, including many favorites at its annual holiday season concert. This year they will, again, participate in the annual three-day arts festival and fundraiser located at Marked Tree Vineyard to celebrate local music, dance, theater, fine art, artists, on June 10, 11, and 12, 2022. This Festival provides an opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine on the grounds of the Flat Rock vineyard while perusing fine arts and crafts from the Western North Carolina region.

Today, the Carolina Concert Choir is under the direction of Dr. Michael Lancaster, who is the baritone for the upcoming May 22nd program. Dr. Lancaster received his Doctor of Musical Arts (Choral Music) from the University of Southern California. He has extensive academic experience including serving as Director of Choral Activities at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC. In addition to his current duties Dr. Lancaster serves as Conductor of the Asheville Symphony Chorus and the Music Director at the First Presbyterian Church Choir of Highlands, NC.

The Carolina Concert Choir began in 1979 as the Carolina Chamber Singers, a madrigal group of 12 voices. The group was under the direction of Dr. Robert Barrow, the retired head of the Music Department at Williams College. From 1980 to 1996, the choir was directed by Beverly Ward, dean of the Western North Carolina chapter of the Guild of Organists. The group performed classical and contemporary pieces, some also composed by Ward. For the next six years the current Carolina Concert Choir was led by several guest conductors. In 2002, Bradford Gee was hired as Artistic Director/Conductor, who led the Choir until 2013. Under his aegis, the Choir performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009. In 2013, Professor Lawrence Doebler became the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Choir through June.

The last performance with him was at Carnegie Hall, where the Mozart Requiem was performed.

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