The Museum of Russian Art is honored to present, as a part of the TMORA Classical Series,
Celebrate the Season – Magnum Chorum in Concert
O Light Divine! Magnum Chorum illuminates the miracle of Christmas in a stunning program exploring iconic music of Russia, Sweden and the Baltic region. You’ll savor Kopylov’s Heavenly Light, a soaring Hymn to the Lord and Hymn to the Virgin by Alexander Levine, Chesnokov’s Gabriel Appeared, music by Gretchaninoff, and excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil. You’ll hear an electrifying Ave Maris Stella by Polish composer Lukazewski, the luminous music of Esenvalds and Part, and a tranquil prayer of Mother Teresa. Music from Sweden and cameos by Tavener and Whitbourn deliver a radiant and robust celebration of the season.
ABOUT THE CONDUCTOR
Brian A. Schmidt is Associate Professor of Choral Music at Baylor University and conductor of the Baylor A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers. He also teaches the graduate choral conducting and literature courses and guides graduate conducting recitals. Schmidt is founder and Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional choir based in Sioux Falls, SD and has grown the ensemble’s artistic presence through commercial recordings and an international recording contract in 2014 with PENTATONE, a Dutch classical label.
Previously Schmidt served at Duke University Chapel where he conducted the Duke Vespers Ensemble and founded several new ventures including the monthly Bach Cantata Series and Cappella Baroque (a professional period-instrument orchestra) along with publishing recordings on the MSR Classics label.
He is a frequent guest conductor and his choirs have appeared on Division and National ACDA Conferences and Boston Early Music Festival. He was selected by ACDA to represent America in the International Conductor Exchange Program with Sweden, resulting in study and guest conducting opportunities in Sweden during the fall of 2015.
Schmidt graduated from the University of North Texas, where he completed MM and DMA degrees under Jerry McCoy and Richard Sparks, along with early music studies under Lyle Nordstrom and Lenora McCroskey.
ABOUT MAGNUM CHORUM
Recognized for expressive singing and inspired programs, Magnum Chorum brings artistry and spirit to a cappella choral music. The 60+ voice choir presents colorful concerts, commissions and premieres new sacred works, and provides music for worship. Founded in the choral tradition of St. Olaf College, the choir welcomes singers of all backgrounds devoted to musical excellence in sacred choral music. Now offering its 27th season, Magnum Chorum also serves as Choir in Residence at Westwood Lutheran Church, St. Louis Park, MN. This season, the choir is led by four outstanding guest conductors, including Brian Schmidt, who is conducting the concert at The Museum of Russian Art
Magnum Chorum has been led by prominent Artistic Directors including Mark Stover, Christopher Aspaas, David Dickau and Founding Director Jin Kim. The choir has performed with distinguished guest conductors including Dr. Anton Armstrong, Kenneth Jennings, Craig Arnold, Allen Hightower, Dale Warland, Weston Noble, and René Clausen; performed with Philip Brunelle, Craig Hella Johnson, and Osmo Vänskä; and collaborated with celebrated composers such as Stephen Paulus, Frank Ferko, Libby Larsen, Kenneth Jennings, Ralph Johnson and composers-in-residence Stanford Scriven, Benjamin Simmons, Scott Senko, Zach Westermeyer, and Paul Rudoi.
The ensemble has been featured at regional and national conferences of the American Choral Director’s Association, Chorus America, American Guild of Organists, American Hymn Society and College Music Society. The choir’s recordings are broadcast in the U.S. and Canada on public radio and classical music stations. The name, Magnum Chorum, is intended to convey the importance of the choir in expressing the divine and the infinite through voice, music, and text.