August 22, 2016

Mostly Mozart Festival features two Bienen faculty members in ‘Seven Reponses’

The Crossing at Mostly Mozart FestivalDonald Nally, John W. Beattie Chair of Music, led his professional chamber choir The Crossing, along with the International Contemporary Ensemble and Quicksilver, in a performance of Seven Responses on August 21 as part of the Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival.

Seven of the world's foremost composers were commissioned for the Seven Responses project, including the Bienen School’s Hans Thomalla, associate professor of composition and director of the Institute for New Music. Thomalla’s piece I come near you was co-commissioned by The Crossing, the Ann Stookey Fund for New Music, and Joe Waz.

Originated by Donald Nally and the late Jeff Dinsmore, co-founders of The Crossing, Seven Responses is a collection of fifteen-minute musical responses to Dieterich Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri, an iconic sacred work that meditates on the body of the crucified Jesus. Each response focuses on the anatomical part— feet, hands, side, etc.—addressed in the corresponding Membra Jesu nostri cantata. The composers were invited to collaborate with an author of their choice, or to create their own librettos. Thomalla wrote his own libretto for his piece, which responds to part four, Ad latus (“To the sides”).

Seven Responses premiered at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral during a two-night event June 24-25, 2016. The full work was presented at the Mostly Mozart Festival in a two-part concert on August 21.

The Philadelphia Inquirer called The Crossing’s Lincoln Center performance “a triumph.”