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About the Event

The Grammy®-winning Phoenix Chorale, led by artistic director Christopher Gabbitas since 2019, is regarded as one of the finest choral ensembles of the western classical tradition in North America. All of the 28-voice ensemble’s members are professional singers who currently reside in Arizona. 

Founded in 1958 as the Bach & Madrigal Society of Phoenix and subsequently known as the Phoenix Bach Choir, the Phoenix Chorale became a fully professional choir in 1992. Phoenix Chorale’s digital audience continues to grow through radio broadcasts, performance videos, and streaming services like Spotify, where the chorale maintains a listenership of more than 35,000 fans each month. The chorale’s recordings have spent more than 20 weeks on the Billboard charts and have earned a total of 10 Grammy® nominations and 3 Grammy® wins.  

The chorale’s current mission is to nurture and amplify the strength and resonance of Arizona’s choral artistry. All professional artists who sing in the chorale live in the state, many of whom teach voice and direct music activities in Phoenix metro-area schools and community colleges and have studied in the state’s strong collegiate choral programs. Annually, the chorale’s video and audio recordings reach more than 1 million listeners around the world. The chorale is ensemble-in-residence at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Phoenix.  

Artistic Director

Christopher Gabbitas was appointed artistic director of Phoenix Chorale in May 2019. Starting as an 8-year-old boy chorister in England, Gabbitas has been singing ever since in various chapel, cathedral, and professional choirs, including three years as a choral scholar at St John’s College, Cambridge and a year as a lay clerk at Christ Church, Oxford, as well as directing choral ensembles throughout this time.  

His singing career culminated in 15 years spent with The King’s Singers, performing around 2,000 concerts across six continents and making more than 50 recordings, which were recognized with various awards, including two Grammys® as a singer/producer. In 2013, The King’s Singers were inducted into the inaugural Gramophone Hall of Fame. 

Along with becoming Phoenix Chorale’s artistic director, Gabbitas was appointed as artist professor at the University of Redlands in California. He maintains a busy teaching and performing schedule across the United States. 

PROGRAM 

Mozart: Requiem 

In a nutshell: Intrigue, intensity, and imagery combine in one of history’s most dramatic and beloved classical works alongside an Arizona “first look” at Christopher Tin’s elegy on our friends in the sky, The Lost Birds, nominated for a Grammy® in 2023.  

About Mozart Requiem  

Even if you think you don’t know this piece, you do! Film and TV directors have reached for the drama and pathos of this music time and again through the decades. For those of us who’ve been around longer, this was the starring music of the movie Amadeus. 

About The Lost Birds  

The Lost Birds is a musical memorial by Californian composer Christopher Tin to bird species driven to extinction by humankind. “Sweeping and elegiac, it’s a haunting tribute to those soaring flocks that once filled our skies, but whose songs have since been silenced. It’s a celebration of their feathered beauty: their symbolism as messengers of hope, peace, and renewal. But it’s also a warning about our own tenuous existence on the planet: that the fate that befell these once soaring flocks foreshadows our own extinction.” More info is available on the composer’s website. 

About the Pairing of the Works  

Artistic Director Christopher Gabbitas explains how these musical works reflect on the scale of loss: “The grandeur and intensity of the music by Mozart mourns the loss of a single human being, while the Tin reminds us of the scale of loss in nature on a vastly greater scale and asks us to question: how can we not mourn for entire species?” 

location

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts | Virginia G. Piper Theater
7380 E 2nd St
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

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