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Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Brooklyn, NY         

The recent achievements of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus run the gamut from its 2005 Grammy® award for a recording of John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls; to its annual performances with world renowned orchestras (New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony); to collaborations with a range musical artists across a broad musical spectrum (from Kronos Quartet to Barbra Streisand). In March 2014, the New York Times called the Chorus “a consistently bold organization that regularly commissions works from composers representing an unusually broad stylistic range.” BYC’s strong focus on contemporary music encompasses extensive collaborations both with America’s foremost composers, and with a range of rising and established artists.

BYC’s Black Mountain Songs, curated by Bryce Dessner, premiered on the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in November 2014, and received a rave review in The New York Times. The work toured to London’s Barbican Centre in May 2015 and travels to Eindhoven, Netherlands in May 2016. During 2015-16, BYC also developed and premiered Aging Magician, a new music-theatre work developed in partnership with Beth Morrison Projects and Paola Prestini, composed by Paola Prestini with libretto by Rinde Eckert and design and direction by Julian Crouch. The world premiere was at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in March 2016.

Since 2001, BYC has commissioned over 50 works for young voices from composers such as Pulitzer Prizewinners David Lang and Paul Moravec, as well as Julia Wolfe, Missy Mazzoli, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Nico Muhly and many others. Since 2011, BYC has created three evening-length new music projects: Tell the Way by Nico Muhly and friends in 2011; Brooklyn Village with the Brooklyn Philharmonic featuring new work by David T. Little, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and Matt Mehlan in 2012; and an evening with the Kronos Quartet in 2013.

BYC performs and records the work of prominent living composers. In recent years, BYC has premiered and recorded new works by Philip Glass (most recently performing his Another Look At Harmony at the Park Avenue Armory as part of his 75th birthday celebration in 2011); Phil Kline (Really Real with Wally Cardona Quartet at BAM’s Next Wave Festival in 2009); John Adams (On the Transmigration of Souls, El Niño); and John King (Kosmos at Roulette Theatre in December 2012).

BYC regularly performs work by emerging composers in new music concerts and festivals. In the past three years, BYC performed works by Bryce Dessner, Shara Worden, Missy Mazzoli, and Nico Muhly at three subsequent Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festivals at BAM; sang in Paola Prestini’s Aging Magician on the PROTOTYPE Festival at Here Arts Center; appeared on the opening concert of the 2013 Ecstatic Music Festival; and performed BYC-commissioned works by Shara Worden and Nico Muhly on the June 2013 Bang On A Can Marathon.

Black Mountain Songs: An Interdisciplinary Concert

This 23-minute video includes both extensive performance footage and interviews with creator and co-curator Bryce Dessner, co-curator Richard Reed Parry, Brooklyn Youth Chorus Artistic Director Dianne Berkun Menaker, composer Caroline Shaw, dancer Gus Solomons jr, composer John King, and others. Recorded live in concert at BAM, Nov 20-23, 2014.
5:35-6:25: Black Mountain Song by Bryce Dessner.
8:10-9:15: Maximus to Gloucester by Bryce Dessner.
18:40-21:37: Their Passing in Time by Richard Reed Parry.

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Black Mountain Songs/Its Motion Keeps by Caroline Shaw

Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs an excerpt from Caroline Shaw’s “Its Motion Keeps” from the groundbreaking production, “Black Mountain Songs.” This performance was recorded at Water Music Recording Studios on January 17, 2015.

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Black Mountain Songs/Bubbles by Aleksandra Vrebalov

Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs “Bubbles” by Aleksandra Vrebalov from the groundbreaking production, “Black Mountain Songs.” This performance was recorded at Water Music Recording Studios on January 17, 2015.

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