skip to Main Content

For Release: November 13, 2012

Contact: Jen Rogers, Director of Marketing & Communications
480-204-0101 / jen@phoenixchorale.org

 PHOENIX CHORALE CELEBRATES LIFE 
OF FORMER CONDUCTOR 
ANDERS ÖHRWALL 
IN
GAUDETE! A CHORALE CHRISTMAS”

Concerts held across the Valley December 20-23
Featuring
 special guests, Paradise Winds

Anders Öhrwall

(Phoenix, AZ) – The Grammy-winning Phoenix Chorale celebrates the life of former Phoenix Chorale conductor Anders Öhrwall, who passed away earlier this year, in holiday concerts titled “Gaudete! A Chorale Christmas” held December 20-23, 2012. The 5-concert series, under the direction of Artistic Director Charles Bruffy, will feature special guests Paradise Winds along with four unique arrangements of the 16th Century carol Gaudete (meaning “rejoice”), including Öhrwall’s arrangement for choir, flute, oboe, and bassoon. Öhrwall’s Gaudete is a ten-song choral suite that brings life to a 400-year old text from Sweden’s oldest songbook, and was originally arranged for the Swedish Radio Youth Choir.

Gaudete! A Chorale Christmas” includes familiar holiday favorites including Angels We Have Heard on High, Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming and Hark! The Herald Angels [Sing]. The concerts also feature the Wexford Carol (arranged by Dale Warland for the Dale Warland Singers), sing-alongs, and additional arrangements of Gaudete including versions by Steven Sametz, Robert Boyd, and an arrangement by Phoenix Chorale soprano Kira Rugen.

About Anders Öhrwall – An acclaimed composer, arranger and conductor, Anders Öhrwall was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1932. Known as one of Sweden’s leading figures in vocal and church music and a renowned Bach scholar, Öhrwall was a church musician at Adolf Fredrik Church from 1962-1999 where he later founded the Stockholm Bach Choir (which later became the inspiration behind the Phoenix Chorale’s previous name, the Phoenix Bach Choir). For three years Öhrwall also acted as musical director of the Swedish Radio Choir and Swedish Radio Youth Choir, and from 1990 to 1992 he was conductor of the Phoenix Chorale (as the Phoenix Bach Choir).

During his time with the Chorale, Öhrwall gained a reputation as a man of “humility” that was “humble in his own way,” recalls Joy Lubeck, former Executive Director and singer of the Phoenix Bach Choir. Reflecting on the search for a new conductor, Lubeck remembers how the interview panel struggled to be “blind listeners” when one candidate “kept standing out.” Öhrwall displayed a unique sense of musicality that left the panel in awe.

“We were blown away by this renowned ‘Bach guy’ that wanted to come to the desert,” said Lubeck, “…as a conductor, Öhrwall made Bach fun… he was all about the lightness of the notes.” She recalled, “… [he would say] think of the notes as little snowflakes or cotton balls.”

In October 1990, Ken LaFave wrote in The Phoenix Gazette: “The new, smaller Phoenix Bach Choir is 30 impeccably blended voices strong. The unified sound Öhrwall has wrested from the choir is delightfully clear, extremely well-controlled, perfectly balanced… Both conductor and choir seem to know what they desire; namely, a professional standard of musical excellence. They’ve made a good beginning.”

When Öhrwall first came on board, Lubeck “…didn’t think we could grow our audience base with such a focus on Baroque music. I was so wrong.” It was under Öhrwall’s artistic direction that the Phoenix Chorale first gained international attention. He’d signed a three year contract which was cut short after two years when he accepted a new position at the University of Helsinki in Finland.

Interviews and press tickets can be arranged by contacting
Jen Rogers at 480-204-0101 or jen@phoenixchorale.org.

 ————————————————–

HOW TO BUY TICKETS – Subscriptions are still available. Tickets can be purchased through the Phoenix Chorale’s website at phoenixchorale.org or by calling 602-253-2224.

25 & UNDER RUSH TICKETS – Starting 15 minutes before concert time, anyone 25 years and younger (with ID) can purchase Rush Tickets for just $5. Rush Tickets are subject to availability, cannot be reserved in advance, and are not guaranteed.

————————————————–

Gaudete! A Chorale Christmas”
PHOENIX CHORALE

December 20, 2012 – Thursday at 7:30 pm
December 21, 2012 – Friday at 7:30 pm
Brophy Chapel (4701 N. Central Ave., Phoenix 85012)

December 22, 2012 – Saturday at 2:00 pm
American Lutheran Church (17200 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City 85373)

December 22, 2012 – Saturday at 7:30 pm
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (100 W. Roosevelt St., Phoenix 85003)
* KBAQ 89.5 FM Talks at Trinity starts at 6:30 pm

December 23, 2012 – Sunday at 3:00 pm
Christ Church of the Ascension (4015 East Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley 85253)

Tickets: $30 General Admission; $14 Students
Seniors & Military receive $5 off General Admission
All tickets are an additional $5 at the door

# # # #

About Artistic Director Charles Bruffy: One of the most admired choral conductors in the United States, the GRAMMY® Award-winning conductor Charles Bruffy began his career as a tenor soloist, performing with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in recordings and in concerts both in France and at Carnegie Hall in New York. Shaw encouraged his development as a conductor and in 1996 he was invited by American Public Media’s ‘Performance Today’ to help celebrate Shaw’s eightieth birthday with an on-air tribute. In 1999, The New York Times named him as the late, great conductor’s potential heir. He has been Artistic Director of the Kansas City Chorale since 1988, the Phoenix Chorale since 1999, and of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus since 2008. He conducts workshops and clinics across the US; is a member of the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde; and served on the Board of Chorus America for seven years. Respected and renowned for his fresh and passionate interpretations of standards of the choral repertoire and for championing new music, Charles Bruffy has commissioned and premiered works by composers such as Jean Belmont, Ola Gjeilo, Matthew Harris, Libby Larsen, Zhou Long, Stephen Paulus, Stephen Sametz, Steven Stucky, Eric Whitacre, and Chen Yi. Under his supervision, the Roger Dean Company, a division of the Lorenz Corporation, publishes a choral series specializing in music for professional ensembles and sophisticated high school and college choirs. His eclectic discography includes seven recordings for Chandos Records.

About Paradise Winds: The Paradise Winds are a rotating chamber ensemble of highly trained wind virtuosi programming entertaining concert music intended to connect with all audiences. Most members of the Paradise Winds started performing together in 2005 at Arizona State University while pursuing master’s and doctoral studies in woodwind performance. Since that time, they have appeared in a variety of concerts at ASU and abroad, on American Public Media’s Performance Today, and with surrounding area ensembles including Arizona Opera, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Arizona, The Phoenix Symphony and many more. As chamber musicians, members of the Paradise Winds have assisted on numerous recitals at the ASU School of Music and have appeared with the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, Fountain Hills Chamber Players, Scottsdale Baroque Orchestra, and the Mill Avenue Chamber Players as well as on the Downtown Chamber Series (Phoenix), Second Sunday Concert Series (Paradise Valley), King of Glory Concert Series (Tempe), St. Phillip’s in the Hills Concert Series (Tucson), Performances at the Museum (Tempe History Museum) and with the Classical Revolution PHX. In addition to performing, artists of the Paradise Winds are faculty at various schools in the Maricopa Community Colleges and ASU, and maintain private teaching studios. For more information about Paradise Winds, visit paradisewinds.com.

About the Phoenix Chorale: The Phoenix Chorale is regarded as one of the finest professional choral ensembles in North America. What began in 1958 as a small study group of singers became a fully professional choir in 1992 made up of Arizona residents: highly educated and trained singers, teachers and professionals. In 2004, the Phoenix Chorale became the first North American choir to record for the U.K.’s prestigious Chandos Records and since then, the Chorale’s recordings have earned a total of eight GRAMMY® nominations and two GRAMMY® wins. The Phoenix Chorale aims to be the preeminent model for American choral music by redefining standards of excellence and its mission is to enrich life through excellence and distinction in choral artistry. All Phoenix Chorale recordings can be found at www.PhoenixChorale.org.