Los Angeles, CA (December 3, 2014) – Sixteen-year-old LA Phil Composer Fellow Oliver Kwapis will write a new work, commissioned by the National Children’s Chorus. This is the first time in the history of the LA Phil’s Composer Fellowship program, which began in 2007, that a currently enrolled Fellow received a commission from a professional performing arts organization.
Kwapis’ new work will be performed by the National Children’s Chorus on May 8, 2015 at The Broad Stage in Los Angeles; and on June 28, 2015, at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York.
The LA Phil’s two-year Composer Fellowship program gives young composers the opportunity to develop their craft through private and group composition lessons, seminars presented by LA Phil musicians, and mentor sessions with professionals in the field. In May 2013, during one of the final CFP gatherings of the year, members of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (LAMC) performed four of the Fellows’ new choral works, under the direction of Luke McEndarfer, Artistic Director of the National Children’s Chorus. The LAMC and McEndarfer were impressed with all four works, but felt that Kwapis’ work stood out as one written exquisitely for voice. Immediately following this session, McEndarfer inquired about the possibility of a commission.
Kwapis’ new work will be a part of the National Children’s Chorus groundbreaking 2014/15 season entitled “Taking Flight,” which celebrates the organization’s recent ascent to new levels of artistry, musical excellence, and cultural significance. Featuring the NCC’s debuts at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as performances at Oxford and in London while on tour in the United Kingdom, the season offers some of the most beautiful and timeless selections written for treble voices, paired with exciting world premieres.
Oliver Kwapis attends Oakwood School in North Hollywood. He has been studying composition with Dr. Richard Brunner and viola with Colleen Sugata for eight years, as well as music theory with Kathy Sawada at the Colburn School of Performing Arts. He has also attended summer sessions at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Oliver’s interest in music started at age four when he began to take music classes at Colburn. He went on to study the piano before deciding to focus on viola and composition. He participates in and has written music for the New Music Ensemble at Oakwood and the Oakwood High School Chorus. He also teaches music to elementary school students in The Community Youth Partnership, a program that offers free arts and science instruction to children in the community. Oliver’s compositional influences are diverse and range from Arvo Pärt to Ravel to John Adams. He has also drawn inspiration from his interest in architecture and film. He has been an avid concertgoer, attending numerous performances given by the LA Phil, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Los Angeles Opera, the Ojai Music Festival, and the Coachella Festival. Oliver enjoys playing and writing all types of music from jazz, rock, improvisatory to classical.
Kwapis, and the other Fellows, Sharon Hurvitz, Max Lesser and Andrew Moses, are in the final year of their two-year fellowship. They are currently composing works for the LA Phil that – in the spirit of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World,” – requires each of them to explore unfamiliar neighborhoods in the city of Los Angeles, and respond musically to the new environment. These works will be premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall as part of the LA Phil’s Symphonies for Schools program on April 23 & 24, 2015. (These performances are not open to the public.)
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (www.laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (www.hollywoodbowl.com). The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September through May, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs. The LA Phil’s Composer Fellowship Program is an innovative two-year program that gives passionate young composers the tools and the freedom to shape the future of music. Founded in 2007 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky, the Composer Fellowship Program (CFP) provides private and group composition lessons, seminars presented by LA Phil musicians, and encounters with professionals in the field, propelling Fellows to excellence. Graduates of CFP have gone on to study composition at the University of Southern California, Harvard, Yale, the New England Conservatory, University of California-Los Angeles, and many others. Students experience the creative process from start to finish with the help of accomplished composers. A unique program among American orchestras, CFP also provides these young composers with the remarkable opportunity to hear their works performed in concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Students are led through the creative process from start to finish, inspired by their mentors: Program Director, and recent recipient of the Charles Ives Living Award, James Matheson, and CFP Teaching Artist Sarah Gibson.
"Taking Flight" — Season 2014/15 — National Children’s Chorus
The National Children’s Chorus (NCC) proudly announces a groundbreaking Season 2014/15 entitled “Taking Flight,” celebrating the organization’s recent ascent to new levels of artistry, musical excellence, and cultural significance. Featuring the NCC’s debut at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, as well as performances at Oxford and in London while on tour in the United Kingdom, the programming will offer some of the most beautiful and timeless selections written for treble voices, paired with exciting world premieres. In December, the NCC will sing three concerts entitled “Seraphic Joy” in the cities of Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C., interpreting John Rutter’s "Dancing Day" and “Gloria," as well as music by Rachmaninov, Handel, and Bach. Thematically woven with the concepts of “angels," “ flying," and the overall feeling of “ascension," some of the works will be accompanied by the Cathedral’s majestic pipe organ, brass, and percussion, while others with harp. In March, the NCC’s most advanced vocalists will collaborate with Opera Parallèle from San Francisco, as the company presents "Dead Man Walking" at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica. The fully staged production accompanied with orchestra has been called "a masterpiece–a gripping, enormously skillful marriage of words and music to tell a story of love, suffering, and spiritual redemption” by the San Francisco Chronicle. In May and June, the NCC will perform in LA Opera’s presentation of Angel Heart, a live multi-media production, as well as sing a series of concerts in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C. entitled “American Legacy,” focusing on the works of great American composers past and present. “American Legacy" will culminate with the world and east coast premieres of a multi-movement work for treble voices, strings, and harp, written by celebrated composer Daniel Brewbaker. Additionally, the program will premiere a new piece by Oliver Kwapis, member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship Program, marking the first official commission for one of its most promising young artists. June will also see an important NCC collaboration with Yale University as its Institute for Liturgical Music presents the world premiere of “Mass of the Divine Shepherd” by Julian Revie at Carnegie Hall in New York. Finishing the season with an international tour to Great Britain at the beginning of July, the NCC’s combined Los Angeles and New York ensembles will sing varied selections from throughout the year, while exploring England’s rich history and culture.
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