Twice Grammy Award-nominated vocal group Seraphic Fire and the string ensemble Spektral Quartet collaborate in a Good Friday performance of Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ,” a Lenten work offering choral/instrumental treatments to each of the seven last utterances of Jesus on the cross, in a Lawrence University Artist Series concert April 18 in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.
Tickets, at $22-24 for adults, $20-22 for seniors and $17-19 for students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.
One of America’s leading vocal ensembles, Miami’s Seraphic Fire is best known for repertoire ranging from Gregorian chant to newly commissioned works and has produced a discography that includes 10 recordings.
“Quigley has a strong background in Renaissance and Baroque music, but he’s not a ‘museum curator,’” said Stephen Sieck, Lawrence assistant professor of music and co-director of choral studies. “He creates singularly vibrant performances and often finds masterworks that had gone under the radar for centuries.”
In 2012, Seraphic Fire received Grammy Award nominations for Best Choral Performance for its rendition of Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem,” which debuted at no. 7 on Billboard Magazine’s Classical Charts, and Best Small Ensemble Performance for “A Seraphic Fire Christmas,” which NPR hailed as “just fabulous” in a review. Seraphic Fire was the only choir in North or South America to be nominated for a Grammy Award in 2012. It also was also the sole classical ensemble to be nominated for two separate projects.
The Chicago-based Spektral Quartet has been praised for “leading the charge toward progressive, high-caliber contemporary classical music” by The Chicago Reader. The group’s performances focus on eliminating the divide between classical masterworks and present-day compositions, staging intimate concerts with carefully curated set lists emphasizing the “conversational” potential contemporary and classical pairings.
The quartet holds an artist-in-residency at the University of Chicago and often undertakes unique musical projects. For its “Mobile Miniatures” initiative, the quartet commissioned 40 composers to write ringtone-length pieces of music for use on mobile devices.
“If ever there was a combination of ensembles that could provide the very highest of musical refinement and offer it in a new and impactful way, this is that,” said Sieck.
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2014 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.