Saluting the influence of French composer Nadia Boulanger on some of the most important composers in American history, the San Francisco Girls Chorus and Artistic Director Valerie Sainte-Agathe will showcase works by Nadia and the music of Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Samuel Barber, Virgil Thompson, David Conte and Louise Talma. Also featured is a selection of works by her sister, Lili Boulanger, in honor of the centennial anniversary of her tragic death. Lyric tenor Nicholas Phan makes his SFGC debut performing songs by Nadia and Lili Boulanger, Copland and Bernstein.
A highly sought-after pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger encouraged her proteges to harness their individuality and to each develop their own unique compositional style. The evening's program provides a rich tapestry of diverse voices heard in American masterworks throughout the 20th century and beyond. Featured works by former Boulanger students include Aaron Copland's An Immorality; Samuel Barber's The Virgin Martyrs and A Nun Takes the Veil; Leonard Bernstein's I Hate Music!; Virgil Thomson Seven Choruses from the Medea of Euripides; and Louise Talma's Three Madrigals.
Lauded by Opera News as "one of the most beautiful young lyric voices around," Nicholas Phan makes his SFGC debut with excerpts from Lili Boulanger's Clairieres dans le ciel. Work for this two part song cycle began in 1913, the same year that Lili became the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome, and was completed in 1918 two years before her death. In a recent performance of this work, San Francisco Classical Voice stated: "...it was Phan's interpretive authority and finesse that gave the evening its shaded colors, nuance and overall dramatic presence. Again and again he delivered a sense of present-tense musical meaning to the lines." Phan will also perform excerpts from Nadia Boulanger's Les Heures Claires and Cantique, selections from Copland's Old American Songs and Simple Song from Bernstein's Mass.