The Jacksonville Symphony Chorus will herald in the spring with a concert Sunday, Feb. 18 featuring works by Antonín Dvořák and Franz Joseph Haydn.
Hailed by the Washington Post for his “dazzling expertise” on the podium, Donald McCullough is considered one of America’s pre-eminent choral conductors. He became the director of the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus in 2012, and in November 2014, he led the chorus on its first appearance in Carnegie Hall. Previously, he directed the Master Chorale of Washington in the John F. Kennedy Center Concert Hall for more than a decade, developing a reputation for creating choruses that sang “with an innate sense of lyricism and musical poise,” (Washington Post).
One highlight of the concert will be a performance of Dvořák’s “Te Deum.” Upon being appointed the director of the National Conservatory in New York in 1891, Dvořák was commissioned to write a cantata celebrating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus and Dvořák’s arrival in New York. He was promised a text to base the work, but when he didn’t receive one, Dvořák took the initiative and chose the text of the Latin hymn, “Te Deum Laudamus.”
In addition, the concert will also feature a performance of Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Mass in D Minor,” the Lord Nelson Mass. The work was finished in 1798, and by the time of its premiere, Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy, Hayden’s employer, had dismissed nearly all the wind players in his orchestra due to economic reasons. This resulted in a very distinct sound.
The Jacksonville Symphony Chorus will perform its spring concert Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. in Jacoby Symphony Hall at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts in Jacksonville. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the ticket office at (904) 354-5547 or visit JaxSymphony.org