Valley Performing Arts Center

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Spring Concert

Saturday, May 12, 2018



Saturday, May 12, 2018


7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Los Angeles Children’s Chorus Spring Concert


Pasadena Presbyterian Church
585 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA


Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC), renowned for its exquisite bel canto sound, presents a sweeping program for its Spring Concert, entitled “And This Shall Be For Beauty,” led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson and featuring two world premieres – Laughing Song by noted Icelandic composer Daniel Bjarnason and I am I am I am by rising Norwegian composer Therese Ulvo – and a musical celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial on Saturday, May 12, 7 pm, and Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, 2018, 7 pm, at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. Additionally, the Chorus performs works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Grieg, Fauré, Hilary Tann, Gwenyth Walker and Ola Gjeilo, among others. The concert also bridges LACC’s distinguished artistic lineage, heralding Tomlinson, who is stepping down in July after serving the chorus for 22 years, with musical tributes from LACC’s Founding Artistic Director Rebecca Thompson, Tomlinson’s predecessor, and Artistic Director Designee Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, who assumes leadership of the chorus in August. LACC commissioned the works by Bjarnason and Ulvo in honor of Tomlinson’s final season and is presenting them on its Nordic tour to Reykjavík, Oslo and Bergen this summer as well.

Bjarnason’s choral work is set to the poem Laughing Song, a celebration of merriment, from William Blake's poetry collection “Songs of Innocence and Experience.” Hailed for his innovative, colorful and mystical works, Bjarnason comes “eerily close to defining classical music’s undefinable brave new world” (Time Out New York). The conductor/curator/composer is currently Composer-in-Residence at the Muziekgebouw Frits Philips Eindhoven and former Artist-in-Residence with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. His latest orchestral work, Violin Concerto, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Iceland Symphony Orchestra, was premiered at the Hollywood Bowl with Gustavo Dudamel last summer.

Ulvo’s piece is set to four poems from children's writer Ruth Lillegraven's I am I am I am ("Wild of Spring," "My Heart," "Rest Now, Heart," "My Cradle"). Her musical influences include Norwegian traditional music with its rich repertoire of micro-tonal and rhapsodic passages, open forms and performer-based compositions, as well as other art fields, such as film, text and sound. She has written music at the intersection of the acoustic and electronic for a wide range of ensembles. As member of the fiddle/electronic duo Ensemble Epoch, which performs primarily in open-air venues and clubs, Ulvo also experiments with the space surrounding the listening experience. She studied composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Among other works, LACC also performs The Moor by Welsh-born composer Hilary Tann, praised for her “beautiful, lyrical work” (Classical Music Web); Gwenyth Walker’s I thank you God; Fauré’s Au bord du l’eau; Grieg’s Varen and Lok; Suite de Lorca by noted Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara; Ruth Watson Henderson’s Come Ye Makes of Song; L’dor vador, an ancient Hebrew prayer set by Cantor Meir Finkelstein, a noted film and television composer as well and one of the most popular contemporary Jewish liturgical composers in the country; and Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Dona Nobis Pacem, given its US premiere by LACC in 2011. The Bernstein tribute includes There is a Garden, and Gloria Tibi and Sanctus from his “MASS,” jazz, infused with gospel, blues, rock, folk and Broadway idioms and commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy for the 1971 inauguration of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Five of LACC’s highly regarded ensembles perform separately and combined. Tomlinson conducts the chorus’ Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. Associate Artistic Director Mandy Brigham leads the Intermediate Choir, Diana Landis leads the Apprentice Choir, and Dr. Steven Kronauer conducts the Young Men’s Ensemble.

For tickets, $27-$46 (half-price for students 17 and under), and information, visit or call (626) 793-4231. Pasadena Presbyterian Church is located at 585 E. Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91101.

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