(Vancouver, BC) Vancouver’s Chor Leoni Men’s Choir and Artistic Director Erick Lichte are thrilled to announce that their latest recording When There Is Peace: An Armistice Oratorio has been nominated for a JUNO Award in the Classical Album of the Year: Vocal or Choral category.
When There Is Peace is a significant addition to the shortlist of concert-length works for men’s choir, and is the first commissioned work for Chor Leoni from Canadian-American composer Zachary Wadsworth, the choir’s composer-in-residence. The nomination is welcome recognition of a remarkable self-produced project that continues the amateur choir’s 28-year history of commemorating Remembrance Day. Chor Leoni has sung on Remembrance Day since its founding in 1992 by Diane Loomer, C.M, and the commissioning of this oratorio was funded by the choir’s Diane Loomer Commissioning Fund.
Set to a libretto curated by playwright Peter Rothstein and Erick Lichte, the oratorio draws on WWI poetry and found texts from soldiers to tell the compelling story of the moment when the guns of “the war to end all wars” fell silent. Joining Chor Leoni for this project are the renowned Borealis String Quartet, noted Canadian tenor Lawrence Wiliford, soprano Arwen Myers, and percussionists Martin Fisk and Robin Reid.
Produced in-house and released on Chor Leoni’s own label, When There Is Peace was recorded with the support of CBC Music at Vancouver’s St. Andrew’s-Wesley Church with Session Producer Grant Rowledge and Recording Engineer Brian Chan. The album was produced by Erick Lichte and made possible by the generous support of Paul and Margaret Birch. Paul was a founding member of Chor Leoni and sang with the choir for 27 years.
When There Is Peace: An Armistice Oratorio is available through chorleoni.org and on all digital streaming services.
About Chor Leoni
Recipient of Chorus America’s 2019 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, Chor Leoni has been praised for its excellent intonation and wide palette of vocal colour and described as “one of the best male choirs on the continent” by Oregon Artswatch. Chor Leoni is one of the most active amateur ensembles in North America and performs more than 35 concerts a season to over 15,000 patrons.
Chor Leoni has been honoured with many awards at the national and international levels including five 1st place awards in the CBC National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs. In 2018 the ensemble performed in the Singapore International Choral Festival and the Bali International Choral Festival, singing in the opening and Grand Prix concerts for both. Between the two festivals, Chor Leoni won five gold medals, two Choir Championships, and a special jury’s prize for outstanding choreography
About Erick Lichte
Enjoying a diverse career as a conductor, composer, and album producer, Erick Lichte has been hailed by the Washington Post for the “audacity” of his programming and noted by the Chicago Tribune for the “meticulous preparation” of his choirs. The New York Times recently called his direction and composing “thrilling” and said of his work that the “sensation is tremendous and the musical chill effect engulfing.”
In January 2013 he began his tenure as Artistic Director of Chor Leoni and has grown the choir into one of the continent’s most active and popular amateur choirs. His first recording with Chor Leoni, Wandering Heart, received a perfect five-star review from the UK’s prestigious Choir and Organ Magazine.
About Zachary Wadsworth
Zachary Wadsworth is a composer of “fresh, deeply felt and strikingly original” music (Washington Post), with regular performances and premieres around the world. His compositions have been heard at the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Center, and Tokyo’s Takinogawa Hall, and they have been performed by such ensembles as the choir of Westminster Abbey, the Yale Philharmonia, the Swedish Chamber Choir, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Richmond Symphony. As the 2012-13 fellow of the Douglas Moore Foundation for American Opera, Wadsworth was in residence at the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera. 2014 marked his Carnegie Hall debut, and 2015 marked his debut at the National Opera Center.
Winner of an international competition chaired by James MacMillan, Wadsworth’s anthem Out of the South Cometh the Whirlwind was performed at Westminster Abbey in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. Wadsworth’s music is widely broadcast and distributed, with recent publications by Novello, G. Schirmer, and E.C. Schirmer, and airings on NPR, BBC, and CBC. He was appointed to a three-year term as Chor Leoni’s Composer-in-Residence in 2018.