"The performance is terrific. Norman Scribner invests energy and commitment into every phrase, and his Choral Arts Society sings with clear diction, spot-on intonation, a rich tone, and a beautiful blend of sound." Fanfare magazine review of Thomas Beveridge's Yikzor Requiem recorded by the Choral Arts Society under Norman Scribner on Naxos.
Norman Scribner is one of the most versatile and respected musical figures in the United States' capital city.
An accomplished pianist, Norman Scribner was the staff keyboard artist for the National Symphony Orchestra from 1963-1967. He has also served as guest conductor of the Symphony on several occasions. He was a member of the Choral Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1974-76 and produced the annual free Christmas and Spring Festivals at the Kennedy Center from 1972-76. For a season he served as chorus master of the Washington Opera and for eleven years prepared the Handel Festival Chorus. In 1981, Mr. Scribner travelled to Britain to conduct a performance of Alexander's Feast as part of the European Symposium Choral Masterworks Tour.
Early on in his career, in 1965, Mr. Scribner founded The Choral Arts Society of Washington, an ensemble of 180 singers who perform under his direction at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in regular season subscription concerts and at events all over the USA.
In a 1982 nationwide broadcast on US public television, Norman Scribner conducted the Choral Arts Society and Leontyne Price in the Society's annual Christmas concert for the "Kennedy Center Tonight" series. In other nationally televised broadcasts, Mr. Scribner has prepared the Chorus for the past six consecutive years for the annual Kennedy Center Honours, the 1993 National Sports Awards, and the 1996 Independence Day performance of "A Capitol Fourth" with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel.
Under Norman Scribner's direction, the Choral Arts Society has undertaken two extensive international tours. In 1993, Mr. Scribner conducted the Chorus in performances of Rachmaninoff's Vespers at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, and in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. In May 1996, he led the Society on a 13-day, six-concert tour of France, with performances at the Evian Festival, the Sorbonne, the Festival of Auvers-sur-Oise, and Notre Dame.
For his many outstanding achievements and contributions to the life of the city of Washington, Norman Scribner was named a 1984 Washingtonian of the Year. In October 1998, he received the Mayor's Arts Award for excellence in an artistic discipline.
For Naxos, Norman Scribner and the Choral Arts Society have recorded a special album of Christmas music as well as a rapturously received premiere recording of Thomas Beveridge's Yikzor Requiem, "an important contribution from Naxos's American Classics series, a work of genuine melodic appeal and power." (Fanfare)