“Many fans of the Nashville Symphony’s recordings do not realize what a world class chorus we have.
I have a special love for choral, opera, and vocal music in general so I knew it was time to find an American choral work that would showcase them. John Harbison is a composer I have admired ever since I came to the US as a student. I knew his works but had never had the opportunity to meet or collaborate with him.
A friend, who had been moved by the performance of Harbison’s Requiem at the 2002 Boston premiere, encouraged me to learn the piece. I looked through the score and immediately fell in love with this very powerful work. I knew it would be the work for not only my first Nashville Symphony recording with the Chorus, but my first choral recording, period. Getting to collaborate with composers who have made such an impact in my life is an honor and one of the special privileges of working with the Nashville Symphony.”
– Giancarlo Guerrero
John HARBISON (b. 1938)
Jessica Rivera, Soprano • Michaela Martens, Mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Phan, Tenor • Kelly Markgraf, Baritone
Nashville Symphony Chorus and Orchestra • Giancarlo Guerrero
Pulitzer Prize-winner and MacArthur fellow John Harbison has composed a Requiem for our times – a moving choral work that incorporates the composer’s distinctive sensibilities while drawing deeply on the tradition of Latin sacred music. Completed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Harbison’s Requiem is full of dramatic passages from singers and musicians alike, with abundant opportunities for vocal soloists, brass and percussion to shine. “I wanted my piece to have a sense of the inexorability of the passage of time,” the composer says, “for good and ill, of the commonality of love and loss.”
Listen to an extract from Part I: Sequence I: Dies irae
About the Artists
is the six-time GRAMMY® Award-winning music director of the Nashville Symphony. A passionate proponent of new music, he has championed a number of America’s most respected composers through recordings, commissions, and eight world premieres with the Nashville Symphony, including the GRAMMY® Award-winning recording of Michael Daugherty’s Tales of Hemingway.
GRAMMY® Award-winning soprano Jessica Rivera
is one of today’s most creatively inspired vocal artists. The intelligence, dimension and spirituality of her performances have garnered her unique artistic collaborations with many of today’s most celebrated composers and conductors. An advocate of new music, Rivera has lent her voice to many world premieres.
is fast becoming known for her portrayals of some of the most difficult dramatic mezzo-soprano roles in the repertoire. She has performed extensively across the US, as well as being a regular performer at The Metropolitan Opera in New York. She has sung a variety of roles including Klytemnestra (Elektra
), Freia (Das Rheingold
), Herodias (Salome
), Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle
), Cassandre (Les Troyens
), and Kostelnička (Jenůfa
is one of the most compelling American tenors in the world today. A critically acclaimed artist with an incredibly diverse repertoire that ranges from Monteverdi to Nico Muhly and beyond, Phan performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. He is also an avid recitalist and a passionate advocate for art song and vocal chamber music.
Baritone Kelly Markgraf
has collaborated with some of the world’s most esteemed conductors and orchestras. Performance highlights include West Side Story
(NHK Symphony Orchestra), Don Giovanni
(New York Philharmonic), the premiere of the acclaimed transgender opera As One
(Brooklyn Academy of Music), and Mason Bates’ The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
(Santa Fe Opera).
For more than half a century, the Nashville Symphony Chorus
has presented major works from the classical choral repertoire, from the Baroque to the contemporary. The ensemble has been featured on several of the orchestra’s recordings, including Beethoven’s Missa solemnis
(8.557060), Corigliano’s A Dylan Thomas Trilogy
(8.559394) and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges
The Nashville Symphony
was established in 1946. The 83-member ensemble performs more than 150 concerts annually, with a focus on contemporary American orchestral music through collaborations with composers such as Jennifer Higdon, Terry Riley, Aaron Jay Kernis and Michael Daugherty. The orchestra is one of the most active recording orchestras in the US, and has earned a total of 24 GRAMMY® nominations and 13 GRAMMY® Awards.
More recordings featuring Giancarlo Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony
“Dazzling performances by the Nashville Symphony conducted by its brilliant music director, Giancarlo Guerrero.”
“Silverman gets crisp, assertive support from the Nashville players, who are given plenty of individual chances to shine in Riley’s translucent orchestration.”
– The Strad
“The performances, excellently recorded live before a very courteous audience, bring the music vividly to life. The Nashville Symphony really is a fine ensemble.”
“Guerrero and the Nashville Symphony treat each concerto as a serious symphonic work, approaching them with skill, feeling, and strength.”
– American Record Guide