Cantori New York wins fourth Chorus America/ASCAP award
by Chelsea Harvey for Vocal Area Network
Posted June 28, 2018

Mark ShapiroChoral ensemble Cantori New York is proud to be a 2018 recipient of the Chorus America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. Artistic Director Mark Shapiro accepted the award at Chorus America’s annual conference in Chicago on June 22. ASCAP is the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

It’s the fourth time Cantori has been given this honor, which the group previously earned in 1997, 2000 and 2010. This achievement, unique among choral organizations in the Eastern United States, attests to the ensemble’s long-standing commitment to distinctive repertoire, imaginative curation and groundbreaking collaborations with contemporary composers and performers.

Cantori’s Artistic Director Mark Shapiro said, “Winning this prestigious award four times over a period spanning more than two decades constitutes an amazing tribute to the musical community of members and supporters who have taken Cantori New York into their hearts for over three decades. It has been a great privilege – and also a lot of fun – to make this exhilarating journey with Cantori’s evergreen cohort of smart, inquisitive, emotionally engaged musicians and listeners.”

Cantori’s award-winning 2016-17 season included world premieres of commissioned works by Polish composer Dariusz Przybilski and Canadian-Chinese composer Alice Ho, who wrote an hour-long cantata in English and Mandarin for chorus with Eastern and Western instruments. 2017-18 included US premieres by Dutch composer Daan Manneke and French composer Thierry Machuel, on texts by incarcerated persons, as well as motets by Catalan Baroque composer Francisco Valls. In the past two seasons Cantori was presented at Lincoln Center by American Ballet Theater, and appeared at Symphony Space Wall-to-Wall in connection with the centenary of Leonard Bernstein.

Cantori will celebrate its 35th season in 2018-19, with multiple commissions and revivals as well as a recording project. Its consistent mission has been to present new and rarely performed compositions in freshly conceived programs. Year after year, listeners and members experience and appreciate repertoire they might never hear anywhere else. Among Cantori’s most significant contributions is its frequent work with living composers; over the years, these collaborations have resulted in more than 200 world, US and regional premieres.

The Award for Adventurous Programming celebrates these efforts, recognizing choral ensembles that “demonstrate a commitment to fostering and promoting new music.” Cantori is pleased to accept the honor alongside fellow recipients Volti and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

Chelsea Harvey is a Brooklyn-based writer and member of Cantori New York.