Central City Chorus offers celebration of Bruckner's 200th on May 18
by Chris Hughlett for Vocal Area Network
Posted April 30, 2024

CCC Bruckner 200Central City Chorus, directed by Bryan Zaros, is delighted to announce its third concert of the 2023-2024 season, "Bruckner 200: The Musical Forefathers and Disciples of Anton Bruckner," featuring music composed by the musical influences and disciples of Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) on the 200th anniversary of his birth. The concert will be held at St. Malachy's Church -- The Actors' Chapel on West 49th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan on Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 PM.

Anton Bruckner's profound influence on classical music is deeply rooted in his distinctive contributions to both symphonic and sacred music genres. His compositions are celebrated for their grandeur, depth and originality, establishing him as a pivotal figure in the late Romantic era. Bruckner's deep Catholic spirituality inspired profound and deeply emotive works, particularly evident in his choral compositions. These choral works showcase his masterful ability to evoke spiritual contemplation through music, often with soaring melodies, ethereal harmonies, expansive forms and grand orchestrations, reflecting his symphonic sensibilities.

Bruckner's music displays a deep reverence for and influence from several past composers, which he masterfully integrated into his own unique musical language. Our concert will feature works by a few of these influential composers, including Palestrina, J.S. Bach, Richard Wagner and Johannes Brahms.

Palestrina's mastery of counterpoint and polyphony deeply influenced Bruckner, particularly in crafting music that combines clarity, balance and a profound spiritual ethos inspired by Gregorian chant. J.S. Bach's influence is evident in Bruckner's intricate use of contrapuntal textures and choral writing, derived from Bach's unparalleled skill as an organist. Wagner's profound impact on Bruckner was both philosophical and stylistic, appreciating Wagner's harmonic innovations, leitmotifs and expansive symphonic vision. Bruckner also admired Johannes Brahms for his academic rigor and compositional prowess.

Our concert will also highlight the legacy of Bruckner's influence through performances of works by Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg. Both composers were inspired by Bruckner's adventurous harmonic language, his thematic development and the expansive expressive possibilities he pioneered.

As we commemorate the 200th anniversary of Anton Bruckner's birth, we celebrate the enduring legacy of a composer who remains a monumental figure in classical music. His influence continues to reverberate well into the 21st century, shaping the wider trajectory of Western classical music. Join us for this special anniversary concert offering a blend of musical grandeur and intimacy, taking listeners on a journey of contemplation and transcendence.

Tickets for "Bruckner 200: The Musical Forefathers and Disciples of Anton Bruckner" are $35 ($25 students/seniors) at the door and $30 ($25) online in advance. For more information, please visit www.centralcitychorus.org or www.instagram.com/centralcitychorus.

Central City Chorus, one of the premier mid-sized choruses in New York City, is now in its 43rd season. Hailed with the accolade "valuable choir" by The New York Times, the Chorus performs a variety of music spanning a wide range of periods, geography, and genres, from a cappella works by Byrd, Howells, Mäntyjärvi, Palestrina, Poulenc, Victoria and Whitacre, to choral-orchestral masterpieces like Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Requiem, J. S. Bach's Messe in h-moll, Händel's Dixit Dominus, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Walton's Belshazzar's Feast, as well as rarely- performed works like Delius's Requiem and Britten's The Company of Heaven.

Bryan Zaros is a young American conductor recognized for his "strong musical imagination" and "deep sense of musicality and communication." Bryan is the Associate Director of Music & Choirmaster at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where he leads the Cathedral Choirs, Orchestra and Brass in liturgical as well as concert performances in the grand space of the world's largest Gothic cathedral. He is also the Music Director of Central City Chorus, Music Director of The Pro Arte Chorale and a frequent guest lecturer at the Manhattan School of Music and at music conferences throughout the USA.

A native New Yorker, Bryan began his professional musical training as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children's Chorus and as a boy chorister at The Church of the Transfiguration, NYC. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Sacred Music from Westminster Choir College, a Master of Music in Conducting from the University of Michigan and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from the Manhattan School of Music. Recent conducting engagements have included invitations with choirs and orchestras throughout the USA, Europe and South America. Most notably he has conducted ensembles at David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and American Choral Directors Association Conferences, on the film set at Warner Bros. Studios and at various cathedrals in England, including Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral-London and Canterbury Cathedral. He is a recipient of several conducting awards and fellowships, including an American Prize award in Conducting. For more information about Bryan, visit www.bryanzaros.com.

Chris Hughlett handles publicity for Central City Chorus.