Thursday, October 7, 2021

Eric Choate to Premiere Major Choral Work

I first became aware of the composer Eric Choate around the time that the Guerrilla Composers Guild (GCC) was founded in San Francisco in 2012. Launched by Nicolas Lell Benavides and Danny Clay, both Composition students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), GCC was basically a platform for promoting a new generation of composers emerging from SFCM. The SopraDuo the duo of guitarist Timothy Sherren and soprano (and guitarist) Alexandra Iranfar, also former SFCM students, took an interested in GCC and introduced their works in their recital programming (performing originally as the One Great City duo). Their album of music by GCC composers, House of Dreams, provided one of my first serious encounters with Choate’s music.

Followers of this site for some time may know that Choate is now Music Director at The Episcopal Church of St. Mary the Virgin. His responsibilities include running the Candlelight Concert Series, making the church a favored venue for chamber music recitals involving performances of new compositions. This Sunday Choate will bring his own work to the church. He composed an a cappella choral setting of the Compline, the final church service of the day, often known as the Night Prayer. His setting involves roughly 30 minutes of quiet, patient music, reflecting influences from composers such as Herbert Howells (his setting of the Requiem text) and Sergei Rachmaninoff (his Opus 37 All-Night Vigil cycle).

The performance will begin at 8 p.m. this Sunday, October 10. The church is located at 2325 Union Street at the southwest corner of Steiner Street in Cow Hollow. There will be no charge for admission. Like all of the musical offerings at the church, donations of any amount will be greatly appreciated.

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