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Joseph Flummerfelt '58 to Conduct Westminster Choir in 'Farewell Tour' at DePauw

March 8, 2004

March 8, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - The choir that has set the standard for choral excellence for more than 80 years, the world-renowned Westminster Choir, and conductor Joseph R. Flummerfelt, a 1958 DePauw University graduate, will perform on campus on April 2. Regarded as the premier choral director in the United States, Flummerfelt will retire at the end of the 2003-04 season. The performance at DePauw will be one of his last appearances as conductor of the Westminster Choir. The concert is scheduled in the Performing Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium, at 8 p.m. with a reception following in the Kresge lobby. Admission is free.

The program will include a wide range of choral music, demonstrating the power and versatility for which this preeminent ensemble is known. The 40-voice choir will sing Ralph Vaughan Williams' lyrical Serenade to Music, Francis Poulenc's Un Soir de Neige and three different settings of The Lord's Prayer by Peter Maxwell Davies, Maurice Duruflé and Igor Stravinsky. The Choir will also perform two quartets by Brahms and folk hymn settings by Alice Parker and Robert Shaw, as well as Aaron Copland's At the River and traditional folk songs and spirituals.

Recently named "Conductor of the Year 2004" by Musical America, Joseph Flummerfelt has been acclaimed in the world's finest concert halls for many years. Leonard Bernstein called Flummerfelt "the greatest choral conductor in the world." His rich and varied career has included collaborations with such eminent conductors as Abbado, Bernstein, Boulez, Dohnanyi, Giulini, Leinsdorf, Maazel, Macal, Masur, Mehta, Muti, Ozawa, Penderecki, Sawallisch, Shaw and Steinberg. Flummerfelt's choirs have performed with many orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New Jersey, Boston, National and Pittsburgh Symphonies, Gewandhaus Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Flummerfelt was on the DePauw campus in June 2002 to conduct the Alumni choir during Alumni Reunion Weekend. (see accompanying photos)

As the artistic director and principal conductor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Flummerfelt has inspired countless young musicians to combine musical discipline with expressive spontaneity. When he retires from the choral leadership of Westminster Choir College, he will have held the position for 33 years. The three 2004 tours of the Westminster Choir will be the final ones conducted by Flummerfelt. In the fall of this year, he becomes Conductor Laureate of the Westminster Choir.

Joseph Flummerfelt is one of three artistic directors for the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina (since 1977), and for 23 years he was the Maestro del coro for the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy. He is also the chorus master for the New York Philharmonic, music director of the New York Choral Artists, which he founded in 1979, and for five years was the music director of Singing City in Philadelphia. His many honors include le Prix du President de la Republique of L'Academie du Disque Français and two Grammy nominations. He has also received four honorary doctorates and is included in the International Who's Who in Music and in Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians.

The Westminster Choir may be heard on numerous recordings, including collaborations with such orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony and the National Symphony; as well as solo recordings with Flummerfelt. It is also featured on the Grammy Award-winning recording of Samuel Barber's Anthony & Cleopatra. The Choir's all-Brahms recording, Singing for Pleasure, conducted by Flummerfelt, was cited in the New York Times as one of the critic's choices among all existing Brahms recordings.

You can read more about the Westminster Choir by clicking here.

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