Francisco J. Nunez and Cristian Grases Conduct Music For Young Voices, Sung By Young Voices

Cristian Grases, Fransisco J. Núñez, and Hanrich Claassen

On Sunday, June 24, 2018, at 2 pm, at Carnegie Hall, MacArthur Genius Grant-winning composer Francisco J. Núñez and Venezuelan composer Cristian Grases conduct new music specially composed for young people's voices, including two world premieres. The concert, ||: Song/Play :|| will be performed by Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International comprised of sixteen youth choirs from around the world.

Presented at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall, ||: Song/Play :|| will also feature Hanrich Claassen, Symphonic Conductor, and Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras Music Director, conducting the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras in Deussen's Reflections on the Hudson and Grieg's Symphonic Dances Op. 64. For tickets and information, visit DCINY. Tickets start at $20.

Francisco J. Núñez, composer, conductor, and director of the Young People's Choir of New York City, known for "... raising the bar for children's choruses..." (The New York Times), will present an intriguing musical program for young people's voices performed by over 150 young singers, including choirs from California, Kansas, Maryland, New York, Washington, and Finland and his own Young People's Chorus of New York City.

Núñez will present some of his most current compositions including Forever Is My Song, Naturaleza, Es Tu Tiempo, and the world premiere of Liminality courtesy of the DCINY Premiere Project.

The DCINY Premiere Project is a vehicle to provide living composers and their new music with a premiere venue, choir, and orchestra. Past DCINY Premiere Project commissions have included new works by Sir Karl Jenkins, Alberto Grau, Carol Barnett & Marisha Chamberlain, Christopher Tin, and Eric Whitacre.

Venezuelan composer and conductor Cristian Grases will present the world premiere of La Cigarra y La Hormiga, conducted by the composer and performed by 215 children, ages 10 to 18 from choirs from three countries and six US states (China, Ireland and the US). Written for the DCINY concert, Grases says about his new work: "Written in seven connected movements, La Cigarra y La Hormiga presents music based on rhythms mainly from Colombia, Cuba, Brazil, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. The opportunity to set this music for children's choirs ... has forced me to reimagine the traditional orchestra as an ensemble filled with possibilities."

Grases founded the Amazonia Vocal Ensemble, which is one of the first choirs dedicated primarily to the performance and preservation of Latin American choral music. He is a passionate advocate for children's music and has worked with the Youth Orchestra Foundation of Caracas and taught at the Simon Bolivar University of Caracas, Central Washington University, and the University of Miami. He is currently on faculty at the University of Southern California, Thornton.

FRANCISCO J. NÚÑEZ, a MacArthur Fellow and Musical America's 2018 Educator of the Year, is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the Young People's Chorus of New York City (YPC). Since he founded YPC in 1988, Mr. Núñez has heightened an awareness of the ability of children to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry. Mr. Núñez also leads the University Glee Club of New York City, its fifth conductor since the all-men's chorus was established in 1894. He is sought after nationwide as a guest conductor by professional orchestras and choirs, as a master teacher, and a frequent keynote speaker as a leading authority on the role of music in achieving equality and diversity for children in today's society. Mr. Núñez composes countless compositions and arrangements in all musical formats and styles for choirs, orchestras, and solo instruments and has received an ASCAP Victor HerbertAward, the New York Choral Society's Choral Excellence Award, and Bang on a Can's Visionary Award. Musical America Worldwide named him among 30 "Influencers" for his contributions to the music industry, NYU Steinhardt honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award; and Ithaca College presented him with an honorary Doctor of Music degree. This is Núñez's fifth appearance on the DCINY series as a guest conductor.

CRISTIAN GRASES joined the USC Thornton faculty in the Fall 2010 semester as assistant professor of choral music and conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir. Born in Venezuela, he earned degrees from the Simón Bolívar University (MM) and the University of Miami (DMA). An award-winning conductor and composer, he has been commissioned to write for several prestigious organizations such as the Piedmont Children's Chorus and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and his works have been performed by numerous ensembles including the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Dr. Grases is an active guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and conducting pedagogue in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has also presented sessions in the World Symposia and ACDA regional and national conventions. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Federation for Choral Music in 2008 and remains active in this position. In addition, Dr. Grases is currently chair of the Ethnic and Multicultural Repertoire and Standards Committee for the Western Division of the ACDA, he is part of the editorial board of IFCM's International Choral Bulletin, and has started a new Choral Series entitled "The Choral Music of Latin America and the Caribbean" published by Gentry as an editorial outlet for new Latin American choral repertoire. This is Grases' fourth appearance on the DCINY series as a guest conductor.

HANRICH CLAASSEN is the music director and conductor of The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestras. As a professional cellist, Mr. Claassen has been a member of various philharmonic and chamber orchestras in the USA, South Africa, Portugal, Bahrain, and China. During Mr. Claassen's stay in Shanghai, he was the Assistant Music Director, cellist, and conductor for the Shanghai Baroque Chamber Orchestra.

Founded in 2007 by Iris Derke and Jonathan Griffith, with its first public performance in January 2008, DCINY is a leading producer of dynamic musical entertainment in renowned international venues. Over 40,000 musicians representing 45 countries and all 50 states have participated in DCINY productions. Since the inception of the company, DCINY has produced 17 world premieres and more than 200 concerts for over 200,000 audience members.

DCINY commemorates its 10th Anniversary Season in 2018. With unforgettable, world-class concert experiences, empowering educational programs, and a global community of artists and audiences, DCINY changes lives through the power of musical performance. In addition to being selected four times for Inc. 5000, DCINY has received national recognition with multiple American Prizes: Jonathan Griffith, Founder and Music Director of Distinguished Concerts Orchestra, (Winner 2014 American Prize in Conducting, Professional Orchestra Division), and DCINY's General Director and Co-Founder Iris Derke and the DCINY Team, (Winner 2015 American Prize in Arts Marketing).