World Premiere of Requiem by James Whitbourn at Carnegie Hall

World Premiere of Requiem by James Whitbourn at Carnegie Hall
James Whitbourn
© David Fisher

The Westminster Choir will return to Carnegie Hall for a performance that will honour the late composer James Whitbourn, whose deep ties to Westminster Choir College lasted more than 20 years before his death in March. The event will take place in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, one of the national historic landmark’s three venues, on April 13, 2024 at 1:00pm.

Westminster Choir will join the New England Symphonic Ensemble and other participating choirs for the premiere performance of Whitbourn's Requiem, his final work, in its full orchestra version. The Requiem was commissioned by Rider University’s Westminster Choir College and incorporates existing material written for Dr. James Jordan, the conductor of the Westminster Choir who was Whitbourn’s longtime friend and collaborator, and the Westminster Williamson Voices. As Whitbourn was too ill to complete the work, John Rutter completed the orchestration.

“Now it falls to Westminster Choir to premiere what now was his final work,” Jordan says. “Few choirs have such a privilege. James Whitbourn loved Westminster Choir College and its students. This will be our thanks and gift to our cherished friend and musical partner. We know the musical world will be listening.”

A British composer, conductor and producer, Whitbourn was internationally renowned for a catalogue of works that is performed around the world. His most performed composition was the concert-length choral work Annelies, the first major choral setting of The Diary of Anne Frank. It made its U.S. premiere at Westminster Choir College in 2007 under the direction of Jordan. The piece was later recorded by the Westminster Williamson Voices — one of 10 recordings Whitbourn made with Jordan and the Westminster Williamson Voices — and nominated for the 2014 Grammy for Best Choral Performance.

Tickets for Westminster Choir’s performance at Carnegie Hall on April 13, are being sold directly through Carnegie Hall. Student and senior discount tickets are available at the box office. Additional program information can be found on the Rider University website.

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