Choral Arts Philadelphia has announced the appointment of Donald Meineke, of Chestnut Hill, as its new artistic director.
Choral Arts Philadelphia has announced the appointment of Donald Meineke, of Chestnut Hill, as its new artistic director. Meineke, who most recently served as the director of music at the historic Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square in Center City, succeeds Matthew Glandorf, who held the post for 19 years. Glandorf is leaving Philadelphia to accept a position as music director in a congregation of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Germany.
Meineke said of his new appointment, “I am honored to join Choral Arts Philadelphia as its new artistic director. I’m excited to build upon the ensemble’s long tradition of excellence while expanding new musical collaborations and growing its musical footprint. “In addition to offering beautiful choral music to Philadelphia, my mission is to create transformative experiences through relationships, mentorship, musical storytelling, and community engagement.”
Meineke is a conductor, organist and professional tenor who has maintained an active performing career. Originally from Houston, Texas, he studied at Indiana University Bloomington and the University of Texas at Austin. Before coming to Philadelphia, he held prominent positions in Chicago, Massachusetts, and New York City.
He is also the co-founder and artistic director of Ensemble VIII, the premiere vocal ensemble for Renaissance and Baroque music in Austin.
As a tenor soloist, Meineke has served as cantor at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City, where he led the twice Grammy-nominated Bach Choir and Players in the internationally renowned “Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity” series.
Choral Arts Philadelphia was founded in 1982 as the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia by the late Sean Deibler. Alongside the larger chorus, Deibler also established the smaller chamber choir called The Music Group. Upon Deibler’s passing, Choral Arts was led by Donald Nally, who now directs The Crossing, which is based at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill. Specializing in contemporary choral music, Nally and The Crossing recently won their third Grammy Award.
When Matthew Glandorf took over the reins of Choral Arts, he combined its activities with the Bach Festival of Philadelphia, which was founded by the late Michael Korn. The Bach Festival presented most of its concerts in Chestnut Hill, primarily at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Choral Arts Philadelphia’s 2023-24 season opens Saturday, Oct. 7, at 4 p.m. with “Immortal Bach” at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Rittenhouse Square. The program will feature Bach’s Motets and the Cantata No. 80, “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott.”
Next on the roster is “Carols by Candlelight,” Friday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., at Holy Trinity Church. Benjamin Britten’s ever-popular “Ceremony of Carols” will highlight the concert. Continuing its tradition of celebrating the new year, Choral Arts will perform Claudio Monteverdi’s “Vespers of 1610,” Sunday, Dec. 31, at 7 p.m. The choir will accompany the Philadelphia Bach Collegium on period instruments at Holy Trinity.
Meineke and Choral Arts will continue to celebrate the new year Saturday, March 16, at 4 p.m. at Holy Trinity with “In a Strange Land – Songs of Exile and Hope.” The repertoire will include Johann Hermann Schein’s “Israelsbrunnlein,” a collection of Hebrew Bible texts set in the style of Monteverdi’s madrigals. The concert also includes Salamon Rossi’s “Songs of Solomon” and Hubert Parry’s “Songs of Farewell.”
The 2023-24 season will be brought to a glorious finale with a performance of Henry Purcell’s ground-breaking opera “Dido and Aeneas” presented in a concert version. The concert is a partnership with The Primavera Fund.
For more information regarding the new season of Choral Arts Philadelphia, visit ChoralArtsPhila.org.
The First Presbyterian Church in Germantown will present a duo-recital Sunday, June 18, at 2 p.m. The church’s director of music and arts, John Walthausen, has announced a program featuring violinist Luigi Mazzocchi and pianist Thomas Weaver.
They will be playing Jascha Heifetz’s arrangement of George Gershwin’s Three Preludes for Piano, Florence Price’s Fantasy No. 1 for Violin and Piano, Manuel de Falla’s “Suite Populaire Espagnole,” and Brahms’ Sonata No. 3, Opus 108, for Violin and Piano.
Mazzocchi is the concertmaster of the Philadelphia Ballet Orchestra, the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, the Ocean City Pops Orchestra, and acting concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. Weaver is a member of the faculty at Curtis Institute of Music and the Tanglewood Institute of Boston University.
At St. Martin’s Church
The Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Chestnut Hill, will celebrate a “Pride Evensong” Sunday, June 11, at 5 p.m. Then, on Wednesday, June 14, at 5:30 p.m., the church will host singers from the Academy of Vocal Arts in a varied music program from opera and musicals.
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