Light and Gold: Eric Whitacre & Donald Nally, Conducting

Friday, October 13


Rockefeller Chapel

This not to be missed opportunity features music composed and conducted by Grammy Award winner Eric Whitacre. Eric is joined by Grammy-nominated conductor Donald Nally who will conduct a variety of titles by contemporary composers from the Walton and GIA catalogs. The Northwestern Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, a 24-voice ensemble that sings a highly specialized, virtuosic repertoire for advanced choral singers, are joined by members the University of Chicago Motet Choir. The 35-member Motet Choir under the direction of James Kallembach, specializes in singing a cappella masterworks of all cultures and time periods.

The Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble is a chamber ensemble at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music concentrating on music of the 21st century and drawing relationships to its polyphonic roots in early music, primarily that of the Renaissance. The ensemble has given the world premiere of David Lang’s a house, the American premieres of Wolfgang Rihm’s Astralis, Toivo Tulev’s Songs, and the Midwest premieres of James MacMillan’s St. John Passion, Kile Smith’s Vespers, Kaija Saariaho’s Oltra mar, John Luther Adams Sila: the breath of the world, David T. Little’s dress in magic amulets, dark from My feet, and Ted Hearne’s Consent. Working closely with The Bienen School of Music’s Institute for New Music, the ensemble explores a wide range of music from Esa-Pekka Salonen to Morton Feldman, Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen to Kaija Saariaho, with a foundation in Dufay, Buxtehude, and Josquin. BCE has sung at the Harris Theatre as part of Chicago’s Ear Taxi Festival, and on a number of occasions forThe Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Music Now series. The ensemble was founded and is conducted by Donald Nally.  

Ticket Pricing Guide

Ticket Type General Admission Group of 10 or more Senior Citizens Student with Valid ID (must be presented at  event) Full Institute Registration
Light & Gold Concert at Rockefeller Chapel $30.00 $20.00 $10.00 Included
Premium Seating

Includes access to private cocktail reception with Eric Whitacre after the concert.
$150.00 N/A N/A $75.00
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GRAMMY®-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is one of the most popular musicians of our time. His concert music has been performed throughout the world by millions of amateur and professional musicians alike, while his ground-breaking Virtual Choirs have united singers from over 110 different countries. A graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, Eric was recently appointed Artist in Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale having completed a five-year term as Composer in Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK.

As conductor of the Eric Whitacre Singers he has released several chart-topping albums including 2011’s bestselling Light and Gold. A sought after guest conductor, Eric has conducted choral and instrumental concerts around the globe, including sold-out concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. In addition to several collaborations with legendary Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer, he has worked with British pop icons Laura Mvula, Imogen Heap and Annie Lennox.

A charismatic speaker, Eric has given keynote addresses for many Fortune 500 companies and global institutions including Apple, Google, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the United Nations Speaker’s Programme and two main stage TED talks.His work is heard on numerous recordings on ECM, Chandos, Navona, Albany, and Innova record labels. Donald is the recipient of the Louis Botto Award for Innovative Action and Entrepreneurial Zeal from Chorus America. He is the only conductor to have two ensembles receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music—in 2002 with The Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, and in 2015 with The Crossing. His book, Conversations with Joseph Flummerfelt, was published in 2011.

Donald Nally is responsible for imagining, programming, commissioning, and conducting at The Crossing.  He is also the director of choral organizations at Northwestern University where he holds the John W. Beattie Chair of Music. Donald has served as chorus master at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and for many seasons at the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He has also served as music director of Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, chorus master at The Chicago Bach Project, and guest conductor throughout Europe and the United States, most notably with the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, the Philharmonia Chorus (London), the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and the Latvian State Choir (Riga).

Donald, with The Crossing, is the American Composers Forum 2017 Champion of New Music; he received the 2017 Michael Korn Founders Award from Chorus America.  He is the only conductor to have two ensembles receive the Margaret Hillis Award for Excellence in Choral Music: in 2002 with the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia and in 2015 with The Crossing. Collaborations have included the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, the Barnes Foundation, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), the American Composers Orchestra, and The Big Sky Conservatory in Montana where The Crossing holds an annual residency. In the 2017-18 season he will collaborate as guest director with Lisson Gallery (London), The Cathedral Choral Society (Washington, D.C.), Haymarket Opera (Chicago), David Lang’s The Mile Long Opera (on the High Line in New York City), and is visiting resident artist at the Park Avenue Armory.