On March 28, Nancy Galbraith’s new setting of The Passion According to Saint Matthew receives its world premiere in Pittsburgh, PA, when the Maestri Singers join the Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Octave. Written in two parts, the composer’s new 60-minute oratorio features tenor and mezzo-soprano soloists, SATB chorus and small orchestra. Galbraith’s Passion highlights an English libretto based after the Gospel of St. Matthew.
“I’m a great fan of Nancy Galbraith’s music,” Thomas Octave opines. “Nancy is an important compositional voice in the choral and orchestral world, and her [new Passion] is an exciting work. When I asked Nancy to compose the Passion, we discussed how unique it would be to have a female composer write [one], since most of the Passion compositions we know [were written] by Schutz or Bach. Nancy decided to compose the role of the Evangelist for a mezzo-soprano soloist [in] contrast to the more commonly utilized tenor voice. Nancy’s Passion According to Saint Matthew is an outstanding marriage of the Passion narrative and musical timbres.”
Coming soon in April: Galbraith’s band music is featured throughout the month. On the 14th and 21st, the New Jersey City University Wind Symphony offers two concerts of Febris Ver led by Patrick Burns; and on the 24th, conductor and clinician Jack Stamp leads the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Wind Ensemble in a performance of Audible Images.