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niceville
04-15-2009, 01:57 PM
Tokyo Oratorio Society from Japan Joins Symphony for Season Finale, Performance of Haydn’s “The Creation” May 9



The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra will conclude its 22nd season in grand fashion as more than 200 instrumentalists and vocalists join together to perform Franz Josef Haydn’s oratorio The Creation on May 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College. The Creation concert will feature the prestigious Tokyo Oratorio Society, under the direction of Hiroshi Gunji, who will perform with the orchestra, the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus and three guest soloists.

“The Tokyo Oratorio Society has performed more than 60 international tours and will be coming to northwest Florida directly from Japan to perform with the NFSO – it is a wonderful cross-cultural opportunity for our symphony and chorus,” said Jeffrey Rink, NFSO conductor and music director.

Rink noted that Haydn’s Creation, completed in 1799, is perhaps his greatest work and vividly depicts the events described in the biblical text of Genesis. “From the opening orchestral sounds of Chaos until the final triumphant chorus praising God for all he has created, Haydn’s work is one of spiritual optimism. In it we hear the composer’s musical realizations of a sunrise, the sounds of great whales, birds, lions and tigers and even the lowly worm, said Rink. The performance will be sung in an English translation done by the late Robert Shaw.

Tickets are now available from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center box office for $22.50 each for adults and $16 each for youth age 18 or younger. Tickets are available in person, by phone at (850) 729-6000 or online from the box office website at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org (http://www.mattiekellyartscenter.org) or the symphony website at www.nfsymphony.org (http://www.nfsymphony.org). Tickets are also available at the door on the night of the concert starting at 6:00 p.m. Currently enrolled NWF State College students may receive one complimentary ticket per valid student ID, in person from the box office only.

The Tokyo Oratorio Society was founded in 1983 by Hiroshi Gunji to study and perform classical sacred music, especially Oratorio works. The choir's repertoire includes work by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Verdi, Mahler, Britten and Stravinsky. The fifty member Tokyo Oratorio Society has performed in more than 60 international tours and has sung under of the baton of renowned conductors worldwide.

Conductor Hiroshi Gunji studied with Kazuo Yamada and Hans Lowlein. His choirs regularly perform with Japan's leading orchestras, including the Japan Philharmonic, the Japan Shinsei Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra. All of the Tokyo Oratorio Society’s concerts abroad were joint performances with local choirs to enable cultural exchange between the members. Maestro Gunji's musical interests are wide with a large repertoire of choral and oratorio works ranging from Bach and Handel to Britten, Hindemith and Stravinsky.

Joining the orchestra and combined choruses for the concert will be three outstanding soloists; soprano Jane Redding, tenor Adam Kirkpatrick and bass Robert Honeysucker all under the direction of NFSO music director Jeffrey Rink.

Redding, hailed for her dazzling virtuosity and charismatic charm, amazes audiences with her near-flawless musicianship, thrilling high notes, and wide-ranging versatility. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a national winner in the coveted MacAllister Awards. Dr. Kirkpatrick has sung leading and secondary operatic roles and concerts professionally in numerous theaters throughout the United States. He is the recipient of several awards and represented the US in the Seoul International Voice Competition in 2007. Honeysucker is recognized internationally for his brilliant opera, concert and recital performances. His voice has inspired critical acclaim: "...powerful, passionate and plaintive....a voice that possesses great richness and warmth." Honored as the 1995 “Musician of the Year" by The Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer, Mr. Honeysucker has also been a winner of the National Opera Association Artists Competition and a recipient of the New England Opera Club Jacopo Peri Award.

Established in 1987, the NFSO is the region’s premiere professional orchestra and performs in residence at the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center in Niceville to provide an optimal acoustic experience for symphony patrons as the orchestra performs in the state-of-the-art main stage theater at the arts complex. For additional information see the symphony’s website at www.nfsymphony.org (http://www.nfsymphony.org/).

PHOTO: Tokyo Oratorio Society
NFSO & Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus