“We are so grateful to the Recording Academy for the honor of being nominated this year. The Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil is a piece that Clarion has performed a number of times over the years and one that we have a particular affection for. That our colleagues and peers in the recording industry have recognized the album in this way means the world to us.” – Steven Fox, conductor, The Clarion Choir
Steven Fox speaks with great pride and admiration for the singers of The Clarion Choir, the New York-based ensemble where he became Artistic Director in 2006. And the moment you start to listen to the chorus’s new recording of the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil, you realize it is something very special. The chorus produces a robust sound that we don’t often hear from an American choral ensemble. The performance is idiomatically perfect. And the recording engineers at Pentatone have captured a rich and resonant sound that is nothing short of amazing. No wonder this recording has been nominated for the Grammy for Best Choral Performance.
Recently Steven Fox sat down with Barry Lenson at Classical Archives to discuss how he and Clarion created this remarkable new recording. And in this interview, we learn more about how it all came together. Steven is a lifelong Russophile who graduated as a Senior Fellow with High Honors in Music and Russian from Dartmouth College, and then graduated with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music. After graduating at age 21, Steven moved to St. Petersburg, where he founded Musica Antiqua St. Petersburg, Russia’s first period-instrument orchestra. Currently, he is Artistic Director of The Clarion Choir and also Music Director of the Cathedral Choral Society at Washington National Cathedral.
Upcoming Concerts in New York You Will Want to Attend
On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, The Clarion Choir will give the world premiere of the Vigil for Peace by London-based composer Alexander Levine. Written during this time of ongoing tragic conflict in Eastern Europe, Vigil for Peace is a choral work that is hopeful and celebrates our common humanity. It will be performed alongside choral works by Sergei Rachmaninoff, including the Six Part Songs for Women’s Voices and the Choral Concerto O Mother of God Perpetually Praying, as part of Clarion’s ongoing celebration of Rachmaninoff’s 150th anniversary year.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit The Clarion Society online.
About the Clarion Orchestra and Choir
The Clarion Orchestra was founded in 1957 by conductor and musicologist Newell Jenkins. Beginning on modern instruments, then switching to period instruments in the 1970s, Clarion became one of the first period ensembles with a concert series in the United States. Shortly after Jenkins’ tenure, the series had a nearly 10-year hiatus until its revival in 2006 by the Clarion Board of Directors and Steven Fox. Since its revival the Orchestra has received critical acclaim, being called ‘stellar’ and ‘polished’ by The New York Times, and `legendary’ by The New Yorker.