David Hayes, Music Director

Ullmann Project

An essential force in the New York choral scene since its founding in 1958, The New York Choral Society (NYCS) is widely known for the outstanding artistic quality of its performances of choral masterworks as well as rarely performed and new compositions. In addition to its regular season appearances at Carnegie Hall, the 180-voice strong New York Choral Society has appeared at every major venue in the New York City area, including Avery Fisher Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, Madison Square Garden, NJPAC, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Under the visionary artistic leadership of Music Director David Hayes since the 2012-2013 season, the New York Choral Society has expanded its artistic mission to present a wide variety of choral repertory alongside masterworks of the 20th and 21st century, including John Adams’s On The Transmigration of Souls, Hindemith’s When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d, and the New York premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Rooms, featuring noted violinist Jennifer Koh. Dedicated to carrying its tradition of musical excellence and community engagement beyond the Manhattan cultural centers, the New York Choral Society launched Christmas Around New York in December 2014, bringing family-friendly Christmas concerts to new audiences in all the boroughs of New York City.

In the 2016/17 season, The New York Choral Society will give the New York City Premiere to James MacMillan’s St. Luke Passion at the St. Bartholomew’s Church, perform Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass and Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, and return to Lincoln Center for Christmas at Alice Tully Hall. NY Choral will take part in the American Premiere of Joseph Vella’s The Hyland Mass: A Prayer for Unity in Diversity at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in a performance presented by the Order of Malta, American Association. NYCS continues its long association with the Richard Tucker Foundation and performs at the annual Richard Tucker Gala at Avery Fisher Hall alongside renowned vocal soloists. The choir also returns to Madison Square Garden in December together with tenor Andrea Bocelli.

During the 2015/16 season, the New York Choral Society and Music Director David Hayes presented two ambitious programs at Carnegie Hall: In February, New York audiences experienced Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s 1985 Te Deum in a rare live performance; also on the program was Beethoven’s Mass in C op. 86, one of the composer’s most neglected works. In May, Maestro Hayes led the New York Choral Society and soloists in Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt, the dramatic setting of the Biblical account of the Israelites’ captivity in Egypt and ultimate triumphant escape from the oppressive Pharaoh. The season’s Christmas Around New York featured performances in Alice Tully Hall in December, as well as in Staten Island (at New Dorp Moravian Church on December 12) and the Bronx (at The Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College on December 13). Also in December 2015, members of the choir performed in a radical reinterpretation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's The Magic Flute at the Greenwich Village art gallery 80WSE.

Highlights of previous seasons include performances of Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, Berlioz’ L'Enfance du Christ, Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony, Holst’s rarely performed Hymn of Jesus, and Beethoven’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, all at Carnegie Hall conducted by Music Director David Hayes. The 2011-2012 season marked the 25th and final season of Music Director John Daly Goodwin and included world premieres of two compositions commissioned by the New York Choral Society, Robert De Cormier’s Legacy and Morton Gould’s Quotations, as part of an all-American program at Carnegie Hall.

A sought-after guest artist in New York City for many decades, the New York Choral Society has collaborated with the Lincoln Center Festival, Cirque de Soleil, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York Youth Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, and the Opera Orchestra of New York and has performed with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Sergiu Comissiona, Dennis Russell Davies, Placido Domingo, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Yehudi Menuhin, Julius Rudel, Robert Shaw, Leonard Slatkin, Patrick Summers, Robert Spano, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

International tours have included the Chinese premiere of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in Beijing in 2002; performances of Mahler’s Symphonies No. 2 and 8 in Mexico City with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería conducted by Carlos Miguel Prieto in 2010 and 2011; a return to Beijing for performances at the Olympic Cultural Festival in 2008; and several European tours with appearances in France, Austria, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Israel.

Each summer since 1960 the New York Choral Society has produced a popular series of Summer Sings, open readings of the choral literature led by prominent conductors in the New York area. Recently, Summer Sings have been held at Symphony Space, and continue to provide a wonderful musical opportunity to the community and to attract new singers to the chorus.