Our ongoing associations with living composers are so precious to us. We were so happy to hear yesterday that Mason Bates has won the Heinz Medal, and we're happy to be carrying another movement of the "Sirens" cycle he wrote for us on the road this year.
When we asked Chen Yi if she would write something for us for our 35th Anniversary "The Siren's Call" she happily obliged, and offered it to us as her birthday gift for us. We go back to the mid-90's with Chen Yi, when she was our composer in residence. People still remember her incredible energy and enthusiasm, and some of the pieces she left with us are still in our repertoire. Since then she has won just about every prize going. You can read about her in an article in the September issue of Choral Journal in which she mentions us a lot! We don't see her enough in person ( just when we perform in Kansas City and she turns up to take us for Chinese food) , but her music is always with us. "I hear the Siren's Call" is a great and evocative starter for the second half of the program. Thanks Chen Yi for the birthday present!!!