For Immediate Release



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SAN FRANCISCO, January 13, 2009—Chanticleer, the renowned “Orchestra of Voices” and the world’s leading men’s choir, has commissioned Mason Bates, Shawn Crouch and Tarik O’Regan to compose new works for the ensemble, now in its 31st year.  The three composers are themselves in their early thirties, and at Chanticleer’s invitation have created a cappella pieces for the Composers/Our Age program premiering March 17, 2009, in Berkeley, Calif., followed by performances in Santa Clara, Calif., on March 18 and San Francisco, March 20 through 22.

Funding for the compositions has been provided by The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Emerging Composers 2007 Initiative (Bates), The Dale Warland Commissioning Award (Crouch), and Chanticleer’s Joseph Jennings Fund for Music (O’Regan).

Mason Bates, who has written a new work entitled Sirens for Composers/Our Age, composes in a wide variety of media, with a portfolio of orchestral, chamber, theatrical, and electronic compositions to his credit. Spanning the classical concert hall to the clubs and lounges where he spins as “DJ Masonic,” his music has been hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “lovely to hear and ingeniously constructed.”  

Currently attending University of California, Berkeley, Bates cites the university’s Center For New Music and Audio Technologies as an important influence on his approach to electro-acoustic composition. He is a member of the New York-based Young Concert Artists and attended the Columbia-Juilliard program in New York City. Earning degrees in music composition and English literature, he studied music with John Corigliano, David Del Tredici and Samuel Adler and playwriting under Arnold Weinstein and Kenneth Koch.

Shawn Crouch’s composition, The Garden of Paradise, is based on the poems of poet Brian Turner, an Iraq war veteran, whose moving accounts of the war are set along side poems by the Persian poet Rumi, as selected and translated by Dr. Majid Naini. Anthony Tomassini of the New York Times has described Crouch’s work as music of “gnarling atonal energy.”  In 2006 his Road From Hiroshima; A Requiem was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Composition. Crouch has studied composition with Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman and Malcolm Peyton and conducting with Marguerite Brooks.

Crouch was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Norfolk Music Festival where he studied with Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Gandolfi and Augusta Read Thomas.  He received his B.M. in composition from the New England Conservatory with honors and distinction in performance, and his M.M. in composition from the Yale School of Music. Crouch currently serves on the faculty at Hunter College Campus School in New York City, as well as the Walden School in Dublin, New Hampshire.
Tarik O’Regan’s work, No Matter, consists of excerpts from Samuel Beckett's 1983 monograph, Worstward Ho.   London-born O’Regan is a two-time British Composer Award winner.  His 2008 recording, Threshold of Night, debuted at number ten in the American Billboard charts and recently received two Grammy® nominations (Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance). Prior releases include ScatteredRhymes, and his 2006 debut disc, VOICES. O’Regan’s compositions have been performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Los Angeles Master Chorale. He is currently working on an operatic version of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness in development with American Opera Projects in New York and OperaGenesis in London. O’Regan divides his time between New York and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he is Fellow Commoner in the Creative Arts.

A multi-Grammy® Award-winning, 12-member men’s choral ensemble, with more than 30 recordings to date, Chanticleer has an impressive repertory and unique arrangements that span the masterworks of the Renaissance to contemporary commissioned works by some of the world’s leading composers.

Chanticleer annually presents more than 100 concerts in cities throughout the United States and in the world’s leading musical capitals at the finest venues, festivals and performing arts centers. The New Yorker proclaimed Chanticleer as “the world’s reigning male chorus” and one of Vienna’s leading papers, Die Presse wrote “Chanticleer is peerless in many ways - with superb performing style, perfect intonation, and infectious joy in making music.”  The San Jose Mercury News recently hailed the ensemble as “arguably the best in the world,” and that “these singers deserve the stature of athletes and rock stars.”

Chanticleer was recently named “2008 Ensemble of the Year” by the international publication Musical America. Other awards in 2008 include ASCAP’s recognition of Artistic Advisor Joseph Jennings as a 2008 Concert Music Honoree, the induction of Chanticleer into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, and the inaugural Dale Warland Commissioning Award at the National Performing Arts Conference in Denver. In 2008 Chanticleer released the DVD The Singing Life about its educational program, and the CD/DVD Mission Road, of music from California’s mission period. The 2009 tour includes Chanticleer’s debut performances in the People’s Republic of China in May.

Tickets for Composers/Our Age are $25 to $44. To purchase tickets, call 800-407-1400 or visit or


First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley
Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 8 p.m.

Mission Santa Clara, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara
Wednesday, March 18 at 8 p.m.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street, San Francisco
Friday, March 20 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 22 at 5 p.m.
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