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Composer Morten Lauridsen to Visit Marylhurst

Renowned American composer Morten Lauridsen will visit Portland for a residency November 6 through 9, including a talk with Marylhurst's director of choral activities, Justin Smith, on November 8.

Excerpt from an article by David Stabler in The Oregonian,
November 4, 2013. |

Morten Lauridsen looks like Robinson Crusoe: untamed hair, bushy beard. Lives alone on a remote island. But Lauridsen is no castaway. He's the country's most frequently performed choral composer, even if you haven't heard of him. It's not like choral composers show up on TMZ.

But if you listen to choirs, or sing in one, you probably know his name. Lauridsen, 70 and a Beaverton native, is "one of the few living composers whom I would call great," says poet Dana Gioia, past chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

On Saturday, Nov. 9, 250 singers from five local choirs will perform an all-Lauridsen program that includes some of his greatest works. The choirs are the Lake Grove Presbyterian Sanctuary Choir, Lewis & Clark Cappella Nova and Community Chorale and the Marylhurst Chorale and Choral Union. Lauridsen will rehearse with the choirs in advance and accompany them in  several works on the piano.

Some details of his background: He's taught composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for 40 years. In 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts named him an American Choral Master and in 2007, President Bush gave him a National Medal of Arts "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide."

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