On this season closer, MITSO Concerto Competition winner Emerson Piano Scholar Connie Wu, graduate student in chemical engineering, will perform the first movement of Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 1; Also on the program Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem featuring the New World Chorale. Soloists: Chelsea Basler, soprano and Elijah Blaisdell, baritone.
The Dona nobis pacem by Vaughan Williams, premiered in 1936, is a visionary anti-war statement. Vaughan Williams knew very well the horrors of war, having served in the First World War, and he suffered the loss of many close friends and colleagues. The cantata, as he called it, combines texts from various sources with a particular emphasis on the poetry of Walt Whitman.
We are fortunate to have a recording of the forces that premiered the work including Vaughan Williams himself conducting:
About Connie Wu
Born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Connie Wu is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at MIT. Since beginning to play the piano at age five, Connie has performed in numerous competitions, receiving a Gold Medal in the Young Artist Division of the 2005 World Piano Competition, which culminated in a winners recital performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. She has also won multiple concerto competitions, resulting in engagements with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Kentucky of Bowling Green, and Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras. Music has remained a key part of her life throughout her academic career. As an undergraduate at Yale University, Connie gave annual solo recitals, and at MIT, she is continuing her musical pursuits in the Emerson Scholar program and Chamber Music Society. She would like to thank her current piano teacher, David Deveau, for his guidance and support, and her past teacher Irina Voro from the University of Kentucky, for developing her musical passion, as well as previous teachers Elizabeth Parisot and May Man.
About the New World Chorale
The New World Chorale was founded in 1999 by Holly MacEwen Krafka and John Zielinski with the mission of performing the best choral music and the goal of performing with many of the finest orchestras in New England. NWC’s membership comprises some of the Boston area’s most experienced choral singers and soloists who have performed both locally and internationally with the world’s major orchestras.