Under Scott Tucker’s artistic leadership, the acclaimed Choral Arts Chorus has expanded to over 190 singers, launching the Choral Arts Chamber Singers and the Choral Arts Youth Choir. Maestro Tucker maintains Choral Arts’ strong connection with the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as continuing the choir’s reputation as sought-after collaborators, receiving invitations from a wide range of guest contracts. Tucker has prepared the Choral Arts Chorus for such conductors as Christoph Eschenbach, Emil de Cou, John Mauceri and Rossen Milanov. Tucker prepared the chorus to perform Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand” for Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra on the 100th anniversary of the U.S. premiere with the orchestra and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem for Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony. Most recently, Tucker prepared the choruses for NSO performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Christoph Eschenbach and for Carmina Burana with incoming music director Gianandrea Noseda. Deeply committed to supporting new music, Tucker continually programs world premieres, Choral Arts commissions and performances of recently composed works. Prior to his tenure with Choral Arts, Tucker commissioned and premiered more than 30 works from composers such as Ernani Aguiar, Bernard Rands, Steven Stucky, Augusta Read Thomas, Carol Barnett, David Conte, Libby Larsen and Chen Yi. Prior to his engagement with Choral Arts, Tucker was the P.E. Browning Director of Choral Music at Cornell University.
Hailed as a “virtuoso” and “intensely soulful” by the New York Times and “spellbinding” by the New Yorker, Syrian-born Kinan Azmeh, Classical Movements’ inaugural Composer-in-Residence, was the first Arab to win the premier prize at the 1997 Nicolai Rubinstein International Competition, Moscow. A student of Charles Neidich, Azmeh is a graduate of the Juilliard School and both the Damascus High Institute of Music, where he studied with Shukry Sahwki, Nicolay Viovanof and Anatoly Moratof, and Damascus University’s School of Electrical Engineering. In 2013, Azmeh earned his doctoral degree in music from the City University of New York. Having appeared as a soloist, composer and improviser in the most prestigious concert halls in the world, he has also shared the stage with Yo-Yo Ma, Daniel Barenboim, John McLaughlin and Djivan Gasparian, among others. Azmeh is a member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, with whom he won a Grammy in 2016, and leads two of his own bands: Hewar and Kinan Azmeh CityBand.
South African composer Qinisela Sibisi is a versatile musician, equally at home in various genres: classical, jazz, soul, gospel and traditional African styles. With his music degree and a post-graduate teaching qualification from the University of Zululand, Sibisi has been an educator, choirmaster, conductor and adjudicator since 1984. Currently, he serves as a senior music lecturer at Esayidi TVET College in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition to the world premiere of Let the New Age Dawn at Classical Movements’ Serenade! Choral Festival, 2018 will see the staging of his first opera, Uqomisa Iliba.