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UofSC Concert Choir gives world premiere of Requiem Gravare on Saturday

Composer Will Todd (left) and conductor Alicia Walker (right)
Composer Will Todd (left) and conductor Alicia Walker (right)

Combining traditional requiem texts with a contemporary libretto by Dr. Robert Walker, Will Todd’s “mini opera” for soloists, choir, and chamber orchestra is a dramatic journey through the stages of grief. Dr. Alicia Walker will conduct the premiere performance in Columbia on Saturday, March 26th.

In this Sonatas & Soundscapes interview that aired Thursday, March 24th, host Bradley Fuller speaks with British composer Will Todd and American conductor Alicia Walker about Requiem Gravare. They explain how a conversation with Robert Walker—a minister in Columbia and Alicia’s husband—led to the creation of a work that merges the traditional text of the Catholic mass for the dead with Robert’s more contemporary expressions of loss and comfort. Will and Alicia also share about the requiem’s scope, its musical and emotional content, the challenges it poses, and what they hope it will impart to audiences.

Alicia, who is Director of Choral Studies at the University of South Carolina, will lead the UofSC Concert Choir, a chamber orchestra, and four soloists from the UofSC School of Music’s voice faculty for the work’s world premiere at Shandon Presbyterian Church in Columbia on Saturday, March 26th, at 7:30pm. Alicia will also conduct the UK premiere in June at Southwark Cathedral.

More information about Saturday’s performance can be found here.

The UofSC School of Music is a supporter of South Carolina Public Radio.

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Originally from Greenwood, SC, Bradley Fuller has maintained a deep interest in classical music since the age of six. With piano lessons throughout grade school and involvement in marching and concert bands on the saxophone, Bradley further developed musical abilities as well as an appreciation for the importance of arts education.