Requiem for Peace reviewed by Dr. Julia Davids

click here for Dr. Julia Davids’ bio

"The North Shore Choral Society (Chicago, Il) performed Requiem for Peace as the culminating concert of our 80th anniversary season, "Songs of Peace". Our 130 members were understandably intimidated at first, but after our first rehearsal the excitement began to gather. The concept of the work is outstanding - it is so compelling to all communities, but especially relevant in a highly diverse, urban environment like Chicago. Indeed, we had opportunities for discussion about current events almost weekly as they related to the learning of texts. Our diverse membership of singers meant that we had experts in almost every language of the work, making the piece even more relevant for our particular musical community. 

The music is so wonderful - from soaring, singable melodies to complex, exciting rhythms and everything in between, Requiem for Peace was the ideal balance of challenge and reward. We were able to attract a lot of media attention and the composer was incredibly generous with his time, attending press events, the dress rehearsal and concert, and giving a preconcert talk that was extraordinarily well received by our audience. Our audience was much more diverse than usual and our singers were unbelievably excited to perform this work! Our fully-professional orchestra and the soloists were also very stimulated by "Requiem for Peace", despite not previously knowing the work. They found the music very gratifying and were inspired to perform at an exceptional level. Overall, Requiem for Peace was a considerable investment but it was so worth it, on all levels, but especially musically and emotionally. Months later, I continue to hear from singers and audience members about how rewarding Requiem for Peace was to experience."

Dr. Julia Davids, Music Director, North Shore Choral Society