Lux Aeterna

Please join us at 9:15am and 11:00am this Sunday, March 18, for Lux Aeterna, performed by the Chancel Choir accompanied by orchestra. The special music will begin 15 minutes early, before the start of each service.

Lux Aeterna was composed by American Morten Lauridsen (b. 1943) for chorus and chamber ensemble; it was composed for and premiered by the Los Angeles Master Chorale on April 13, 1997. Lauridsen served as Composer-in-Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1994-2001. These piece contains five movements, all referring to “light” or illumination on various levels: spiritual, artistic, and intellectual. Using sacred Latin texts, Lauridsen composed this work in response to his mother’s final illness. It is a serene and beautiful masterpiece of understated power and color.

Lauridsen’s music is currently performed more frequently than any other American composer.  Lauridsen has been given many awards including “American Choral Master” by the National Endowment of the Arts in 2006.  Past chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, poet Dana Gioia, describes Lauridsen as “one of the few living composers whom I would call great.” President George W. Bush presented him the National Medal of Arts in a White House ceremony in 2007. In January, 2012 The Wall Street Journal featured an article about Lauridsen: “The Best Composer You’ve Never Heard Of.” The documentary “Shining Light” on Lauridsen’s life and music will be available on DVD March 30, although a date has not yet been set for PBS to air it. Currently Lauridsen is Distinguished Professor of Composition at the University of South California. He lives in a renovated general store that overlooks Puget Sound, where he treasures serenity and silence.

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