Missa Charles Darwin

cd cover design: Brett Picknell / Parma Recordings
cd cover design: Brett Picknell / Parma Recordings

On Friday October 18th at 7:00 pm, the Gilbert Concert Series and the Friends of the Academy Library welcome Dr. Gregory W. Brown ’93 as the New York Polyphony performs his latest work Missa Charles Darwin in Rockefeller Hall.  Missa Charles Darwin is a “multi-movement composition scored for unaccompanied male vocal quartet written by Gregory W. Brown using texts from Darwin compiled and edited by New York Polyphony bass Craig Phillips.”  The composition includes “excerpts from On the Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, and Darwin’s extant correspondence.”

The Class of 1945 Library was specifically chosen as a performance space by Dr. Brown.  He explains that “the building is very special to me.  I spent four years in the day student carrels and came to know the building quite well.  As an adult I’ve come to appreciate it for its stunning beauty and architectural significance.  The piece is well suited to a cathedral acoustic, but the material invites placement in spaces that resonate with books and art — that celebrate knowledge and serve as community focal points for the humanities and sciences.”  Prior to the concert, library visitors will also have a chance to view and listen to Dr. Brown’s installation of a Cyclopean Harp, an electromagnetically controlled piano.

Dr. Gregory W. Brown is a composer, conductor, scholar, and experimental musician.  He has served as founding artistic director for Smith College Festival of Sound & Space, Director of Choral Activities at Smith College, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the College of Wooster.  Brown received his DMA in 2006 from the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and his MM in 2001 from Westminster Choir College.  In 2004, Dr. Brown was one of six conductors chosen from an international pool to take part in the 24th National Conductor’s Symposium.

The concert is free and open to the public.