Commissions and Composer Works

Commissions and World Premières

by Cantabile Chamber Chorale

As we celebrate more than 25 years of singing together under the direction of Rebecca Scott, we look back at the path we have taken and plan for the new road which will take us into the next generation of Cantabile Chamber Chorale. We see a path that has explored a world of eclectic vocalized sound. Part of the journey has been to support emerging and established 20th century composers through commissions and premieres of their original compositions and arrangements.

By premiering more than 30 new works since 1987, we’re accomplishing our mission to cultivate appreciation of choral arts by commissioning new music and giving high-quality performances of a culturally diverse and eclectic repertoire.

Recent commissions by or for Cantabile Chamber Chorale include:


Eric Ewazen

Eric Ewazen

Eric Ewazen: Second April

Song cycle in four movements for eight-part chorus and piano

Second April is commissioned in honor of the Silver Jubilee of Cantabile Chamber Chorale. It is a four movement choral suite setting poetry written by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The piece is dedicated to the memory and in celebration of the lives of Ruth Scott Clark (1912-2009) and Irving Cohen (1928-2010).

Cantabile Chamber Chorale performed the world premiere on Saturday, April 20, 2013 and performs the second performance on October 26, 2013.

More about Eric Ewazen | Second April notes


Eric Ewazen

Eric Ewazen

Eric Ewazen: God’s World

For chorus and piano
God’s World was commissioned by Cantabile for the 20th anniversary season. It is a setting of poetry written by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The piece is also written for high voice and piano, reflects the long standing artistic collaboration between Eric Ewazen and Cantabile Artistic Director, Rebecca Scott.

Cantabile Chamber Chorale performed the world premiere on Saturday, April 5, 2008.

More about Eric Ewazen


Barbara Rogers

Barbara Rogers, Accompanist

Barbara J. Rogers: Église, maison de Dieu

Long-time Cantabile accompanist Barbara J. Rogers found the text of Église, maison de Dieu on a hand-lettered sign tacked onto an old church door in Sauveterre de Rouerge in France. With long-held chords echoing in several keys at once, the work suggests old voices inhabiting a secluded country church, and the awe felt by a visitor experiencing its welcoming peace.

Cantabile commissioned the work and presented the world première on Sunday, December 7, 2008.

More about Barbara J. Rogers


Eric Sessler

Eric Sessler

Eric Sessler: What You Will Learn About the Brobinyak

For children’s chorus, SATB and piano

What You Will Learn About the Brobinyak was commissioned by Cantabile Chamber Chorale in celebration of their 20th anniversary season. Composer Eric Sessler used poems for children by John Ciardi for a setting that blends children’s voices with Cantabile’s adult singers.

The Cantabile Youth Singers and Players will join with Cantabile to present the world premiere on Sunday, December 6, 2009.

More about Eric Sessler


Gerald Cohen

Gerald Cohen

Gerald Cohen: Dodi li va’ani lo

For SATB chorus, clarinet and piano

In this third piece composed for Cantabile by Gerald Cohen, he chose a short selection of texts from different parts of “The Song of Songs” with the opening line as a refrain, and with each successive line becoming musically more and more caught up in the intoxication of love.

Dodi li va’ani lo was commissioned for Cantabile by Mitzy Lasky and Seth and Carolyn Rudnick in memory of their parents, Dr. Sanford and Lucille Batter Rudnick, and in celebration of Cantabile’s 20th anniversary season. Cantabile presented the world premiere on March 28, 2009 featuring Macedonian clarinetist Vasko Dukovski.

More about Gerald Cohen | Vasko Dukovski


Ruth  Scott Clark

Ruth Scott Clark

Ruth Scott Clark: The Invitation

For chorus and piano

The Invitation was commissioned by Cantabile for the 20th anniversary season and was composed as the opening piece for a Christmas Song Cycle by Ruth Scott Clark. Other songs in the cycle are: It’s Christmas; Go by Bethlehem; Christmas Spiritual; Come and Sing Noel; Have a Happy Holiday.

Cantabile Chamber Chorale performed the world premiere on Sunday, December 2, 2007. The music and lyrics were written to accompany a reading of A Cup of Christmas Tea, a poem by Tom Hegg.

More about Ruth Scott Clark


Bruce Lazarus

Bruce Lazarus

Bruce Lazarus: The isle is full of noises

Cantata for SATB chorus and piano

In writing his third commission by Cantabile Bruce Lazarus noted, “I composed The isle is full of noises between March and May 2007 in honor of Cantabile’s 20th anniversary, instinctually feeling that Shakespeare’s eloquent meditation on dreams, music, and riches – place in the mouth of brooding isle-native Caliban – would be appropriate for the occasion.”

Cantabile commissioned the work and presented the world premiere on Sunday, December 2, 2007. The text is adapted from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

More about Bruce Lazarus


Emma Deimer

Emma Diemer

 Emma Lou Diemer: In One of the Stars

For SATB, piano, and guitar (op.)

Cantabile commissioned Emma Lou Diemer to compose In One of the Stars to celebrate the life and in memory of Cantabile singer, Leila Eutermarks. The piece is a setting of the closing passages of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Cantabile commissioned the work and presented the world premiere on Saturday, April 29, 2006.

More about Emma Lou Diemer | Christopher Kenniff