The Passion of Yeshua is a dramatic oratorio written by a contemporary composer, Richard Danielpour, a schoolmate, and longtime friend of Falletta’s. It is the personal telling of the final hours of Christ on Earth. The piece incorporates Christ’s Jewish faith in Hebrew passages, and also includes the seldom-heard voices of Mary Magdalene and Mary the Mother of God for the first time in a work of this form. The recording features Hila Plitmann, soprano; J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano; Timothy Fallon, tenor; and baritones Matthew Worth, Kenneth Overton, and James K. Bass.
“It is a tremendous honor for the chorus to be recognized by the international music community for our work. We are so proud to represent this great city, and that the world will know of the remarkable creativity and artistry taking place here in Buffalo,” said Adam Luebke, music director for the BPC. “We are grateful to JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for the opportunity to be a part of this project, and to all the remarkable musicians who brought it to life.”
“We couldn’t ask for a better way for The Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus to kick-off our 85th season,” said West Richter, Jr., president of the BPC. “This remarkable accomplishment is the culmination of not just the many long nights of rehearsals and recording sessions that the volunteer chorus, comprised of nearly 140 voices, dedicated themselves to for this piece, but for every piece we’ve performed leading up to this. We are humbled by this honor, for certain, and will wear the title, Grammy Award Winning Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, with Pride.”
About Adam Luebke:
Adam Luebke became music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in the 2014-2015 season. Since that time, critics have described the chorus as “big and strong,” “splendid,” “articulate,” “soaring,” “virtuosic,” and “in top shape.” He is the winner of the 2021 GRAMMY® award for Best Choral Performance for his work on the recording Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua with the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor JoAnn Falletta.
He has worked with conductors JoAnn Falletta, John Morris Russell, Rossen Milanov, and Carl St. Clair; and singers Hila Plitmann, Angela Brown and Kevin Deas. He was chorusmaster for the 2020 Naxos world premiere recording of Richard Danielpour’s The Passion of Yeshua and has appeared at Lincoln Center, the Chautauqua Institution, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His choirs have appeared on the national radio program Performance Today as well as local radio broadcasts.
Mr. Luebke is Assistant Professor of Voice and Choral Conducting at SUNY Fredonia and received his musical training at the American Boychoir School, St. Olaf College, Westminster Choir College, and Florida State University.
About the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus:
The BPC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the Western New York region through the performance of high-quality, diverse musical programs and developing singers in the choral arts. With a roster of over 140 singers, the BPC is frequently heard as the principal guest chorus of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
What began in 1937 as the Buffalo Schola Cantorum became the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in 1992 to reflect its close association with the BPO, and to clarify its mission to the public. Founder Jessamine E. Long led the group until 1945 when she was succeeded by a progression of noteworthy musicians, including Cameron Baird and the twenty-two-year leadership of Thomas Swan. Now the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus makes various guest appearances throughout the region and produces self-sponsored concerts such as our annual performance of Handel’s Messiah.
The BPC participates in several community service events throughout the year including the Martin Luther King Celebration and the Daemen College graduation, both held at Kleinhans Music Hall. In the past, the BPC has participated in Curtain Up! and the Elmwood Arts Festival, and has performed with various area choruses including the Buffalo Niagara Youth Chorus, the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus, Finger Lakes Choral Festival and the Rochester Oratorio Society. On average, the BPC participates in 15 concerts each year – many of which have multiple performances.