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the national anthems

November 2, 2019, 8:00 pm

Heinz Memorial Chapel

November 3, 2019, 3:00 pm

Charity Randall Theatre

With pre-concert prelude & tour of the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh!

David Lang - the national anthems
Plus a multicultural mosaic of choral and chamber music representing 10 countries and 6 continents!

Prelude & Tour at 6:45 pm on Nov. 2 and 1:45 pm on Nov. 3
choose this option when purchasing your ticket!

We open our 7th season with a celebration of our global community inspired by Pulitzer Prize winner David Lang’s the national anthems for choir and string quartet. Lang researched the anthems of the 193 countries of the United Nations, attempting to identify the things that we all share. We continue this exploration through a program of choral and chamber music by 12 composers representing 6 continents including a world premiere!

“I had the idea that if I looked carefully at every national anthem I might be able to identify something that everyone in the world could agree on.  If I could take just one hopeful sentence from the national anthem of every nation in the world I might be able to make a kind of meta-anthem of the things that we all share… Hiding in every national anthem is the recognition that we are insecure about our freedoms, that freedom is fragile, and delicate, and easy to lose.  Maybe an anthem is a memory informing a kind of prayer, a heartfelt plea: ‘There was a time when we were forced to live in chains. Please don’t make us live in chains again.'"  

- David Lang

With this as inspiration, we will surround Lang's piece with music of composers representing a diverse mix of world cultures - those far away from Pittsburgh and also very close to home.  Our musical mosaic will include a mix of choral and chamber music by: Arvo Pärt, Gabriela Lena Frank, James MacMillan, Chen Yi, Jorge Sosa, Caroline Shaw, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Enoch Sontonga, Florence Price, Vivian Fung, Kaija Saariaho, and Silvestre Revueltas.

Before each performance, you will have the opportunity to experience a musical prelude and tour of the Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh.  The Nationality Rooms celebrate the contributions of immigrants from around the world who settled in the Pittsburgh region, and were designed to celebrate highly-creative periods in each country's history.

Read more about the history of the Nationality Rooms here!


Sandro Leal-Santiesteban, violin
Ashley Freeburn,
Jason Hohn,
Elise Feagley,
Lindsey Goodman,
Marissa Knaub Avon,
Charlene Canty, soprano
Maria Sensi Sellner,

Festival Chorus
Lauren Berman, Andrew Bloomgarden, Matt Borkowski, Cody Burke-Sweet, Sarah College, Kyle Duff, Jamie Fair, Victoria Fisher, Sam Froehlich, Nathan Hart, Andrew Knox, Emily Leal-Santiesteban, Madi Lippmann, Liana Lloyd, Kate Manuel, Bethany Mingle, Scott O'Neal, Lucky Rattan, Sarah Richards



Kaija Saariaho - Tocar (Finland)

David Lang - the national anthems

Arvo Pärt - Bogoroditse Djevo (Estonia)
Gabriela Lena Frank - Ccollanan Maria (Peru)

Jorge Sosa - Gitanjali #35 (Bengal/Mexico)
world premiere!

James MacMillan - So Deep (Scotland)
Chen Yi - Three Chinese Folksongs (China/ Taiwan)

Silvestre Revueltas - Musica de Feria (Mexico)

Caroline Shaw - “Her beacon hand beckons” from To the Hands
Mary Kouyoumdjian - Groung (Armenia)
Enoch Sontonga - Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika (South Africa)

Florence Price - Folksongs in Counterpoint (Early-America)

Vivian Fung - Kecak Attack! (Indonesia)

Heinz Memorial Chapel

S Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Heinz Chapel 360 view

Charity Randall Theatre

4301 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213