• The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus came to Carnegie Hall on May 9, 2014, as one of the last orchestras to participate in the Spring for Music festival.
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    The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus came to Carnegie Hall on May 9, 2014, as one of the last orchestras to participate in the Spring for Music festival.
    Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR
  • Their performance began with John Adams' 'Harmonium,' a three-movement setting of poems by John Donne and Emily Dickinson written in 1981 for chorus and orchestra.
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    Their performance began with John Adams' 'Harmonium,' a three-movement setting of poems by John Donne and Emily Dickinson written in 1981 for chorus and orchestra.
    Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR
  • Visitors from Cincinnati waved green scarves to salute their hometown heroes — a tradition at the Spring for Music festival, which just ended as a project after a four-year run that brought less-heralded orchestras from around North America to Carnegie Hall.
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    Visitors from Cincinnati waved green scarves to salute their hometown heroes — a tradition at the Spring for Music festival, which just ended as a project after a four-year run that brought less-heralded orchestras from around North America to Carnegie Hall.
    Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR
  • Members of the orchestra and Conlon also sported green accessories.
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    Members of the orchestra and Conlon also sported green accessories.
    Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR
  • Conductor James Conlon often champions rarely heard music, and wanted to resuscitate R. Nathaniel Dett's 1937 oratorio The Ordering of Moses -- a piece whose broadcast premiere was interrupted.
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    Conductor James Conlon often champions rarely heard music, and wanted to resuscitate R. Nathaniel Dett's 1937 oratorio The Ordering of Moses -- a piece whose broadcast premiere was interrupted.
    Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR
  • The soloists, orchestra and chorus acknowledge the audience's warm applause for the Dett oratorio — which was a New York premiere, 77 years after the piece was written.
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    The soloists, orchestra and chorus acknowledge the audience's warm applause for the Dett oratorio — which was a New York premiere, 77 years after the piece was written.
    Melanie Burford/Prime for NPR

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Classics in Concert

Spring For Music: A Rare American Oratorio At Carnegie HallWQXR-FM

Audio is no longer available

Hear an intriguing program pairing John Adams' gorgeous Harmonium with an oratorio by black Canadian-American composer R. Nathaniel Dett — a work whose 1937 premiere was weirdly cut short.

Editor's note on Nov. 9, 2015: The writing that initially appeared on this page has been removed because some unattributed words or phrases in it matched those in previously published sources. NPR cannot allow such work to stand. But a news organization should not hide its mistakes. We have moved the material that was on this page to another location, highlighted the words and phrases that were at issue and added links to show where the material was originally published. NPR's policy on plagiarism is clear: It is unacceptable.

Program
  • ADAMS Harmonium
  • DETT The Ordering of Moses

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

May Festival Chorus

James Conlon, music director

Latonia Moore, soprano

Ronnita Nicole Miller, mezzo-soprano

Rodrick Dixon, tenor

Donnie Ray Albert, baritone

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