February 22, 2007
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—The Amherst College orchestra will join the college’s three choir ensembles on the stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Building, to present a single performance of Mozart’s Requiem, the unfinished masterpiece by the renowned composer. The performance will also feature four accomplished professional soloists from the Pioneer Valley: soprano Junko Wanatabe, mezzo soprano Janna Baty, tenor Alan Schneider and bass-baritone John Salvi. Sponsored by the music department at Amherst College, the performance is free for Amherst students, and general admission tickets are $5. Reservations are recommended, and tickets can be reserved by e-mail at amherstrequiem@gmail.com. or by calling 413/542-2195.

Written by Mozart in the final days of his life, the Requiem continues to captivate audiences with its powerful musical synthesis of fear, lamentation and joy. The unfinished work was originally taken on by several of Mozart’s students, most prominently Franz Süssmayr. But questions remain as to how Mozart himself would have completed it. Amherst College will perform the edition by Franz Beyer, a modern German musicologist whose adaptation is closer to the composer’s original intentions.

The Amherst performance represents what conductor and director of instrumental music at Amherst Mark Lane Swanson calls “a wonderful tradition of choral/orchestral collaboration.” This annual concert allows Amherst College students to collaborate with professional artists while presenting large-scale masterpieces in a small college setting. “It is an honor to be able to put on such a great masterwork,” says choral director Mallorie Chernin, and the concert annually draws a considerable local audience. Indeed, the convergence of community, professional and college elements makes this a unique performance, and both Swanson and Chernin praise the synergy that the concert produces. “We feel like celebrities,” says a member of the women’s choir. “This performance is always my favorite part of the year. Working with the orchestra is a magical experience.”