Ithaca College Choral Competition To Feature Premiere Work By Behzad Ranjbaran

ITHACA, NY — The Ithaca College Choir, conducted by Lawrence Doebler, will perform the world premiere of “We Are One” by Behzad Ranjbaran at the 30th annual Choral Composition Contest and Festival on Saturday, Nov. 15. Beginning at 7 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music, the free event will also feature six high school choirs, each performing pieces chosen as finalists in a national competition of newly composed works.

Sponsored by the Ithaca College School of Music and the Theodore Presser Company, the competition is designed to encourage the creation and performance of new choral music. The festival gives members of high school choirs the opportunity to attend rehearsals and workshops throughout the day. The composers of the final pieces will each coach one of the choirs. The winning composition will be announced at the evening performance.

The evening’s performance will conclude with the Ithaca College Choral Union joining the high school choirs for Haydn’s “The Heavens Are Telling.” Participating high school choirs from New York will be from Ithaca, Fayetteville-Manlius, Niagara Wheatfield, Ward Melville and West Genesee; and Dorman, South Carolina.

Behzad Ranjbaran’s music has been performed by Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, and Yo-Yo Ma. In 2008, Jean-Yves Thibaudet premiered Ranjbaran’s piano concerto, commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony and conducted by Robert Spano. Ranjbaran wrote “Songs of Eternity” for Renée Fleming, who gave the premiere with the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Gerard Schwarz. Joshua Bell was the soloist in the premiere performance of Ranjbaran’s “Violin Concerto” with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, also conducted by Schwarz.

In the summer of 2005, Ranjbaran was composer-in-residence for the 40th anniversary of the Saratoga Music Festival. In celebration of the occasion, he composed the orchestral overture “Saratoga,” which was premiered by Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Born in Tehran, Ranjbaran started his musical education early when he entered the Tehran Music Conservatory at age nine. He came to the United States in 1974, where he attended Indiana University and received his doctorate from The Juilliard School, where he currently serves on the faculty.

For more information about this or any of the approximately 300 concerts presented each year at the Ithaca College School of Music, visit or call (607) 274-3717.

Originally published in News Releases: Ithaca College Choral Competition To Feature Premiere Work By Behzad Ranjbaran.

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