World premiere of Galbraith's "Novena" benefits peace academy

World premiere of Galbraith's "Novena" benefits peace academy
March 23, 2007

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

St. Procopius Abbey and the Department of Music at Benedictine University will host the world premiere of the oratorio “Novena” for chamber orchestra and soloists by renowned composer Nancy Galbraith at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 at the Abbey. The performance will benefit Beit Benedict Interfaith Peace Academy located on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. Beit Benedict is a project of the Abbey Hagia Maria Sion, also known as the Dormition Abbey, and was established in 2003 to provide a place where Israeli and Palestinian youth can meet to discuss and pray for peace. The Dormition Abbey is on the site of the Last Supper, the first Pentecost and the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ. It stands within walking distance of the Wailing Wall, the Christian Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Islamic El Asqa Mosque and the Dome on the Rock. “Novena” was commissioned by supporters of the Beit Benedict project. “Novena” expresses the prayerful longing for peace of the three monotheistic religions. Prayers for peace from Judaism, Christianity and Islam, voiced in Hebrew, Latin and Arabic, are woven into the oratorio. Percussion and flute provide a Middle Eastern texture. “Novena” signifies the number nine and is an ancient form of Christian prayer in a sequence of nine days or weeks. The first novena was prayed by the disciples on Mt. Zion, very near the site of the peace academy. During the course of 2,000 years, novenas have been prayed by those seeking wisdom, hope, faith and peace. “Novena” composer Glabraith is one of the present era’s most original and dynamic composers of contemporary classical music. Her music has been directed by some of the world’s finest conductors including Gennady Rozhdetsvensky, Mariss Jansons, Keith Lockhart, Sidney Harth and Samuel Jones. Galbraith has had six works performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and her Piano Concerto No. 1 has been recorded by Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart. She has also enjoyed great success as a composer of sacred choral music. She is a professor of Composition and Theory at Carnegie Mellon University. Featured performers are Katerina Mussetti, soprano; Xiu Riu-Lu, soprano; Marc Stingley, tenor; Guenko Guechev, bass; and the Beit Benedict Festival Orchestra and the Beit Benedict Festival Choir under the direction of Thomas Octave. Tickets can be purchased through www.ticketweb.com for $20. For more information about the performance, contact the Department of Music at Benedictine University at (630) 829-6320.


Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, admissions@ben.edu or visit ben.edu.