Geneseo Symphony Orchestra, Festival Chorus to Perform Brahms’ ‘Requiem’

Soprano Laura Heimes (left), a 1990 Geneseo alumna, and baritone Douglas Balkin will be soloists in the Nov. 18 performance of Brahams' "Requiem," which will be sung in English.

GENESEO, N.Y. -- The Geneseo Symphony Orchestra and Geneseo Festival Chorus will combine for a performance of the Brahms "Requiem," sung in English, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium.

The concert will feature two soloists: Soprano Laura Heimes, a 1990 Geneseo alumna who performs all over the world and has eight vocal CDs to her credit, and baritone Douglas Balkin, a Geneseo native pursuing a career in operatic performance. James Walker, Distinguished Service Professor of Music, conducts the orchestra and Gerard Floriano, professor of music, directs the chorus. The concert is free and open to the public.

Heimes has sung at Geneseo concerts in the past, including a 2009 performance of Handel's "Messiah." She has collaborated with many of the leading figures in early music, including Andrew Lawrence King, Julianne Baird, Tempeste di Mare and others. She earned her bachelor's degree at Geneseo and master of music degrees in choral conducting and voice performance from Temple University.

Balkin earned his backelor's degree in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory and has master's in music from the University of Illinois. He has appeared as Florian in "Princess Ida" and Snug in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" among other roles. He has other concert soloist performances to his credit, including Pontius Pilate in Bach's "St. John Passion" with the Geneseo Orchestra.

Brahms' "Requiem " is a large-scale work for chorus, orchestra and soloists and is the composer's longest composition, comprising seven movements.

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