Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
First off, do not miss this video that showcases a “virtual choir” of webcam singers from twelve different countries performing an original score by Eric Whitacre. This remarkable montage video was created by lynda.com member Scott Haines, who learned how to combine the webcam footage using Adobe After Effects CS4.
A sample of the music these 185 people submitted to make this production:
Who is Eric Whitacre?
An accomplished composer and conductor, Eric Whitacre has quickly become one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation. The Los Angeles Times has praised his compositions as “works of unearthly beauty and imagination, (with) electric, chilling harmonies”; while the BBC raves that “what hits you straight between the eyes is the honesty, optimism and sheer belief that passes any pretension. This is music that can actually make you smile.”
Though he had received no formal training before the age of 18, his first experiences singing in college choir changed his life, and he completed his first concert work, Go, Lovely Rose, at the age of 21. Eric went on to the Juilliard School, earning his Master of Music degree and studying with Pulitzer Prize- and Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano.
Many of Whitacre’s works have entered the standard choral and symphonic repertories and have become the subject of several recent scholarly works and doctoral dissertations. His works Water Night, Cloudburst, Sleep, Lux Aurumque and A Boy and a Girl are among the most popular choral works of the last decade, and his Ghost Train, Godzilla Eats Las Vegas, and October have achieved equal success in the symphonic wind community. Recent and upcoming commissions include works for Chanticleer, The King’s Singers, Conspirare, and the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. To date, his forty-four published concert pieces have sold over 1,000,000 copies.
As a conductor, Whitacre has appeared with hundreds of professional and educational ensembles throughout the world. In the last ten years he has conducted concerts of his choral and symphonic music in Japan, Australia, China, Singapore, South America and much of Europe, as well as dozens of American universities and colleges where he regularly conducts seminars and lectures with young musicians.Upcoming conducting engagements include programs of his music in Carnegie Hall, and full concerts of American music with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and the Berlin Radio Chorus.
His music has been featured on dozens of commercial and independent recordings. In 2006, a full collection of his a cappella music, Cloudburst and Other Choral Works, was released on the renowned British classical label Hyperion Records. The album quickly became an international best seller, appearing in the top ten of both Billboard’s and iTune’s Top Classical Albums charts. Four years after its debut, the critically acclaimed release continues to be a top-seller. The collection earned a 2007 Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance.
Most recently, Whitacre has received acclaim for Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, a cutting edge musical combining trance, ambient and techno electronica with choral, cinematic, and operatic traditions. Winner of the ASCAP Harold Arlen award, this musical also gained Whitacre the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award for most promising musical theater composer. Following its sold-out run, the most recent production earned 10 nominations at the 2007 Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, including one for Best World Premiere Musical.
Mr. Whitacre lives in Los Angeles with his wife, soprano Hila Plitmann, and their son.