Spectrum of Harmonies

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Sunday, March 29, 2020
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Venue: Civic Center Music Hall, Oklahoma City

EVENT DESCRIPTION

Canterbury presents a world premiere! Of Perpetual Solace is a poetic and lyrical reflection on grief, loss and love on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Murrah Building bombing.

In this profound world premiere commissioned in honor of Canterbury’s golden anniversary and in partnership with the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum, the multimedia work by Oklahoma composer Edward Knight and lyricist/visual artist M.J. Alexander will feature 200 singers, the Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra, and an ethereal sound world of remembrance, resilience and hope.

In addition to this debut performance, audiences will enjoy John Rutter’s jubilant Te Deum, and a mosaic of shorter works for chorus and orchestra.

Edward Knight
Composer

The music of Edward Knight — described as “suave and sinister” (Timothy Mangan, Los Angeles Times) and “inventive and melodic” (Wayne Lee Gay, Knight-Ridder) — has been performed on five continents by ensembles from the San Francisco Cabaret Opera to the New York Philharmonic to the Dutch-based American Voices, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the “Meet in Beijing” Festival to the Hollywood Bowl.

Critic Judith Carmen describes his work as “intriguing, heartfelt and beautifully crafted,” calling him “truly an ‘Ur-American’ composer. Knight is quite sensitive both to meaning and imagery…he captures exactly the right atmosphere.” His music eschews easy classification, moving freely between jazz, theatrical and concert worlds. Reviews cite his “fresh, original voice” with “an inventive sense of humor” (Bernard Holland, The New York Times), and his ability to create music that is “visceral in its excitement” (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune).

Knight founded Project 21: Music for the 21st Century upon joining the faculty of Oklahoma City University in 1997. In the decades since, the consortium has premiered more than 1,200 Oklahoma-created works. He was named OCU’s Outstanding Faculty Member in 2013.

He is winner of an Aaron Copland Award; the American Art Song Competition; and ASCAP’s Rudolf Nissim Award for Best New Orchestral Work. He was the first American to win the Sir Arthur Bliss Memorial Award for outstanding postgraduate composer at London’s Royal College of Music, where he was a Rotary Foundation Scholar. Knight has been awarded fellowships to the Yaddo, MacDowell, Ucross, Brush Creek, and Djerassi colonies and been honored by the Bergen Festival’s Morton Gould Memorial and Vienna Modern Masters.

His music is featured on six commercial recordings, including a solo CD from Albany Records: Where The Sunsets Bleed: Chamber Music of Edward Knight, and featured in the just-released 12-piece American Wonders band series. His works are published exclusively by Subito Music, Inc.

He and M.J. Alexander met as teenagers in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and married there 13 years later. They are the parents of Alexander Knight, 26, and Allegra Knight, 22.

MJ Alexander
Librettist & Visual Artist

M.J. Alexander chronicles the people and places of the Great Plains and American West, with an emphasis on Oklahoma and Oklahomans.

Her work seeks the extraordinary in the everyday, using reportage, imagery, and poetry to give voice to the overlooked and underestimated. The International Photography Hall of Fame describes her as “combining the vision of an artist with the skills of a storyteller.”

A 2019 inductee into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, she is a dual citizen of Canada and the United States and veteran of community newspapers and of The Associated Press in New York City.

Her work has been published by The New York Times and Time magazine, featured on national magazine covers, and exhibited and performed here and abroad. Her interviews and photography have been featured in more than two dozen solo shows, including at the Oklahoma State Capitol, Gaylord-Pickens Museum and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.  She made her European debut in 2018 with the multimedia exhibit Oklahoma, at London’s Crypt Gallery. Her documentary exhibit Where the Buffalo Roam: Stained Glass from the American Frontier, is featured in the South Triforium of England’s Ely Cathedral from September 2019-February 2020.

An award-winning journalist, lyricist and playwright, she is author and illustrator of two fine-art books: Salt of the Red Earth: A Century of Wit and Wisdom from Oklahoma’s Elders, and Portrait of a Generation: Sons and Daughters of the Red Earth, winner of an Oklahoma Book Award.

Alexander is one of six Oklahoma artists featured in Shadow on the Glare, an inaugural exhibit for the March 2020 grand opening of Oklahoma Contemporary.

She and Edward Knight met as teenagers in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and married there 13 years later. They are the parents of Alexander Knight, 26, and Allegra Knight, 22.

FEATURED ARTISTS
COMMISSION SPONSORS

To learn more, please visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial