C oir Of The West to Visit Six European Countries In May, une Visits to Pacific Lutheran Uni versity by the King of Norway, leading Polish and Swedish com posers, and two well-known Euro pean choir directors are among the factors that have led to a m o nth - lon g c o n c ert tou r of Europe this summer by the PLU Cho ir of the West. Regrettably, what was to have been one of the tour highlights, an appearance in Poland, will not be possible because of Polish gov ernmental restrictions, according to Noel Abrahamson, PLU manag er of musical organizations. The invitation to appear in Po land, extended by Polish compos er Krzysztof Penderecki during his visit to PLU three years ago, started the tour momentum build ing. A few months later Karl S c beu ber, choral director at Kuesnacht Seminar in Zurich, Switzerland, visited PLU as guest director of the All-Lut ber a n Choir. He too extended a n invita tion to Choir of the West director Maurice Skones. During the summer of 1975, Swedish composer Eskil Hem berg was at PLU in conjunction with a Norman Luboff choral directors' workshop. From him came a third invitation. Then in October, in conjunction with King Olav's visit to PLU, director Tors tein Grytbe of Oslo brought his Norwegian Boy Choir to PLU and became the fourth to offer a welcome gesture. Skones now had the skeleton of a tour with which to work. During the next few months correspon dence flew between Tacoma and numerous European cities, and with the help of the four former campus guests and others, a pro posed tour was fleshed out. Last summer Abrah a m s o n toured Europe to meet personally with hosts and to fill in gaps in the schedule. What has resulted is "a significant opportunity, both in terms of performances and edu cational value," for the 90 mem bers of the choir and accompany ing instrumental ensemble," Ab rahamson observed. The choir will present its first tour concert in Kirche des Heili gen Geistes, a large cathedral in Heidelberg, Germany, May 26. The next three days, through Pentecost (May 29), will be spent at a villa in the Swiss Alps, visiting with m embers of Scheuber's choir. It's a Swiss tradition to
PLU Choir of the West
A command performance for Crown Prince Harald of Norway was one of the highlights of the Choir's most recent European tour in 1970. spend Pentecost in this fashion, Abrahamson observed. A SOO-year-old church in Zurich will be the site of the second concert, followed by a perfor mance at a Swiss Benedictine cloister, Our Lady of the Hermits. The monastry near Einsiedeln was established more than 1,000 years ago. Abrahamson found the abbey "by accident" during his travels last summer. "It's a beautiful place to sing," he said. Following a performance at Ettal Monastery near Garmish, Germany, the choir will present concerts in two of Europe's histor ical capitals, Salzburg, Mozart's birthplace, and Vienna. The choir will sing in the University of Salzburg concert hall June 3. The next day the choir will present a major concert in Vienna in conjunction with the Viennese music festival, "Mitchelkirche. " O n June S the choir will present the tour program's featured work, Haydn's "Mass in D Minor, 'The Nelson,' " as a part of the Sunday Mass in Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral. That evening they perform in Esterhazy Palace outside Vienna, where Haydn himself lived and composed for 27 years. The con-
cert will be held in Haydnsaal, the recital hall where the composer performed many times. On June 7 choir members will attend a performance of "Boris Godunov" by the Vienna State Opera. The Russian opera will be o ffered in Seattle next year. Following an appearance in Kaisersaal, Germany, the choir could be heard in concert by as many as 30,000 people at Kirchen tag '77 in Berlin, a national con vention of German Lutherans. The concert will be held in Kaiser Wilhelm Gedachtnickirche, Ber lin's largest church, rebuilt ex cept for the tower since World War II. During its most recent Euro pean tour in 1970, the Choir of the West performed outdoo r s a t Copenhagen's Tivoli Gardens. This summer they return to the Tivoli Gardens Concert Hall June 14.
A concert in the National Cathedral of Uppsala, Sweden, brings to fruition the invitation extended by Hemberg. The next d a y t h e choir performs i n Stockholm's Storky r k a n Cathedral as a part of a summer concert series broadcast over Swedish radio. Two concerts in Oslo, including
Dr. Maurice Skones one in Oslo Cathedral, were made possible by Boy Choir director Grythe, Odd Medboe of Scandina vian Airlines System, and PLU administrator Milton Nesvi �, who has visited Norway many times. A three-day visit with Norwe gian families and a concert in Tongsberg, Norway, arranged by Norwegian Bishop Hauge and PLU religion professor Dr. Ken neth Christopherson, will con clude the month-long choral journey.