HPU’s Foster to Conduct Choirs and Orchestra at Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th Birthday Celebration

HIGH POINT, N.C., June 13, 2019 – One year from now, High Point University’s Dr. Marc Foster, chair and professor of music, will be conducting the choirs and orchestra for the 250th birthday celebration for Ludwig van Beethoven at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. A group of HPU students will accompany Foster during next year’s international tour.

The 13-day tour has stops in Poland, Czech Republic and Austria. Foster will take part in a rare performance at the Auschwitz concentration camp, travel with a group of students to help teach music and start choral traditions in the Czech Republic, and lead more than 300 singers and an orchestra at the Beethoven Festival Chorus in Vienna, Austria. HPU students will hear the work of acclaimed composer Dan Forrest at the festival.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide our students with such amazing performance opportunities around the world,” says Foster. “This will be our fifth international tour since I joined HPU in 2009. Our students will get to sing in some of the world’s most famous venues, experience and interact with other musicians from around the world, work one-on-one with one of the world’s leading choral composers, Dan Forrest, and help celebrate the power of music to change and transform lives.”

Details of Beethoven’s birthday celebration tour:

Poland, May 31-June 3, 2020

Part one of the tour is in Poland celebrating the 75th anniversary of the closing of Auschwitz concentration camp. The first concert will be in the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is outside of Krakow. The second concert will be in St. Katherine of Alexandria Church in Krakow. The third concert will take place inside the concentration camp at Auschwitz.

Prague, Czech Republic, June 4-7, 2020

Part two of the tour is a festival of community choirs throughout Prague, Czech Republic, that HPU has organized. Community singing has gained momentum across the country since the fall of communism.

Foster and his students want to create an opportunity to encourage and support community chorus singing and to provide educational opportunities for the directors. He hopes this event will become an annual event and spread to other cities.

Vienna, Austria, June 8-13, 2020

Part three of the tour is the Beethoven Festival Chorus in Vienna, Austria, which will celebrate the 250th birthday of Beethoven. Foster will be conducting this concert that includes choirs from all over the world. More than 300 singers will be accompanied by an orchestra. Dan Forrest is an acclaimed composer of choral, orchestral, instrumental and wind band, who will write a piece that will premiere at the concert. Forrest’s commissioned work will be a remix of the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

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