The mission of Choral Arts is the pursuit of excellence in choral repertoire and performance, and the commitment to promote and share the art of choral music through education and public outreach.
In its 51 years, The Choral Arts Society of Washington (Choral Arts) established and maintains a dedication to excellence. Led by Artistic Director Scott Tucker, Choral Arts’ commitment to artistic excellence is demonstrated by frequent invitations to perform regularly with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and other world-class orchestras including London Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, and the Mariinsky Orchestra, as well as alongside legendary conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Valery Gergiev, Marin Alsop and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Choral Arts is committed to connecting choral music to the world’s growing diversity, and partners with global organizations to develop inspiring programs while standing on a secure financial and stable governance foundation.
Today Choral Arts is comprised of two performing groups: the Choral Arts Chorus, a symphonic chorus featuring 190+ singers and the 27-member Choral Arts Chamber Singers, now in their second season. Choral Arts produces an annual concert season primarily at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts including fall and spring concerts, a Christmas series, a choral tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., Concerts for Students, and a chamber series in intimate venues in addition to our frequent artistic collaborations.
Established in 1965 by Norman Scribner (1936 – 2015), Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, Choral Arts stands out as a leader among its peers not only for its artistic excellence, but its administrative leadership and educational portfolio. Under the executive direction of Debra L. Kraft, Choral Arts has engaged in a wide-range of partnerships and developed international collaborations with prestigious festivals in England, France, and China, which include concerts and recording projects.
Throughout its entire history, Choral Arts has performed, toured, co-commissioned, and recorded with the NSO, including John Corigliano’s Of Rage and Remembrance, which received the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Classical Album and Mussorgsky’s Boris Godounov, which was nominated for the 1988 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Recent NSO engagements include Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Madama Butterfly with Wolf Trap Opera, and annually for the nationally broadcast Independence Day celebration: A Capitol Fourth.
Other recent invitations include Choral Arts’ 2016 performance of Mahler Symphony No. 8 (Symphony of a Thousand) with The Philadelphia Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin marking the 100th anniversary of the US premiere by the orchestra, and performing with Andrea Bocelli and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Choral Arts recently completed a five-city tour of China with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra at the invitation of the Chinese Ministry of Culture.
Landmark recordings featuring Choral Arts include Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich and Mahler Symphony No. 8 (Symphony of a Thousand) with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.
Choral Arts strives to reach the next generation of choral artists and audiences through a portfolio of education and outreach initiatives that have been recognized by educators throughout the nation, including Concerts for Students, K-12 integrated music curricula for units on Latin history and music and Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights, and over 55 Study Guides available free to educators, administrators, students, and families.
Financially, Choral Arts manages a budget among the top five American choruses, consistently in the black since 2004, with an endowment twice the size of the annual budget.