Patricia Van Ness,
2011 Daniel Pinkham Award Recipient

Coro Allegro is very pleased to announce that composer Patricia Van Ness is our 2011 Daniel Pinkham Award honoree. The Award was presented to Ms. Van Ness at our concert on March 6th, where the chorus performed her Requiem, a piece that Coro Allegro commissioned and premiered in 2004.

Patricia Van Ness is the true Renaissance woman. A composer, violinist, and poet, Ms. Van Ness draws upon elements of medieval and Renaissance music to create a signature voice that has been hailed by musicians, audiences, and critics as "ecstatic," "spiritual," and "alive." She has been called a modern-day Hildegard von Bingen, with her ability to compose music possessing "tremendous depth and beauty," "both ancient and new." Her poetry and texts have been described as "haunting and powerful." Through all of her compositions, both musical and written, Ms. Van Ness professes to continue an "ongoing exploration into the nature of God," as well as to "seek and find out beauty."

Patricia Van Ness’ work has had an impact that is both local and global. She is Staff Composer at First Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has been an invited lecturer at Harvard University and Boston University. Her music has been commissioned, premiered, and performed by numerous musicians and organizations across the world, including the King’s Singers, the Heidelberg New Music Festival Ensemble, Chanticleer, Boston Ballet, the Choirs of Harvard University, and Coro Allegro. She has been awarded residencies at the Boston Athenaeum, with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and with Coro Allegro in 1998.

Patricia Van Ness' works also speak deeply to Coro Allegro's mission of connecting the LGBT community with other communities through music and the arts. Her longstanding relationship with Coro Allegro is a model of how musicians and composers can work with an LGBT organization to advance the universal theme of our shared humanity. In particular, Coro Allegro was proud to record her work The Voice of the Tenth Muse, set to the texts of Greek poet Sappho, on our CD somewhere I have never traveled. As Ms. Van Ness wrote for the text of In oculis Dei, which she composed to celebrate First Church's open and affirming policies of equality, we all stand "unbowed full of grace and dignity" in the eyes of God.