About the composer
Richard Prior, composer and conductor, was born in England in 1966 where he received degrees from Leeds and Nottingham Universities, and was later a visiting Fellow-in-Music and guest composer at Oxford University. He is an Associate Fellow of the National College of Music in the U.K. For twenty-five years, he taught composition and built notable symphony programs at several universities and colleges in the United States, before moving exclusively to professional conducting engagements and composing.
A winner of numerous awards for his conducting and compositions, Richard received the 2008 Harvey Philips Award for Excellence in Composition at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, the 2009 Winship Award and 2011 Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Education at Emory University. His choral-orchestral work Hymn for nations united received Awards of Merit in two categories (Symphonic Music and Composition) in the 2013 Global Music Awards. The acclaimed tone poem commissioned and recorded by Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, …of shadow and light…(incantations for orchestra), won 3rd Place nationally for the 2021 American Prize in both “Compositions for Orchestra” and the ‘Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music’. Recent composition projects include Symphony No. 4 (also commissioned by Robert Spano and the ASO), and a piano concerto for renowned British pianist, Ian Hobson.
His Stabat Mater was nominated for the Pulitzer Price in 2001 and broadcast by PBS in 2008.
About the Stabat Mater
Orchestra, Chorus, Soprano
The composer has organised the Latin text in a unique combination of the Analecta and Medieval versions to create parallels and antecedent-consequent relationships either side of the center. For example, in the fourth movement, the question of ‘who would not weep’ to see a mother in such distress at the suffering of her child is posed. The parallel text in the eighth movement provides the earthly response as in fact the people condemn the Mother’s son shouting: ‘crucify, crucify!’
The Latin text of Priors Stabat Mater is interwoven with contemporary poems in English by women on the related themes of love, grief and loss through conflict or other adverse circumstances. The first Intermezzo is a poem by Juliette de Bairacli-Levi about the loss of an adult son in World War II, the second and third Intermezzos are from the Prayer for the little daughter on the death of a child through childhood illness and the last one is from Charlotte Mayerson, whose son Robert died of Aids in 1990.
Information about the recording
|Video:||Recording from Georgia, Atlanta|
Recorded at Emerson Concert Hall, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emory University, on April 17th -18th, 2008. Richard Prior was kind enough to inform us about his Stabat Mater composition. Thank you very much!
|Orchestra:||Emory University Symphony|
|Choir:||Emory University Chorus|
Cynthia Watters, soprano