One of the greatest American composers of the last 100 years and a master of all things choral, orchestral and operatic, no matter what you're after, Stephen Paulus has made his mark in that field. Here are some of the most prominent highlights:
The Road Home
Undoubtedly Paulus' most famous work to date, hailed by critics and a staple in every serious choral directors book, The Road Home has been performed all over the world by everyone from children's choirs to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It's heart wrenching nostalgia will bring a tear to anyone's eye but leave them uplifted with a feeling of hope. A truly memorable work of art. Text by lifetime collaborator, Michael Dennis Brown and commissioned for and premiered by the Dale Warland Singers. Chorus (SATB, SSAA, or TTBB), a cappella available
His second most performed work, Pilgrims' Hymn has been sung at the funerals of Presidents Ford and Reagan. It's the star moment from Paulus' opera, The Three Hermits. It's truly breathtaking melody haunts the soul. Pilgrims' Hymn has been performed consistently the world over since it's inception. It's Paulus at his finest. Another beautiful collaboration with text by Michael Dennis Browne. 4 part mixed chorus
To Be Certain of the Dawn
This stunning piece is a Holocaust Memorial Oratorio to honor two important anniversaries: the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps and the 40th anniversary of the publication of Nostra Aetate (Latin for "In Our Times"), the seminal Vatican II document that condemned blaming Jews for the death of Christ. It was premiered in 2005 by the MN Orchestra and Basilica of St. Mary Choirs, plus 4 soloists. Osmo Vänskä, Music Director and Conductor. The incredibly moving text is by Michael Dennis Brown. SSAATTBB, SSA, Soloists, 126.96.36.199/1(Shofar)/188.8.131.52/timpani/percussion/harp/pianno/orchestra
Prayers and Rememberances
This Grammy Award winning piece was commissioned by True Concord Voices and Dorothy Vanek and premiered by TCV and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in 2011. The work was commissioned in memory of Robert Vanek and friends of the Vaneks from United and American Airlines who were lost on September 11, 2001. It's one of Paulus' most soul-stirring works to date and the Grammy award was accepted posthumously by his family.
Trumpet Concerto (Concerto for Doc)
This whirlwind concerto was written for the illustrious Doc Severinsen of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson fame, and most noteably performed at the Hollywood Bowl with Doc and the LA Philharmonic. It is adventurous, difficult and will blow away any audience. 25 minutes, Symphony Orchestra and Solo Trumpet
Commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra under Osmo Vanska as a duo commission between Paulus and his son, jazz trumpeter and electronic music composer Greg. This amazing work seamlessly melds the styles of jazz and classical with a dash of electronic, by placing a jazz quintet as soloists around the conductor. The premier in 2011 was widely acclaimed, with a brilliant performance to a sold out crowd.