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Press Releases

Cantus Announces 2022-23 Season

August 10, 2022 | By Rebecca Davis
Rebecca Davis Public Relations

Cantus Announces 2022-23 Season

Cantus will perform five new programs in the Twin Cities and will present performances and masterclasses on tour nationwide, continuing to make online performances available to audiences worldwide

Tenor Matthew Shorten joins Cantus this season

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – August 10, 2022 – Today, tickets go on sale for acclaimed vocal ensemble Cantus 28th season. The eight low-voiced harmonizers will bring their “warm, burnished and supple singing” and “energized dynamic contrasts” (Dallas Morning News) to concert stages in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and around the country, as well as continue their popular pandemic-borne tradition of making concerts available online to audiences worldwide. From October through July, Cantus will present five new programs in twelve venues statewide and will be seen on tour in twenty cities throughout the United States.  

This season, Cantus also welcomes Australian-born tenor and composer Matthew Shorten to the roster, replacing outgoing tenor Alberto de la Paz. 

“There’s a lot of positive momentum heading into our 28th season and we are beyond excited to share these programs with audiences across the country as well as here at home in Minnesota,” says Cantus tenor Paul Scholtz. “It’s never possible to replace an outgoing artist, but each new member brings their own artistry and personality to our work and we can’t wait to introduce everyone to Matthew.”

Shorten, most recently based in Singapore as a Luce Scholar, is thrilled to be Cantus’ newest recruit. “Cantus has always excelled at such a wide variety of repertoire, and the opportunity to spend my time sharing such diverse musical selections with global audiences is remarkable,” he says. “In addition to performing, I am looking forward to engaging with the ensemble's ongoing commitment to education, outreach, and the mentorship of young artists.”

Cantus opens the season October 21-30 with Song of the Universal, a program that explores how people across time and geography experience the divine. The program – which draws its title from a poem by Walt Whitman –touches on faith traditions across cultures, from chant by Hildegard von Bingen to A.R. Rahman’s pulsating “Zikr.” American composer Joan Szymko’s energetic “Ffe Mwe, Mwe Ffe” celebrates how some may encounter the divine through building community, while Paul John Rudoi’s “Song of Sky and Sea” reflects how others do so by retreating into nature. Song of the Universal features a newly commissioned multi-movement work by three exceptional emerging composers: Mari Esabel Valverde, Yosvany Estepe Diaz and Mariana Sadovska that reflect on universal themes of humanity’s relationship to the great mystery: Creation, Life, and Afterlife.

On December 9-20, Cantus performs their latest edition of Christmas with Cantus: Into the Light in ten Twin Cities venues. Into the Light offers a contemporary take on a on the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols to center on nine themes both intimate and universal, using poetry that speaks to a modern audience and repertoire that reflects a range of context and cultures. Drawing on time-honored carols such as “Still, Still, Still” and “I Wonder As I Wander” the program also incorporates newer favorites like Joni Mitchell’s “River,” Joe and Eddie’s “Children Go,” and “O Magnum Mysterium” by B.E. Boykin. Into the Light will also be released this fall on Signum Classics, marking their third release for the label and their first new Christmas album in over a decade. Signed copies of the new album will be available to Cantus audiences after each performance.

In I Hear America Singing, running February 24 to March 21, Cantus examines the role that labor and work have played in different societies and eras across the world. From servant and slavery systems of old, to the industrial revolution, to labor unions and the gig economy, music has been a part of work every step of the way. I Hear America Singing is anchored by an arrangement of Walt Whitman’s celebrated poem of the same name set to music by Cantus bass Chris Foss, and includes works by Stacey Gibbs, Stevie Wonder, Franz Schubert and Sydney Guillaume. The program offers a joyful examination of the role work has played in our lives in years past, and how work will evolve into the future.

Cantus continues its popular annual tradition of presenting a concert of pop COVERS June 2-10. This year’s theme – Just my Imagination: A Motown Covers – celebrates the iconic songs that defined an era, and features hits from the Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Jackson 5, and Stevie Wonder. Cantus makes its venue debut with COVERS at the Luminary Arts Center in Minneapolis.

Cantus closes its 2022-23 season July 11-14 with And All the Days Were Purple. The program encompasses works by Jewish and Jewish-American composers including Pulitzer Prize nominee Alex Weiser, whose stunning work “and all the days were purple” highlights the expressiveness of the Yiddish language in concert with a string trio, piano, vibraphone, and glockenspiel.

Cantus on Tour

Cantus will present their programs Song of the Universal, Alone Together, Christmas with Cantus, and My Journey Yours on tour in seventeen cities throughout the United States this season, including stops in New York, Indiana, Wisconsin, California, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and Massachusetts. The ensemble begins its touring season on August 15, 2022 with a return to the Chautauqua Institution in New York to perform the program My Journey Yours.

Visit for complete venue information and for season tickets.

Cantus 2022-23 Twin Cities Concert Season

Song of the Universal

Friday, October 21-Sunday, October 30, 2022 

Saint Hildegard the mystic claimed that her visions of God came to her through all five senses. Joan of Arc and Blaise Pascal both received holy instructions from other-worldly visitors. Indian visionary Kabir believed that God is not external, but rather located inside oneself. Experiencing God, however, is not exclusive to the historic or religious. Music, nature, and community can evoke holiness in our homes, spirituality in our surroundings, and the universal in our souls. Join Cantus on a journey to explore the connections to the divine through oneself and the ineffable alike.

Program Repertoire*

Edie Hill: (A Sound Like This) III. Clay Jug
Paul Rudoi: (Song of Sky and Sea) II. Two Falling Stars
Mari Ésabel Valverde: Before Spring
Yosvany Estepe: Vida, Tú
Mariana Sadovska: The Gates
Anon (arr. Arlety Valdés / Yudelkis Lafuente): Canto a Eleggua
Byron Adams: Eventide
Joan Szymko: Ffe Mwe, Mwe Ffe
Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson, Kolbeinn Tumason: Heyr himna smy∂ur
John Lennon and Yoko Ono (arr. CF/SG): Imagine
Makiko Kinoshita: Shukufuku
Traditional Spiritual (arr. Stacey Gibbs): Steal Away
Hildegard (arr. Chris Foss): Tu Flos Es
Kurt Elling (arr. Blake Morgan): Those Clouds Are Heavy, You Dig?
Toru Takemitsu: Wind Horse
A.R. Rahman (arr. Ethan Sperry): Zikr

Christmas with Cantus: Into the Light

Friday, December 9 - Tuesday, December 20, 2022 

Christmas with Cantus: Into the Light offers a contemporary take on the format of the Nine Lessons and Carols to center on nine themes both intimate and universal, using poetry that speaks to a modern audience and repertoire that reflects a range of context and cultures. Cantus offers a thoughtful, intricately crafted holiday program that honors tradition and speaks to the moment.

Program Repertoire*

Saunder Choi: Aguinaldo Carols
Cheryl Camm: Alleluia! Into the Light (a miner's carol)
Saunder Choi: Angels We Have Heard on High
Traditional (arr. Joe & Eddie): Children, Go
Rosephanye Powell (arr. W. Powell): Glory Hallelujah to duh Newbo'n King
Traditional (arr. Reggie Bowens): I Saw Three Ships
John Jacob Niles (arr. Paul Rudoi): I Wonder as I Wander
Chris Foss: Love, the God Eternal
Francisco Grau Vegara: Mensaje de Paz
Sofia Soderberg: Noel Nouvelet
Kenneth Jennings: O Little Town of Bethlehem
B.E. Boykin: O Magnum Mysterium
Joni Mitchell: River
Gruber (arr. Christopher Harris): Silent Night
Traditional (arr. Aaron Humble): Still, Still, Still
Chris Foss: Twas the Night before Christmas
Linda Kachelmeier: We Toast the Days

I Hear America Singing

Friday, February 24 - Tuesday, March 21, 2023 

The view of one’s labor has taken on different meanings in societies and eras across the world. From servant and slavery systems of old, to the industrial revolution, to labor unions and the gig economy, our idea of ‘work’ is ever-changing. As in all aspects of our culture, music has been a part of work every step of the way. Join Cantus for a joyful examination of the role work has played in our lives in years past, and how work will evolve into the future.

Program Repertoire*

Stacey Gibbs: Ain't Got Time to Die
Saunder Choi: Brothers of the Sea
Franz Schubert: Die Nacht
Atahualpa Yupanqui: Duerme Negrito
Michael McGlynn: Dulaman
Chris Foss: I Hear America Singing
Sydney Guillaume: Kanpe La
Stevie Wonder: Living for the City
Yamagata Ken Miuyo: Mogami gala funa uta
Arr. Robert de Cormier: Rainbow Round My Shoulder
Remel Derrick: Rest
Arr. Carraciolo: Simple Gifts
John Work: This Ol' Hammer
Tom Breiding: Union Miner
Arr. Chris Foss: We Shall Not Be Moved
Melissa Dunphy: Work

*All program repertoire subject to change

Just My Imagination: A Motown Covers

Friday, June 2 - Saturday, June 10 at 7:30 pm

Luminary Arts Center, Minneapolis

Cantus takes you to Motown with Just My Imagination, performing covers of iconic songs that defined an era from The Temptations, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Jackson 5, and Stevie Wonder. A feel-good jukebox journey through Motown's greatest hits!

And All the Days Were Purple

Tuesday, July 11, 2023 – Friday, July 14, 2023 at 7:30 pm 

In And All the Days Were Purple, Cantus explores a kaleidoscope of breathtaking art song in Yiddish, English, and Hebrew. The program encompasses works by Jewish and Jewish-American composers including Pulitzer Prize nominee Alex Weiser, whose stunning work “and all the days were purple” highlights the expressiveness of the Yiddish language. Cantus is complemented in this program by an ensemble comprised of string trio, piano, vibraphone, and glockenspiel.

CANTUS National Touring Dates 2022-23

August 15, 2022 – Chautauqua Institution – Chautauqua, New York

September 16, 2022 – Goshen College Performing Arts Series – Goshen, Indiana

September 30, 2022 – Chippewa Valley Cultural Association – Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

October 2, 2022 – Buena Vista University – Storm Lake, Iowa

October 14, 2022 – Sonoma State University – Rohnert Park, California

October 16, 2022 – InConcert Sierra – Nevada City, California

November 11-12, 2022 – Juniata College – Huntingdon, Pennsylvania

November 29, 2022 – Okoboji Performing Arts – Okoboji, Iowa

December 1, 2022 – Hancher Auditorium/University of Iowa – Iowa City, Iowa

December 2, 2022 – Civic Music Association – Des Moines, Iowa

December 4, 2022 – Gateway Arts Council – Sidney, Ohio

December 7, 2022 – St. Mary's Catholic Church – Richmond, Virginia

February 3, 2023 – Harker Concert Series – San Jose, California

February 4, 2023 – San Jose State University – San Jose, California

February 10, 2023 – Duke Performances – Durham, North Carolina

March 4, 2023 – Huntsville Chamber Music Guild – Huntsville, Alabama

March 11, 2023 – Miami University of Ohio – Oxford, Ohio

March 17, 2023 – Albion College – Albion, Michigan

April 21, 2023 – Pawling Concert Series – Pawling, New York

April 23, 2023 – First United Methodist – Shreveport, Louisiana

April 30, 2023 – Shalin Liu Performance Center – Rockport, Massachusetts

About Cantus

Now in its 28th season, the “engaging” (New Yorker) low-voice ensemble Cantus is widely known for its trademark warmth and blend, innovative programming and riveting performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The Washington Post has hailed the Cantus sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to the “spontaneous grace” of its music making. The Philadelphia Inquirer called the group nothing short of “exquisite.”

As one of the nation’s few full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has come to prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. Working without a conductor, the members of Cantus rehearse and perform as chamber musicians, each contributing to the entirety of the artistic process, creating programs that give voice to shared human experiences. As the Star Tribune has written, “The main hallmark of the Cantus sound has always been sheer quality and an unbroken belief in the special way that vocal music has of warming and invigorating the human spirit.”

Cantus enjoys a vigorous schedule of national and international touring, in addition to home concerts in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Cantus has performed at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, UCLA, San Francisco Performances, Tanglewood and Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Cantus also makes all of its home concerts available online. This pandemic-prompted innovation has brought the ensemble’s programs to audiences spanning 50 states and ten countries.

Cantus records for the UK-based Signum Classics label which has released the popular COVID-19 Sessions and Manifesto, an album of world premiere recordings of works by Ysaÿe Barnwell, David Lang, Sydney Guillaume, Libby Larsen, Sarah Kirkland Snider, and others. In the fall of 2022, Signum releases Into the Light, the first new Holiday album from Cantus in over a decade.  Cantus also has a deep catalog of recordings released on the group’s eponymous label.

Committed to the expansion of the vocal music repertoire, Cantus actively commissions new music and seeks to unearth rarely performed repertoire for low voices. Cantus has received commissioning grants from New Music USA, the National Endowment for the Arts, Chorus America, American Composers Forum and Chamber Music America. In line with Cantus’ ongoing commitment to fostering new works for tenors, baritones, and basses, the ensemble has partnered with composer and former Cantus bass Timothy C. Takach and Graphite Publishing on the Cantus Choral Series, distributing Cantus’ signature arrangements and compositions for ensembles everywhere to perform and enjoy.

Cantus has a rich history of collaborations with other performing arts organizations, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Pops, Chanticleer, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Lorelei Ensemble, Theater Latté Da and the James Sewell Ballet. The ensemble is heard frequently on both classical public radio nationwide and on SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

Integral to the Cantus mission is its commitment to preserve and deepen music education in the schools. Cantus works with more than 5,000 students each year in masterclass and workshop settings across the country and has visited 31 Minnesota high schools throughout the 15-year history of its award-winning High School Residency program. Cantus also presents a Young and Emerging Composers’ Competition, to encourage the creation of new repertoire through cash prizes, a performance, recording and potential publication of winning compositions.



Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Davis Public Relations



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