Exploring the realm of ancient and modern music for unaccompanied voices, the Ars Nova Singers have presented approximately 250 performances of more than 100 different chorale concert programs in its twenty-two year history. Based in Boulder, Colorado and comprised of 40 selectively auditioned semi-professional choral musicians from the Denver/Boulder area, Ars Nova has achieved significant national recognition under the direction of founding Artistic Director Thomas Edward Morgan.
Technically and programatically innovative, Ars Nova has collaborated with some of the finest musicians and arts organizations in the region, including: the Kronos Quartet; Frequent Flyers Dance Company; Colorado Music Festival; Boulder Philharmonic; Colorado MahlerFest; St. Martin’s Chamber Choir; Denver Chamber Orchestra; Colorado Mormon Chorale; and the newly formed Lafayette Pro Musica chamber orchestra. Honors include: an invitation-only performance on National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. (2006); an upcoming performance at the National Performing Arts Convention (2008); performances at the national conventions of Chorus America (2002) and The American Guild of Organists (1998); and support from the Chorus Program of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Performing Ensembles program of the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
Musical accomplishments of the choir include historically informed performances of the music of Hildegard of Bingen, concerts of complete Responsoria by the eccentric late Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo, critically acclaimed performances of the a cappella masterpieces of Rachmaninoff (the Vespers and the Liturgy of St. John), and the commissioning and premiering of new works. In 2007, the ensemble premiered a new work commissioned from the 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky.
Ars Nova has released nine independent recordings on compact disc and performed on seven internationally released recordings with Boulder composer and instrumentalist Bill Douglas. They have been heard in radio broadcasts throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, Japan, and Europe, including such National Public Radio programs as The First Art, Music from the Hearts of Space, and locally on Colorado Spotlight and Colorado Matters.
The choir has participated in numerous commissioning/new music projects, performing new works by Libby Larsen, Stephen Paulus, Luis Jorge González, Jan Gilbert, R. Anthony Lee, and Terry Schlenker. In September 2002 the ensemble premiered I Heard a Voice, a major new work composed by Thomas Edward Morgan and New York visual artist Lesley Dill and subsequently performed internationally at the Evergreen Cultural Centre in Coquitlam, British Columbia (2003). The ensemble has recently joined in a consortium commission of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky.
Thomas Edward Morgan, Artistic Director and founder of the Ars Nova Singers, is recognized as a significant choral conductor and composer in the state of Colorado. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music summa cum laude from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and a Master of Music degree in composition from the University of Colorado. Morgan currently holds a prestigious ongoing invitation only fellowship in the Lucas Artists Program at the Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California. During the fellowship, Morgan is collaborating with New York visual and performance artist Lesley Dill to create an opera based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson.