Jan 24

World Premiere of Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen Coming to Camelot Theatres on Tuesday, February 7, 2012.

World Premiere of
Shining Night:
A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen
Coming to Camelot Theatres on Tuesday, February 7, 2012.

Morten Lauridsen and Writer/Director Michael Stillwater to Attend;
USC Thornton Chamber Singers to perform live under the direction of Jo-Michael Scheibe.

On Tuesday, Feb 7, 2012 at 8:00pm, the World Premiere of Michael Stillwater’s new film, Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen, will be screened at Camelot Theatres in Palm Springs. Presented by the new American Documentary Film Festival, the premiere is part of its pre-festival screening series, and is sponsored by the Palm Springs Cultural Center.

Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen was written and directed by Michael Stillwater, and celebrates the life and music of world-renowned Composer Morten Lauridsen, whom musicologist Nick Strimple has called ‘the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic’. National Medal of Arts recipient and the most frequently performed American choral composer, Morten Lauridsen spends summers on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen features intimate interviews with him in California, Scotland and Waldron Island, Washington, interwoven with performances of Lauridsen’s masterworks, and commentaries by music contemporaries.

Both Morten Lauridsen and Michael Stillwater are scheduled to attend the premiere, which will be preceded by a special live performance of Lauridsen’s work by the USC Thornton Chamber Singers, under the direction of Jo-Michael Scheibe. The USC Thornton Chamber Singers is the premiere choral ensemble at USC. This past November, they were joined by the USC Thornton Concert Choir and Symphony in a magnificent performance of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor under the direction of Maestro Helmuth Rilling. Earlier this year, members of the Chambers Singers and Concert Choir joined Andrea Bocelli in his performance of “My Christmas” for PBS. The USC Thornton Chamber Singers perform regularly in concert halls around the country and around the world.


Special Screening of
Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen
and live performance by the USC Thornton Chamber Singers

Tue. Feb 7, 2012 at 8:00pm
Tickets: $15.00
Special Student Discounts available.

Tickets are available at the Camelot Theatres Box Office, or online at:

Camelot Theatres

2300 E Baristo Road
Palm Springs, CA 92262

NOTE: This special program is a prelude event for the upcoming American Documentary Film Festival. Find out more about the American Documentary Film Festival at http://www.americandocumentaryfilmfestival.com/

See what the Wall Street Journal Had to say about Morton Lauridsen:



About Morten Lauridsen: Morten Johannes Lauridsen is an American composer. He was composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale (1994–2001) and has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music  for more than 30 years.  He received the National Medal of Arts in 2007.

Lauridsen developed a love for music at an early age. At eight, he started playing the piano, and later learned to play the trumpet. He studied composition with Ingolf Dahl, Halsey Stevens, Robert Linn, and Harold Owen at the University of Southern California. His choral compositions, including seven choral cycles and a series of sacred a cappella motets, are featured regularly in concerts worldwide. In particular, O Magnum Mysterium, Contre Qui, Rose and Dirait-on (from Les Chansons des Roses), and O Nata Lux (from Lux Aeterna) have become popular items in the choral repertoire.

Lauridsen’s musical language is influenced by chant, as well as masters through the ages, such as Josquin, Palestrina, Gesualdo, Monteverdi, Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, and Duruflé. The influence of chant, though evident in the linear construction of many of his works, is particularly clear in Lux Aeterna. A chant-like melody, first stated by the strings, unfolds and becomes the basis for the entire five-movement work. Lauridsen also cites the American musical theater as an influence, drawing upon this sound especially for his setting of James Agee’s “Sure on this Shining Night.” Some of Lauridsen’s signature sounds include pervasive use of the second scale degree, (the second note of the key in which the composition is written) and his Madrigali utilize the “fire chord.” In search of a single sonority to connect each song in the cycle, Lauridsen settled on a minor chord with an added ninth, a sound which he named the “fire chord.” It returns throughout the work and is especially poignant in its single use on the word “voi” (Italian for “you”) in the final song, “Se per havervi oime.”

About Michael Stillwater:
Michael Stillwater is a multi-talented artist and educator using music for healing and reconnection. A recording artist of over a dozen albums, his songs reflect universal spiritual principles through the eyes of his human journey, and his chants are known worldwide for opening  heart and mind. He is founder of Inner Harmony, offering musical services online and on-site, and Song Without Borders, producer of films and other programs applying song to personal and societal transformation, a  project of nonprofit Green Hospice of Santa Fe, NM