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20. All Hail a Premiere

Roberto SierraRoberto Sierra, Music, premiered the work, Missa Latina, for the 75th anniversary of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The mass, with marimba, maracas, Cuban timbales, and other Caribbean instruments, was hailed as “the most significant symphonic premiere in the District since Benjamin Britten’s stunning War Requiem was first performed in the still-unfinished Washington National Cathedral in the late 1960s” (T. L. Ponick, Washington Times). Conducted by Leonard Slatkin, the National Orchestra was joined by the Choral Arts Society of Washington, soprano Heidi Grant Murphy, and baritone Nathaniel Webster. Tim Page of the Washington Post called the Missa Latina “remarkably organic in its expression.” The 75-minute work received standing ovations during the three nights of its premiere.

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