May 13, 2017
Faure Cantique de Jean Racine
LISCA Welcomes Its New Conductor!
Beginning with our May 2017 Concert, LISCA will be led by Eric Stewart.
Eric currently serves as the co-director of Lex54 Concerts (New York), composer-advisor to the ensemble Les Plaisirs non-coupables (Quebec), composer-in-residence at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church (New York), and conductor of the Tzu Chi Youth Chamber Orchestra (East Williston, Long Island).
Eric studied Composition and Conducting at the Peabody Conservatory (B.M. and M.M.); earned doctorate in composition from the University of Toronto. His compositions have been performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
Thomas Schmidt conducted LISCA from 2005 through 2016. Before his recent retirement he was Director of Music at Saint Peter's Lutheran Church in Manhattan, and organized the weekly concert series there on Tuesdays. He founded the annual Basically Bach Festival at Saint Peter's, now an anticipated part of New York's yearly musical scene. He is been pianist with the Arden Trio since it was founded in 1979. They won the Concert Artist's Guild award in 1981, and have toured throughout the country and recorded on several labels.
LISCA's Founder and Conductor Emeritus, Gregg Smith, led LISCA for over 40 years. He is world-famous as a choral conductor and as a composer. His professional chorus, the Gregg Smith Singers, is internationally known and widely recorded. In 2008 the NEA awarded Gregg and the GSS a grant which supported a major choral festival celebrating American Masterpieces.
Gregg passed away on July 12, 2016. His obituary in the New York Times can be found here.
Suffolk County's Long Island Symphonic Choral Association (LISCA) was founded by Gregg Smith in 1968, when he was at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Despite having moved to New York City, Mr. Smith maintained devotion to LISCA for over 40 years, traveling to Suffolk County every Tuesday night to rehearse the group. Under his guidance, LISCA has developed into a seasoned chorus noted for its fine intonation and blend and for the imaginative programming that is Mr. Smith's hallmark. Under Thomas Schmidt, conductor from 2005 to 2016, LISCA's reputation for excellence flourished. The group repertory ranges from the Renaissance masters to the avant-garde, and includes premiers of many works of contemporary composers. Beginning in 2017, LISCA will be led by Eric Stewart. The chorus has toured in France and England (in 1997), Iceland (2000), Ireland (2003), Argentina (2010), Italy (2013), and the Baltic States (2016).
A story about the Baltic trip can be found here.