The Grammy Award–winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, named WQXR’s 2016–17 artist-in-residence, is a collective of young singers and vocal ensembles reimagining choral music performance through artistic innovation, collaboration, and a versatile range and repertoire. The Chorus’s multilevel training program draws students from across the five boroughs and combines intensive voice and musicianship study with exceptional performance experiences.
The Chorus has appeared with orchestras including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras, London and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras, and Mariinsky Orchestra, and with conductors including Marin Alsop, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, James Levine, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. The Chorus has performed with major recording artists including Barbra Streisand, Arcade Fire, Elton John, Grizzly Bear, and John Legend.
The Chorus, which received a 2005 Grammy Award for the New York Philharmonic’s recording of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, recently released its first solo recording, Black Mountain Songs, through New Amsterdam Records. Brooklyn Youth Chorus has garnered a strong reputation as an arts producer.
Current productions include Silent Voices, which premiered at the BAM Opera House in May 2017; Aging Magician, which received its Off-Broadway premiere in March 2017; and Black Mountain Songs, which tours to Asheville, North Carolina, in September 2017.
Founded in 1992 by artistic director Dianne Berkun Menaker, Brooklyn Youth Chorus serves more than 600 students in its core after-school and public school outreach programs. Classes take place at its Cobble Hill headquarters and neighborhood locations in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Red Hook, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Dianne Berkun Menaker is the founder and artistic director of Brooklyn Youth Chorus, which, under her leadership, has become one of the most highly regarded ensembles in the country and has stretched the artistic boundaries for the youth chorus. Ms. Berkun Menaker has prepared choruses for performances with acclaimed conductors including Marin Alsop, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, James Levine, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Robert Spano. She prepared the chorus for its 2002 New York Philharmonic debut in John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, the recording of which won a 2005 Grammy Award. Dianne Berkun Menaker is the creator of the chorus’s Cross-Choral Training program, a holistic and experiential approach to developing singers in a group setting encompassing both voice and musicianship pedagogy.