JOBY TALBOT’S PATH OF MIRACLES
Members of the Choir of Saint James & guests, Maura Tuffy, conductor
April 14, 2024 | 4:15 PM
Path of Miracles is an extended choral composition by Joby Talbot, written in 2005 following a commission from the vocal chamber group Tenebrae. Under the direction of Nigel Short, Tenebrae’s first performance was scheduled for 7 July 2005 in London, but was delayed because of the bombings that took place in the city that day. The City of London Festival quickly rescheduled the event, and the world premiere took place on 17 July 2005 at St. Bartholomew-the-Great Church in London.
A pilgrimage in composition, Path of Miracles is a musical journey, as the four movements represent the four main stops (Roncesvalles, Burgos, León and Santiago) along the Camino de Santiago, one of Christendom’s most famous pilgrimage routes. Using selections from the medieval texts Codex Calixtinus and Miragres de Santiago and from Roman Catholic liturgies, Path of Miracles incorporates musical styles ranging from the Taiwanese Bunun people and the pilgrims’ hymn Dum Pater Familias to contemporary minimalism and other modern idioms. Sung in Greek, Latin, Spanish, Basque, French, English and German, the writer Robert Dickinson incorporates passages from Christian medieval and liturgical texts into his powerful libretto.
Praised for her ability to produce “monumental” work (New Classic LA), conductor and soprano Maura Tuffy has established herself as a dynamic leader in the classical music field. She serves as the Assistant Choral Director at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and served as Lecturer in Choral Conducting at California State University, Los Angeles during the spring 2023 semester.
In her graduate studies, Maura served as the Principal Assistant Conductor for the Yale Camerata and as guest conductor/vocalist for New Music New Haven. She has participated in a number of masterclasses, working with conductors such as Masaaki Suzuki (Bach Collegium Japan), Marcus Creed (Danish National Vocal Ensemble), and Simon Carrington (Norfolk Chamber Music Festival). Recently, she was selected as the Conducting Fellow for the 2023 Black House New Music Workshop in Los Angeles.
An avid ensemble singer, Maura has appeared with the GRAMMY-award-winning groups Los Angeles Master Chorale and Conspirare, in addition to Yale Choral Artists, Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble, and Audivi. She has sung as a soloist under the batons of prominent conductors such as Masaaki Suzuki, Gabriel Crouch, and David Hill, and will make her solo debut with Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity NYC this season. Maura regularly sings with the acclaimed Choir of St. James’ in-the-City.
Maura holds two Master’s degrees in Choral Conducting from the Yale School of Music and Bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Arts and Choral Music from the USC Thornton School of Music. She is the recipient of several honors including the Robert Shaw Prize from Yale, the Yale School of Music Alumni Association Prize, and the Vocal Arts Department Award from USC.