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Eric Whitacre to Debut "Sleep" with 2,052 Voice Virtual Choir on April 7

By Jeaneane Payne

Eric Whitacre, one of the most performed composers of his generation, is back with a larger, even more ambitious work: "Sleep." Made up of a virtual choir of 2,052 from 58 countries, "Sleep" will debut via live stream on Thursday, April 7, 2011.

In a moving and madly viral video last year, Whitacre led a virtual choir of singers from around the world. He talks through the creative challenges of making music powered by YouTube, and unveils the first 2 minutes of his new work, "Sleep," with a video choir of 2,052.

Eric Whitacre began his music career singing in his college choir, with no previous musical experience. By 21, he had completed his first concert work, Go, Lovely Rose, and soon advanced to Julliard where he studied under Oscar-winning composer John Corigliano. Today, his 44 published concert pieces have sold over a million copies, he has conducted choral music in some of the most esteemed halls in the world and his music has been featured on dozens of commercial recordings. His album Cloudburst and Other Choral Works earned him a Grammy nomination in 2007.

Most recently, Whitacre has been noticed for his cutting-edge work, Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings, a musical that combines electronica with choral and operatic traditions. The musical has earned him the prestigious Richard Rodgers Award, received 10 nominations at the 2007 Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, and performed to a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall in 2010.

You can watch the world premiere of Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0 Sleep on live stream on April 7, 6:00 p.m. ET at

Published April 4, 2011

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