April 1, 2011

Advance Notice

'Book of the Dead' inspires composer's premiere of 'Eternal Gates' and related events

Professor of Composition John Anthony Lennon.

Professor of Composition John Anthony Lennon unveils his lyric work "Eternal Gates" this month with two performances, discussions and a Creativity Conversation.

The oratorio is based on the Egyptian "Book of the Dead," ancient funeral texts dating back to 1500 B.C.E. The one-hour program is sung in the ancient Egyptian language.

"Eternal Gates" is the first major musical piece to be dedicated entirely to the "Book of the Dead." Lennon studied the texts over a number of years, their universal themes providing a source of inspiration for his work.

"These ancient people had the same existential questions and desires that we struggle with today," says Lennon.

Lennon will discuss his composition process with Vice President and Secretary of the University Rosemary Magee in a Creativity Conversation on Thursday, April 7, 4:30 p.m., in the Carlos Museum.

The Emory University Symphony Orchestra (EUSO) and University Chorus will present the world premiere of "Eternal Gates" in two performances, April 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. A discussion will precede each performance at 7:15 p.m.

The April 15-16 concert is the annual collaboration between EUSO and University Chorus, representing 275 students. Richard Prior, Edward Goodwin Scruggs Chair, is the EUSO conductor. Eric Nelson directs the chorus.

Coinciding with the performances, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Art History Gay Robins will present the lecture, "The Egyptian Book of the Dead," April 15-16, 6 p.m. in the Carlos Museum.

The concert, Creativity Conversation, and lecture are free and open to the public. Visit for details.

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