Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)



Document Type



James Kallembach’s music has been premiered by acclaimed choral groups such as Seraphic Fire and Lorelei Ensemble. It is a commission by the latter that this dissertation explores. In 2015 Lorelei Ensemble commissioned Kallembach to write a piece for Lorelei Ensemble’s “Witness” program, on the subject of martyrdom as it was conceptualized in ancient and modern times. Kallembach set the Sophocles play, Antigone,with interpolated texts from Sophie Scholl and pamphlets from the White Rose, a group dedicated to resisting the Nazis in Germany during the Second World War. The composition is a forty-minute oratorio for SSSSAAAA choir and four cellos. This dissertation is a conductor’s guide to Kallembach’s Antigone. To meet these ends, chapter one explores the genesis of the commission through interviews with the composer and main commissioner (Lorelei Ensemble’s artistic director, Beth Willer), followed by chapter two’s exegesis of the texts. The original play by Sophocles, as well as Jean Anouilh’s adaptation are discussed, along with a biographical sketch of Sophie Scholl and an introduction to the White Rose. Since Kallembach also served as librettist for Antigone, his insight into the selection of texts and authors is explored. Chapter three focuses on a musical analysis of the work and discusses the integration of text and music. Chapter four offers suggestions for conductors for the preparation and performance of this work. Since Beth Willer gave the premiere of Antigone, her insight is also included.

Committee Chair

Dickson, John



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