Byrd Ensemble performs ‘Prince of Music: Palestrina’ at Holy Rosary

April 15, 2023 @ 7:30 pm
4139 42nd SW
West Seattle

Use code WESTSEATTLE30 for a 30% discount on tickets!


WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 15, 2023 AT 7:30 P.M.

WHERE: Holy Rosary Church – 4139 42nd Ave SW

TICKETS: Tickets $20-$50 available online at

Palestrina was the outstanding composer of the late Renaissance in Europe. His long-lasting
influence on the development of church music and counterpoint included his most famous
mass setting, Missa Papae Marcelli, which served as a model for mass settings during the
Counter-Reformation. The program also features music by two other leading contemporaries
of Palestrina: Spanish Counter-Reformation composer and possible pupil of Palestrina, Tomás
Luis de Victoria, and Franco-Flemish composer Orlando Lassus.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Tu es Petrus
Orlando Lassus – Osculetur me
Tomás Luis de Victoria – Alma redemptoris a8
Tomás Luis de Victoria – Versa est in luctum
Tomás Luis de Victoria – Magnificat primi toni a8
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina – Missa Papae Marcelli

Described as “pure and radiant” (Gramophone), “immensely impressive” (Early Music
Review), and “rich, full-voiced, and perfectly blended” (Early Music America), the Byrd
Ensemble has been internationally acclaimed for its performances and recordings of chamber
vocal music, particularly Renaissance polyphony. The Byrd Ensemble, directed by Markdavin
Obenza, is a Seattle-based professional ensemble made up of 10 to 12 singers.

Since 2004, the ensemble has performed in the greater Seattle area and toured across the
United States, presenting concerts for the Gotham Early Music Scene in New York with Peter
Phillips (director of the Tallis Scholars), the Boston Early Music Fringe Series, and in Scotland
at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The Byrd Ensemble has also performed in London, where
John Rutter described the ensemble as “a fine group that has achieved an enviable standard of
tuning, blend, and ensemble.”

The Byrd Ensemble signed with the Scribe Records label in 2011 and has since produced six
records which have been reviewed by major music publications: Early Music America,
Gramophone, and Early Music Review. The Byrd Ensemble’s recording of Estonian composer
Arvo Pärt was reviewed in the Gramophone Magazine in 2014 and was used in the French
film L’apparition (2018).

The Byrd Ensemble is named after Renaissance composer William Byrd.

The Byrd Ensemble is represented by Artist Manager Marianne LaCrosse Suòno Artist

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR MARKDAVIN OBENZA is a choral director, recording producer, singer,
and composer. He is also the director of Seattle-based choral ensemble Radiance, specializing
in the performance of American choral music, and is the Director of Choral Activities at
Trinity Parish Church in Seattle, WA. As a producer for independent record label Scribe
Records, Markdavin has produced CD recordings for over 40 choirs and soloists, of which
several have been reviewed in Gramophone, Early Music America, Early Music Review, and
Fanfare. Markdavin has also produced and directed a number of virtual choirs, including
Caroline Shaw’s and the swallow, which was featured on Modern Choral Masterworks,
broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has also produced
“concertmentaries” and musical broadcasts in collaboration with various music ensembles and
artists during the pandemic, including Shaker Spirituals in Maine (2021), featuring composer
Kevin Siegfried and Radiance for the Library of Congress American Folklife Center.

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