Our Tradition of Excellence
Founder of Abendmusik
Abendmusik at First-Plymouth was founded in 1972 by longtime artistic director Jack Levick. In its first forty years, Abendmusik has brought a host of inspiring composers and conductors to Lincoln, including Robert Shaw, Aaron Copland, Randall Thompson, Sir David Willcocks, Jonathan Willcocks, John Rutter, Alice Parker, William Albright, Dan Locklair, Anton Armstrong, and Z. Randall Stroope. Many of the world's foremost organists have performed on the Abendmusik series, including Thomas Murray, Frederick Swann, John Ferguson, Todd Wilson, and Marie-Madeleine Duruflé. Abendmusik audiences have also experienced some of the world's finest musical ensembles, including The Vienna Boys Choir, Paul Winter Consort, The Estonia Male Choir, Chanticleer, the St. Olaf Choir and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble.
In 1988, the Abendmusik: Lincoln Fine Arts Series won the Governor's Arts Award, and, in 2003, Abendmusik was awarded the Lincoln Arts Council Mayor's Arts Award for Arts Organization Excellence. The organization has enjoyed a growing national reputation and has been honored for its nationally distributed recordings, Cathedral Pageantry and Horatio Parker's Hora Novissima. Abendmusik complements other musical offerings in the Lincoln community, offering unique opportunities in our region to experience excellence in the performing arts.
In 2010, four exciting initiatives were launched to help Abendmusik grow into its vision of enriching community and inspiring collaboration: an annual series of free Summer Sings that enables hundreds of singers from choirs all over the community to gather around great choral masterworks; an annual music workshop that brings nationally-known clinicians to share with singers and conductors from schools and churches around the Midwest; a community-wide Children's Choir Festival bringing together young singers from all over the city to sing together with an inspiring guest conductor; and a new professional chamber choir, a collaboration of choral artists from across the state, region, and country.
Our Dreams for the Future
Abendmusik will enrich Lincoln by sharing inspiring experiences with the world’s finest music in the beautiful sanctuary of First-Plymouth. While Abendmusik will be committed to reaching out to people of all ages with innovative programming, special emphasis will continue to be placed on the Abendmusik Chorus’ preparation and presentation of great choral/orchestral masterworks and inspired new additions to the choral literature. Abendmusik will enable talented local performers of all ages to collaborate with well-known ensembles, composers, conductors and soloists to create transcendent musical experiences that can uplift and inspire. Abendmusik will celebrate and share the magnificent Lied organ, given as a gift to the Lincoln arts community. Abendmusik will share its music and mission with communities around Nebraska with growing outreach through performances and educational events throughout the state. In the 2012-13 season, Abendmusik celebrated its 40th anniversary and launched its fifth decade of music that inspires. As Abendmusik approaches its 50th anniversary, it aims to celebrate its innovative mission and enter its next half-century of excellence in the performing arts.