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SACRA/PROFANA Tackles Mid-Century Masters at Oceanside Museum of Art

San Diego’s cutting-edge vocal ensemble to perform challenging choral works by Ernst Krenek and Benjamin Britten

Oceanside CA— San Diego’s only year-round professional chorus, SACRA/PROFANA, now in its 9th season will feature works by Austrian composer Ernst Krenek and British composer Benjamin Britten during a special event at the Oceanside Museum of Art, February 24, 2018. Krenek and Britten were part of a flood of composers, musicians, and others who came to the U.S. from Europe in the years before and during World War II.

Ignited by the fall of Vienna to the Nazis while Krenek was in exile in America, The Lamentations of Jeremiah are thought-provoking, evocative, and unlike anything you’ll hear anywhere else.

“SACRA/PROFANA has a reputation for continually breaking the choral mold,” explains Artistic Director Krishan Oberoi. “Often that means stepping completely outside the choral realm – as we did in our recent Carole King concert – and sometimes it means finding repertoire that is so challenging that almost no one else is doing it. This repertoire is incredibly powerful, but also challenging enough that most choirs tend to shy away from it.”

In addition to Krenek’s Lamentations, we’ll also perform Benjamin Britten’s Sacred and Profane, one of the famed British composer’s last completed works. Like Krenek, Britten also left his home country during the early stages of WW II seeking opportunity and acceptance in America. Sacred and Profane, composed in 1975, is a collection of eight lyrics based on medieval English poems.

“The level of connection between these two pieces and their composers is quite remarkable,” says Juan Carlos Acosta, Associate Artistic Director. “Krenek and Britten have fascinatingly similar stories in their departure from Europe in the early days of World War II. Both even found their way to San Diego for a time. These choral pieces are among the most challenging either composer wrote and both of them were inspired by ancient sources in their composition.”

  • Saturday, February 24, 7:30 pm
  • Oceanside Museum of Art
  • 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, CA 92054


San Diego’s only year-round professional chorus, SACRA/PROFANA was founded in 2009 by New York native Krishan Oberoi. Described by KPBS as “choral music for the iPod generation”, the dynamic group has collaborated with the Chieftains, Producer Carlton Cuse (of ABC’s hit show Lost), Japanese composer Nobou Uematsu, and many other prominent creative minds. In addition to their popular crossover work, SACRA/PROFANA has championed challenging choral masterpieces by such composers as Arnold Schoenberg, György Ligeti, and Ernst Krenek. In 2014 SACRA/PROFANA produced the world premiere recording of When We were Children by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. The choral ensemble was also a 2016-17 finalist for The American Prize in Choral Performance – Professional Division.