Voiceless Mass by The University of New Mexico alumnus and Pulitzer Prize winning Diné composer Raven Chacon will make its New Mexican premiere of his award-winning work in Albuquerque.

Raven Chacon receives Pulitzer Prize for Music
Raven Chacon accepts the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Music from Columbia University president Lee Bollinger. (Photo by Eileen Barroso/Columbia University)

Chacon won the prestigious 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Voiceless Mass.

“This work considers the spaces in which we gather, the history of access of these spaces, and the land upon which these buildings sit. Though ‘mass’ is referenced in the title, the piece contains no audible singing voices, instead using the openness of the large space to intone the constricted intervals of the wind and string instruments. In exploiting the architecture of the cathedral, Voiceless Mass considers the futility of giving voice to the voiceless, when ceding space is never an option for those in power,” Chacon said.

Encountering the Spirit, featuring Voiceless Mass, will be performed Saturday, March 4, 2023, at The Cathedral of St. John, 318 Silver Ave SW, in Albuquerque.

The program, presented by the Friends of Cathedral Music, will begin at 9:30 a.m. with a conversation with Chacon and Ana Alonso-Minutti, associate professor in the UNM Department of Music. Tickets are available online.

Admission to this conversation, held in Anna Kaseman Hall at the Cathedral, is first come, first served and attendees must have tickets. The conversation will be recorded for later viewing.

The concert will follow at 10:30 a.m.

General admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Students are free and ID is required.

The concert features a Chamber Orchestra with organ soloist Maxine Thévenot and conductor David Felberg. Included in the program along with Chacon’s Voiceless Mass are Distance, Michael Barnes; Quartet for the End of Time (select movements), Olivier Messiaen; Prelude and Allegro for Organ and Strings, Walter Piston; Black Anemones,  Joseph Schwantner; and Flicker, Michel Galante.