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Brahms wrote his Requiem for the living. He conceived of it as a “human requiem” to offer comfort to those who mourn. Given the losses of the past and the heroic efforts of researchers and medical professionals, Brahms’ masterpiece expresses our emotions of sorrow and gratitude like no other. Joining the choir in Brahms’ own four-hand piano arrangement are noted pianist Brian Connelly, Artist Teacher of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music, and Yvonne Chen, a graduate of The Juilliard School and the Shepherd School of Music, playing a 19th century Bösendorfer piano similar to one Brahms might have played. Our featured soloists are soprano Cynthia Clayton and baritone Héctor Vásquez, distinguished members of the Moores School of Music faculty. The concert opens with the premiere of “Hymn for Strength,” a new composition dedicated to caregivers with words by Houston Poet Laureate Outspoken Bean and music by Houston Methodist Center for Performing Arts Medicine Director J. Todd Frazier. This new work will be performed by a choir comprised of representatives from Houston's healthcare community, led by M.J. Gallop.