Renowned composer to speak, perform
Morten Johannes Lauridsen to visit Cal Lutheran
Morten Johannes Lauridsen
Morten Johannes Lauridsen

THOUSAND OAKS, CA - Popular composer and National Medal of Arts recipient Morten Johannes Lauridsen will talk about his music and perform with California Lutheran University students at two free public events culminating the First-Year Experience Program for freshmen.

Lauridsen will discuss his music and why he chose to become a composer at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in Samuelson Chapel on the Thousand Oaks campus. At both events, he will also perform with the university’s Choir, Women's Chorale and music faculty as well as the professional Areté Vocal Ensemble based on campus. Wyant Morton, director of choral activities, will conduct.

In a new twist on the university’s First-Year Experience Program, all of this year’s freshmen watched online videos of Lauridsen and his music and the award-winning 2012 documentary “Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen.” They also read a companion booklet to the film called “Morten Lauridsen’s Waldron Island Reflections.” In the past, incoming students have all read the same book, discussed it in their freshmen seminar classes and attended a lecture by the author.

The National Endowment for the Arts named Lauridsen an “American Choral Master” in 2006. The following year he received the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush “for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide.”

Lauridsen was the Los Angeles Master Choral composer-in-residence from 1994 to 2001. He has been a professor of composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than 40 years and founded the school’s advanced studies program in film scoring.

He has won numerous grants, prizes, commissions and honorary doctorates and held residencies as a guest composer and lecturer at more than 70 universities. His works have been recorded on more than 200 CDs, five of which have received Grammy Award nominations. Distinguished artists and ensembles throughout the world regularly preform his vocal cycles, collections and instrumental works.

The chapel is located at 165 Chapel Lane. Seats will be reserved for Cal Lutheran freshmen, so space for the public is limited and available on a first-come basis. For more information, contact Jim Bond at