"Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen" is a new documentary that celebrates the life and work of Morten Lauridsen. America's most frequently performed choral composer, Lauridsen is a 2007 National Medal of Arts recipient and a distinguished professor of composition at the USC Thornton School of Music. He has been named an American Choral Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. Musicologist and Thornton faculty Nick Strimple describes Lauridsen as "the only American composer in history who can be called a mystic." Shining Night premiered in Palm Springs in 2012 as a prelude event to the American Documentary Film Festival and received the Best Documentary Award at the DC Independent Film Festival. Filmed in California, Washington and Scotland from 2010 to 2011, Shining Night commemorates the 15th anniversary of the premiere of Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna and the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Madrigali.
Following a screening of the film, Lauridsen will be joined in conversation by the film's director, Michael Stillwater, and Dana Gioia, the Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture at USC and adjunct professor of musicology at Thornton.