“Full of charm and shapely allure” (Opera News) and “a tapestry of immense grace” (Textura) are some of the praises for the music of Christopher J. Hoh. He composes for voices and instruments, separately and combined, in a modern classical vein. In the mid-Atlantic region, his work has enhanced many worship services and choral concerts, but audiences across the United States and in several countries of Europe and the Americas have also heard his compositions. The GRAMMY-winning ensemble The Crossing, as well as Vox Futura and others, have recorded his work on six albums so far, with more in the pipeline.
The professional ensemble The Thirteen recently premiered Hoh’s Musica Dei Donum for 12 voices in Washington. Meanwhile, the first performances of his Mass on When Jesus Wept took place with King’s Chapel Choir in Boston, and the art song A Little More Peace with mezzo soprano Solmaaz Adeli saw a bi-coastal tour. Director of Helena (MT) Choral Week Kerry Krebill selected Hoh as Composer-in-Residence in 2008, premiering Holy, Holy, Holy Is The Lord God of Hosts and giving a concert of his music. The William & Mary University Choir, Musikanten and others have taken his music on tour.
Recent years saw premieres of I Breathed A Song at Vienna’s Musikverein and Evening Music: Five Sarton Poems both in Maryland and overseas. Selections from Three Latin Prayers have been widely heard, from a Virginia New Year’s celebration and a church in Vienna Austria, to Simon Carrington’s conducting workshop in Umbria Italy. For Pentecost, St. Monica and St. James Episcopal Church on Washington’s Capitol Hill commissioned From Heaven There Came A Sound, a multilingual work for children’s and adult choirs, piano, and percussion.
While best known as a choral composer, Hoh pivoted during the pandemic to the pipe organ — the ultimate social-distance instrument. The Lorenz Corporation published some of his organ pieces in 2022 and his own publishing house, HohMade Music, has issued to date four volumes of works for recital and worship. His Concertino for organ and chamber orchestra is scheduled for a commercial album release in 2023.
Hoh grew up in Reading PA, where he studied with conductor/organist/composer Donald Hinkle. As a young singer and accompanist he was influenced by learning great contemporary works under directors in Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington. He has been a fellow in Alice Parker’s composer seminar and attended workshops with Jean Berger, Daniel Moe, and Craig Jessop. Hoh’s formal education and career were in international affairs before retiring from the United States Foreign Service after 30-some years. He is a member of American Composers Forum, American Choral Directors Association, and ASCAP as both a publisher and composer.