Two Great Concerts Coming Up at St. Bart’s

GREAT MUSIC AT ST. BART’S PRESENTS:

  • “Portals To the Divine: Radiance From the North,” Choral Music from Scandinavia and the Baltic States in the St. Bart’s Sanctuary – Tuesday, March 20, 2018
  • Dorian Wind Quintet Performs Jazz – Gershwin, Schuller, and Schifrin in the St. Bart’s Chapel – Tuesday, April 17, 2018

St. Bartholomew’s Choir (photo by Tim Martin)

Dorian Wind Quintet

Romantic and recent choral music from Scandinavia and the Baltic States performed by the St. Bartholomew’s Choir in the grand St. Bart’s sanctuary, and the Dorian Wind Quintet playing jazz compositions in the intimacy of the St. Bart’s Chapel – these are upcoming spring events presented by Great Music at St. Bart’s (more information below).

Tickets may be purchased online at www.mmpaf.org, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s continues the programmatic focus initiated by MMPAF Artistic Director William K. Trafka (Director of Music and Organist of St. Bart’s): to embrace a wide range of music in programs that shine in St. Bart’s spaces. The concert series, produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation (www.mmpaf.org), for the past seven years has presented music in St. Bartholomew’s Church, a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of New York located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The magnificent 1918 Romanesque-style church, a National Historic Landmark, features a portal designed by Stanford White and a grand Byzantine-style interior – and two of New York’s unlikely but outstanding concert spaces. The 150-seat chapel is an intimate and acoustically brilliant space perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music, and the majestic 1,000-seat sanctuary – outfitted with comfortable chairs enabling flexible seating – boasts an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ that is the largest in New York City and one of the finest examples of the American Classic Organ in the U.S.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 7:30 pm in the Church
ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S CHOIR
“PORTALS TO THE DIVINE: RADIANCE FROM THE NORTH”
St. Bartholomew’s Choir
William K. Trafka, conductor
Romantic and contemporary choral works by composers from both Scandinavian countries and the Baltic States offer a testament of faith and a glimpse into a transcendent world: the Requiem of Icelandic composer Jón Leifs (1899-1968), Psalm 67 and Only in Sleep of Latvian Eriks Ešenvalds (b. 1977), Ubi caritas by Norwegian Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) and Biegga luohte by Swedish Jan Sandström (b. 1964), as well as music of Norwegian Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), all performed by the St. Bartholomew’s Choir led by St. Bart’s Music Director William Trafka in the grand Romanesque architecture of the St. Bart’s sanctuary.

Jón Leifs’ Requiem was composed in memory of his young daughter, who perished in a swimming accident. Jan Sandström’s Biegga luohte was inspired by a Scandinavian Yoik, an improvised chant originating in the Sami culture, the indigenous people of Scandinavia, who inhabit the northern portions of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Biegga is a call to the wind, conveying a sense of the divine.

“Much of this music, although unfamiliar to American audiences, is deeply affecting and expresses a dimension of experience which is mystical and divine, transcending the ordinary,” says William Trafka. “One can’t help but to consider that the extraordinary Northern European landscape, much of it arctic, with the beauty of its solitude and wealth of natural wonders including the fjords, forests and the extraordinary Aurora Borealis, might have served as a source of inspiration for these composers.”

This concert has been made possible by a generous gift from Robin Henry.
Tickets: $35 general admission; $25 students and seniors


Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at 7:00 pm in the Chapel
THE DORIAN WIND QUINTET – AN EVENING OF JAZZ
The Dorian Wind Quintet – Gretchen Pusch, flute; Gerard Reuter, oboe; Benjamin Fingland, clarinet; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Karl Kramer-Johansen, horn – is known worldwide as one of chamber music’s pre-eminent and longest continuously-active ensembles. At St. Bart’s, the quintet will perform a program of jazz works including Gershwin’s Three Preludes, Gunther Schuller’s Blues, Billy Childs’s Fugue in Perpetual Motion, and Lalo Schifrin’s La Nouvelle Orleans.

The Quintet has traveled around the world – concertizing in 48 of the 50 United States and Canada, touring Europe eighteen times, and playing throughout the Middle East, India, Africa, and Asia. The Dorian made history in 1981, as the first wind quintet to appear at Carnegie Hall. The quintet has been responsible for 40 commissions of 20th and 21st century wind music from major composers such as Luciano Berio, Lukas Foss, and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. Their commission of George Perle’s Wind Quintet No. 4 won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1986. The Dorian Quintet partners with the Pro Musicis foundation, expanding and restructuring its outreach efforts in New York City – bringing chamber music of the highest quality to residents of assisted living facilities, rehabilitation facilities, hospitals, schools, community centers, and retirement communities. Its goals are to provide access for audiences that are prevented from attending regular concert venues, spread joy and inspiration to people in difficult situations, and for the Quintet to continue enriching its beloved New York City community.

Tickets: $25 general admission; $15 students and seniors


The final event of the 2017-2018 season presented by Great Music at St. Bart’s is the acclaimed pianist Marilyn Nonken and cellist Stephen Marotto performing Morton Feldman’s 1981 Patterns in a Chromatic Field, one of the composer’s most intricate chamber works (Sunday, May 13, 2018), in the St. Bart’s Chapel.


Tickets may be purchased online at www.mmpaf.org, by phone by calling 212-378- 0248, or in person at St. Bart’s, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents Hotel Elefant and Apple Hill String Quartet

GREAT MUSIC AT ST. BART’S PRESENTS CHAMBER MUSIC IN THE ST. BART’S CHAPEL:

  • HOTEL ELEFANT – World premieres of works by Hannis Brown, Patrick Castillo, Jascha Narveson, and Leaha Maria Villarreal, and music of Kaija Saariaho and Kirsten Volness – Saturday, February 3, 2018
  • APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET – Haydn, Geoff Hudson (New York Premiere), Celso Garridos-Lecca – Sunday, March 4, 2018

Hotel Elefant

Apple Hill String Quartet

The first events of 2018 presented by the Great Music at St. Bart’s series are two concerts of chamber music in the beautifully intimate St. Bart’s Chapel: the vibrant contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant playing a program of world premieres of music by its member composers along with works of Kaija Saariaho, and the latest St. Bart’s program by the Apple Hill String Quartet, which includes the New York premiere of a work by Geoff Hudson (more information below).

Tickets may be purchased online, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s continues the programmatic focus initiated by MMPAF Artistic Director William K. Trafka (Director of Music and Organist of St. Bart’s): to embrace a wide range of music in programs that shine in St. Bart’s spaces. The concert series, produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, for the past seven years has presented music in St. Bartholomew’s Church, a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of New York located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The magnificent 1918 Romanesque-style church, a National Historic Landmark, features a portal designed by Stanford White and a grand Byzantine-style interior – and two of New York’s unlikely but outstanding concert spaces. The 150-seat chapel is an intimate and acoustically brilliant space perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music, and the majestic 1,000-seat sanctuary – outfitted with comfortable chairs enabling flexible seating –boasts an Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ that is the largest in New York City and one of the finest examples of the American Classic Organ in the U.S.

Saturday, February 3, 2018, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel
HOTEL ELEFANT
The contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant, lauded by Time Out New York as “megatalented” and “one of New York’s fastest rising new-music outfits,” makes its Great Music at St. Bart’s debut. Their program juxtaposes music by Kaija Saariaho (Nocturne for solo violin, Oi kuu for bass clarinet and cello, and Sept papillons for solo cello) with the world premieres of new works scored for flute, clarinet, violin, and cello by Hotel Elefant composers Hannis Brown, Patrick Castillo, Jascha Narveson, and Leaha Maria Villarreal, and Desangramiento for viola and electronics by Kirsten Volness.

The Hotel Elefant musicians performing this program are Domenica Fossati, flute; Christa van Alstine, clarinet; Andie Tanning Springer, violin; Kallie Ciechomski, viola; and Caleb van der Swaagh, cello.

Jascha Narveson’s Automat is, says the composer, is “obliquely inspired by the impersonal yet charming pick-and-choose eateries of Old New York.” Leaha Villarreal says about her new work, Oceania, “Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica. It is home to the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, Kiribati and others whose landmasses are being slowly submerged by rising waters. This evolving relationship between land and sea is explored through changing points of reference in the work, as the advancing tide redefines the nature of the island and its purpose for those who inhabit it.”

Patrick Castillo’s new work, Music for Four, is prompted by this passage from Nabokov’s Speak, Memory: “It occurs to me that the closest reproduction of the mind’s birth obtainable is the stab of wonder that accompanies the precise moment when, gazing at a tangle of twigs and leaves, one suddenly realizes that what had seemed a natural component of that tangle is a marvelously disguised insect or bird.”

Named for the scene of a chance meeting in Austria between Strauss, Mahler, Puccini, and Schoenberg in 1906, Hotel Elefant has achieved renown for celebrating the dynamism and diversity of the contemporary music landscape, aiming to bring an awareness of todayʼs music to the general public through commissions, performances, and moderated discussions between composers, performers, and audiences. Committed to modern sounds and sonic explorations, this “audacious and unafraid” (New Music Box) ensemble has a flexible roster of musicians and works with a broad spectrum of progressive artists including John Luther Adams, Richard Carrick, Michael Gordon, David T. Little, Angélica Negrón, and Chinary Ung. Past performances include those at Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Bang on a Can Marathon; collaborations with Kronos Quartet and The Nouveau Classical Project; partnerships with BalletCollective, Experiments in Opera, and Ear Heart Music; and a debut Carnegie Hall performance praised by The New York Times as “deeply felt.” The ensemble has enjoyed the attention of such outlets and publications as Alex Ross’ blog The Rest is Noise, radio station Q2 Music, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. www.hotelelefant.org

Tickets: $25 general admission; $15 students and seniors


Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 2:30 pm in the Chapel
APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET
Since its founding in 2007, the Apple Hill String Quartet – Elise Kruder, Colleen Jennings, violin; Mike Kelley, viola; Rupert Thompson, cello – has earned praise around the world for its concerts presenting interpretive mastery of traditional repertoire as well as for new and commissioned works by outstanding composers. For this Great Music at St. Bart’s program, the ensemble will perform Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 20, No. 2 in C Major; the New York premiere of Book of Dances by Geoff Hudson, a composer whose Quartet Project, a six-volume collection of music for string quartets of all ages, has garnered support from teachers, schools, and ensembles nationwide; and Peruvian composer Celso Garridos-Lecca’s String Quartet No. 2.

Central to the mission of Apple Hill is “Playing for Peace,” an innovative outreach program that focuses on social change and conflict resolution through music. Founded in 1971 and situated on 100 acres of fields and woodlands in rural New Hampshire, Apple Hill is a center of chamber music performance and teaching. It is stewarded today by the organization’s director, Leonard Matczynski, and ensemble-in-residence, the Apple Hill String Quartet, founded in

2007. www.applehill.org

Tickets: $25 general admission; $15 students and seniors


Upcoming 2018 events presented by Great Music at St. Bart’s include the Dorian Wind Quintet performing an evening of jazz; music by George Gershwin, Gunther Schuller, and Lalo Schifrin (Tuesday, April 17, 2017), and the acclaimed pianist Marilyn Nonken and cellist Stephen Marotto performing Morton Feldman’s 1981 Patterns in a Chromatic Field, one of the composer’s most intricate chamber works (Sunday, May 13, 2018); both taking place in the St. Bart’s Chapel.

And in the main sanctuary, the St. Bartholomew’s Choir led by William Trafka performs a concert titled “Portals To the Divine: Radiance from the North,” music by Northern European composers: Latvian Ēriks Ešenvalds, Norwegian Ola Gjeilo, Norwegian Edvard Grieg, Icelandic Jón Leifs, and Swedish Jan Sandström (Tuesday, March 20, 2018).

Tickets are available through the Box Office at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue, New York, NY, and are available by phone, 212-378-0248, and online
at www.mmpaf.org.

GREAT MUSIC AT ST. BART’S 2017-18 SEASON

10 EVENTS INCLUDING:

  • “A CityRecorder Gala” with Martin Bernstein in the Chapel
  • Hotel Elefant – New York Premieres from Brown, Castillo, Narveson, Villarreal, and Volness in the Chapel
  • “Radiance from the North” – St. Bart’s Choir and Music of Ešenvalds, Gjeilo, Leifs, Sandström, and Grieg in the Church
  • Morton Feldman’s Patterns in a Chromatic Field Performed by Marilyn Nonken and Stephen Marotto in the Chapel
  • Buster Keaton Comedies Screened to Live Organ Accompaniment in the Church
  • Annual Holiday Events in Church and Chapel Including “A Joyous Christmas Concert,” “Adoration of the Magi,” and “A Concert to Usher in the New Year”

(Download above photos in hi-res: St. Bartholomew’s Church, St. Bart’s Christmas concert, St. Bart’s Chapel)

Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation (MMPAF), for the past seven years has presented music in St. Bartholomew’s Church, a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of New York located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The magnificent 1918 Romanesque-style church features a portal designed by Stanford White and a grand Byzantine-style interior – and two of New York’s unlikely but outstanding concert spaces: the 150-seat chapel, an intimate and acoustically brilliant space that is perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music, and the majestic 1,000-seat sanctuary – outfitted with comfortable chairs enabling flexible seating – whose Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is the largest in New York City and one of the finest examples of the American Classic Organ in the U.S.

The 10 events of the 2017-18 season of Great Music at St. Bart’s continue the programmatic focus initiated by MMPAF Artistic Director William K. Trafka (Director of Music and Organist of St. Bart’s): to embrace a wide range of music in programs that shine in St. Bart’s spaces.

Events in St. Bart’s Chapel launch with the season-opening event presented in conjunction with Gotham Early Music Scene and Amherst Early Music’s CityRecorder workshop: a performance by the young recorder phenomenon Martin Bernstein. The maverick new-music ensemble Hotel Elefant performs music by Kaija Saariaho and New York premieres of new works by Hotel Elefant composers Hannis Brown, Patrick Castillo, Jascha Narveson, Leaha Maria Villarreal, and Kirsten Volness. The acclaimed pianist Marilyn Nonken and cellist Stephen Marotto perform Morton Feldman’s 1981 Patterns in a Chromatic Field, one of the composer’s most intricate chamber works. In addition, the Apple Hill String Quartet makes a return to the series, and the Dorian Wind Quintet performs an evening of jazz; music by George Gershwin, Gunther Schuller, and Lalo Schifrin.

The season’s events in the main sanctuary of St. Bart’s include a concert by the St. Bartholomew’s Choir led by William Trafka titled “Portals To the Divine: Radiance from the North,” music by Northern European composers: Latvian Ēriks Ešenvalds, Norwegian Ola Gjeilo, Norwegian Edvard Grieg, Icelandic Jón Leifs, and Swedish Jan Sandström. The third annual silent film screening to live organ accompaniment by St. Bart’s Associate Director of Music and Organist Jason Roberts features three short comedies of Buster Keaton. And the church is the setting for such beloved holiday events as the annual “Joyous Christmas Concert,” “Adoration of the Magi,” and “A Concert to Usher in the New Year.” (The full season schedule follows below.)

All regular tickets to Great Music at St. Bart’s are priced between $15 and $40, with discounted tickets for students and seniors available for all events. Admission to the “A Concert to Usher In the New Year” is free.

Rounding out the St. Bart’s musical offerings is a free component: the ongoing Midtown Concerts, a series of free weekly early music programs that run from September through June.

William K. Trafka has been the Director of Music and Organist of St. Bartholomew’s Church since 1995. Prior to that, he served as St. Bartholomew’s Associate Organist for 10 years. He leads St. Bartholomew’s Choir and St. Bart’s Singers and is the Artistic Director of the Mid-Manhattan performing Arts Foundation, overseeing the programming of Great Music at St. Bart’s. He also programs and conducts St. Bartholomew’s annual Summer Festival of Sacred Music.

At St. Bart’s, he has conducted the premieres of several works including David Conte’s September Sun and Missa Brevis, James MacMillan’s Since it was the day of preparation (New York premiere), and Herbert Howells’ Hymnus Paradisi (New York premiere of the orchestral version) as well as works by Ēriks Ešenvalds and Neely Bruce. As an organist, he has performed on concert series throughout the U.S. and Germany and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Fairfield Academy of Period Instruments. He has also served on the faculty of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, as Adjunct Professor of Sacred Music.

Great Music at St. Bart’s is produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop the understanding and love of the performing arts as presented at St. Bartholomew’s Church. The corporation sponsors performances of music, dance, drama, and other performing arts as well as the exhibition of works in the film and fine arts genres.

St. Bartholomew’s Church was founded in January 1835. Its present building, a Byzantine style structure with an iconic dome, designed by Bertram Goodhue and completed in 1918, has had a vital presence in New York for close to a century. St. Bartholomew’s also became a force in the musical life of the city and the wider church: Legendary musicians such as Leopold Stokowski, who went on to a career as one of the world’s great conductors, Harold Friedell and James Litton have served the church as Organist and Choirmaster. For many decades, a world famous weekly series of Evensongs featuring performances of the great oratorios by St. Bartholomew’s Choir was offered free of charge, stressing the parish’s commitment to inclusion by ministering to a wide community. Great Music at St. Bart’s, an outgrowth of these Evensongs, still offers the greater New York City community top shelf concert performances at very reasonable ticket prices. 

GREAT MUSIC AT ST. BART’S 2017-18 SEASON

Saturday, October 21, 2017 at 7:30 pm in the Chapel
A CITYRECORDER GALA CONCERT

The Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation in conjunction with Gotham Early Music Scene and Amherst Early Music’s CityRecorder workshop present the young recorder phenomenon Martin Bernstein, with Elliott Figg, harpsichord, in a program of 17th century music and poetry in the intimacy of St. Bartholomew’s Chapel. The program will include love songs of Giulio Caccini, shepherd’s laments of Sebastien de Brossard and instrumental works of Nicolas de Grigny and Nicola Matteis.

Martin Bernstein is a student of recorder virtuoso Nina Stern. After graduating from Hunter College High School, he studied at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague with Reine-Marie Verhagen, where he also worked extensively with Han Tol. He is currently a student at Harvard University.

Tickets: $25 general admission

Friday, November 3, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Church
JASON ROBERTS ACCOMPANIES THREE SHORT COMEDIES OF BUSTER KEATON

Jason Roberts, St. Bartholomew’s Associate Director of Music and Organist, will provide live, improvised accompaniment on St. Bart’s famous Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ to three short comedies of Buster Keaton. Convict 13 (1920) features Keaton as a golfer who is mistaken for a convict. In The Boat (1921), Buster and his family sail into the Pacific Ocean in a homemade vessel that is barely seaworthy. And in Day Dreams (1922), Buster tries to win the hand of his girl by “making it big” in the city.

Over the past three years, Jason Roberts has improvised the organ accompaniment to St. Bart’s screenings of The Wind starring Lillian Gish and the Buster Keaton classics Steamboat Bill, Jr., and The General.

Tickets: $20 general admission, $10 for students and seniors

Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Church
A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT

St. Bartholomew’s Choir, Boy and Girl Choristers, Chamber Orchestra
Jason Roberts, organist and conductor
William K. Trafka, conductor

A beloved New York holiday tradition, this concert combines the choral forces of St. Bart’s, New York City’s largest pipe organ, and a chamber orchestra for a concert of Christmas favorites. The Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’s Fantasia on Christmas Carols and carol settings of Ešenvalds, Chilcott, Willcocks and others are performed in the candlelit splendor of St. Bartholomew’s Church.

Tickets: $100 Angel Club Seating, $40, $25; students and seniors receive a $10 discount

Friday, December 15, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel
ADORATION OF THE MAGI

Jeff Morrissey, baritone
William K. Trafka, piano

Singer Jeff Morrissey and St. Bart’s Music Director William Trafka present their popular Christmas program inspired by the elegant paintings found in the South Chapel of St. Bartholomew’s. In 1919 Ethel Parsons Paullin and her husband Telford created the beautiful Adoration of the Magi and the 13 medallions surrounding it depicting subjects connected with the Nativity of Christ. This program brings the artwork to life, weaving passages from the Bible with Polish carols and ballads from the Southern Appalachian Mountains as well as works by Nin, Ramirez, Grainger, and Michael Head to present a visual and musical telling of the Christmas story.

Tickets: $25 general admission, $15 for students and seniors

Sunday, December 31, 2017, at 11:00 pm in the Church
A CONCERT TO USHER IN THE NEW YEAR

William K. Trafka, organ

In an annual St. Bart’s tradition, William Trafka, Director of Music and Organist, performs works by Bach, Guilmant, and Mendelssohn on St. Bartholomew’s grand Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, one of New York’s greatest musical treasures. Trafka’s own transcription of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man will be played at the stroke of midnight.

A free champagne reception will follow the concert.

Admission is free

Saturday, February 3, 2018, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel
HOTEL ELEFANT

The contemporary music ensemble Hotel Elefant, lauded by Time Out New York as “megatalented” and “one of New York’s fastest rising new-music outfits,” makes its Great Music at St. Bart’s debut. Their program juxtaposes music by Kaija Saariaho (Nocturne, Oi kuu) with the New York premieres of new works by Hotel Elefant composers Hannis Brown, Patrick Castillo, Jascha Narveson, Leaha Maria Villarreal, and Kirsten Volness.

Named for the scene of a chance meeting in Austria between Strauss, Mahler, Puccini, and Schoenberg in 1906, Hotel Elefant has achieved renown for celebrating the dynamism and diversity of the contemporary music landscape, and has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Bang on a Can Marathon.

Tickets: $25 general admission; $15 students and seniors

Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 2:30 pm
APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET

Since its founding in 2007, the Apple Hill String Quartet – Elise Kruder, Colleen Jennings, violin; Mike Kelley, viola; Rupert Thompson, cello – has earned praise around the world for its concerts presenting interpretive mastery of traditional repertoire as well as for new and commissioned works by outstanding composers. As resident musicians at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Quartet is featured in the summer concert series at the Center in Nelson, New Hampshire. Apple Hill’s innovative outreach program “Playing for Peace” focuses on social change and conflict resolution through music.

Tickets: $25 general admission; $15 students and seniors

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 7:30 pm
BARTHOLOMEW’S CHOIR
“PORTALS TO THE DIVINE: RADIANCE FROM THE NORTH”

St. Bartholomew’s Choir
William K. Trafka, conductor

Five choral works by Northern European composers offer a testament of faith and a glimpse into a transcendent world: the Requiem of Icelandic composer Jón Leifs (1899-1968), Stars and Only in Sleep of Latvian Eriks Ešenvalds (b. 1977), works by Norwegian Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978) and Swedish Jan Sandström (b. 1964), as well as music of Norwegian Edvard Grieg (1843-1907), all performed in the noble Romanesque architecture of St. Bartholomew’s Church.

This concert has been made possible by a generous gift from Robin Henry.

Tickets: $35 general admission; $25 students and seniors

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, at 7:00 pm
THE DORIAN WIND QUINTET – AN EVENING OF JAZZ

The Dorian Wind Quintet – Gretchen Pusch, flute; Gerard Reuter, oboe; Benjamin Fingland, clarinet; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Karl Kramer-Johansen, horn – is known worldwide as one of chamber music’s pre-eminent and longest continuously-active ensembles. They have been responsible for 40 commissions of wind music from major composers; their commission of George Perle’s Wind Quintet No. 4 won the Pulitzer Prize for music in 1986.

At St. Bart’s, the quintet will perform a program of jazz works including Gershwin’s Three Preludes, Gunther Schuller’s Blues, Billy Childs’s Fugue in Perpetual Motion, and Lalo Schiffrin’s La Nouvelle Orleans.

Tickets: $25 general admission; $15 students and seniors

Sunday, May 13, 2018, at 3:00 pm
MORTON FELDMAN’S PATTERNS IN A CHROMATIC FIELD

Marilyn Nonken, piano
Stephen Marotto, cello

Patterns in a Chromatic Field is a late work (1981) by Morton Feldman (1926-1987). This 80-minute odyssey offers an opportunity for contemplation, as cello and piano explore different degrees of stasis and patterns of harmony and color. Patterns in a Chromatic Field reflects Feldman’s lifelong fascination with the Abstract Expressionist painters. “My compositions are not really ‘compositions’ at all,” Feldman said. “One might call them time canvasses in which I more or less prime the canvass with an overall hue of music.”

Marilyn Nonken has been recognized as “a determined protector of important music” (New York Times), and “one of the greatest interpreters of new music” (American Record Guide). Since 2006, she has been Director of Piano Studies at NYU’s Steinhardt School, where she is currently Associate Professor of Music.

Boston-based celllist Stephen Marotto, a member of Sound Icon and the Contemporary Sinfonietta, has performed internationally at venues including the Banff Centre, SoundSCAPE (Maccagno, Italy), and the Summer Courses for New Music (Darmstadt, Germany). His wide-ranging musical interests include contemporary chamber music, improvisation, and electronic music, and he has coached with the Arditti and JACK quartets.

Tickets: $25 general admission; $15 students and seniors

Tickets are available through the Box Office at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue, New York, NY, and are available by phone, 212-378-0248, and online.

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents Apple Hill String Quartet Performing the World Premiere of Harbison’s “Presences” in the St. Bart Chapel on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at 2:30 PM

Composer Patrick Castillo Talks With John Harbison at 1:30 PM

Apple Hill String Quartet

The Great Music at St. Bart’s concert series presents New Hampshire’s Apple Hill String Quartet (Elise Kuder, Colleen Jennings, violin; Mike Kelley, viola; Rupert Thompson, cello) in the Chapel of St. Bartholomew’s Church – a beautiful, intimate space perfectly suited to contemporary chamber music – on Sunday, March 5, 2017, at 2:30 pm. The quartet will perform the world premiere of John Harbison’s Presences for string quartet, cello, and bass; Ahmed Saygun’s String Quartet No. 1 (which is featured on the ensemble’s latest recording); and Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 54, No. 2, in C Major. Joining Apple Hill for the Harbison work are Tony Rymer, cello; and Max Zeugner, bass.

This is the Apple Hill String Quartet’s seventh annual appearance on the St. Bart’s series. Last March, the ensemble offered a performance of Pavel Haas’s String Quartet No. 2, “From the Monkey Mountains,” that The Strad magazine called “extraordinary.”

Patrick Castillo, composer and board member of the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, which produces Great Music at St. Bart’s, will interview John Harbison in a pre- concert talk in the Chapel at 1:30 pm. Harbison’s new work Presences was commissioned in memory of David Anderson, a young student cellist who studied at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in Nelson, New Hampshire, the quartet’s home.

Since its founding in 2007 the Apple Hill String Quartet has earned praise around the world for its performances of traditional and new repertoire. Central to the mission of Apple Hill is “Playing for Peace,” an innovative outreach program that focuses on social change and conflict resolution through music. Founded in 1971 and situated on 100 acres of fields and woodlands in rural New Hampshire, Apple Hill is a center of chamber music performance and teaching. It is stewarded today by the organization’s director, Leonard Matczynski, and ensemble-in- residence, the Apple Hill String Quartet. www.applehill.org

Learn more:
Violinist Elise Kuder’s note on performing Ahmed Saygun’s String Quartet No. 1: http://applehill.org/concerts/program-notes/#Saygun1

The 2016-17 season of Great Music at St. Bart’s continues the new programmatic focus initiated last year by MMPAF Artistic Director William K. Trafka (Director of Music and Organist of St. Bart’s): to embrace a wider range of music in programs that shine in St. Bart’s spaces. The spring 2017 season also features programs of chamber music in the Chapel that showcase modern and new repertoire, including acclaimed ensemble ECCO East Coast Chamber Orchestra (A Thousand Cranes by Christopher Theofanidis, NY premiere, April 20). Among the programs presented in the magnificent sanctuary are two vastly different interpretations of the St. John Passion: Bach’s, performed by The English Concert Players and the Choir of New College, Oxford, conducted by Robert Quinney (March 28) and Arvo Pärt’s, performed by Trafka leading the St. Bartholomew’s Choir (April 4) and Orff’s Carmina Burana performed by the Dalton Chorale (May 17).

Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, for the past six years has presented music in St. Bartholomew’s Church, a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of New York located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The magnificent 1918 Romanesque-style church features a portal designed by Stanford White and a grand Byzantine-style interior – and two of New York’s unlikely but outstanding concert spaces: the 150-seat chapel, an intimate and acoustically brilliant space that is perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music, and the majestic 1,000-seat sanctuary – outfitted with comfortable chairs enabling flexible seating – whose Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is the largest in New York City and one of the finest examples of the American Classic Organ in the U.S.

Sunday, March 5, 2017, at 2:30 pm
APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET
Tony Rymer, cello
Max Zeugner, bass
HARBISON Presences (World premiere)
SAYGUN String Quartet No. 1
HAYDN String Quartet, Op. 54, No. 2, in C

Major Tickets: $25, $15 for Students and Seniors

Tickets may be purchased online at www.mmpaf.org, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

 

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents Two February Events Showcasing the St. Bart’s Organ, the Largest Pipe Organ in New York City

• JOHN ZORN: CANDLEMAS EVE AND THE HERMETIC ORGAN, FEBRUARY 1, 2017

• JASON ROBERTS: LIVE IMPROVISED ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT TO BUSTER KEATON’S THE GENERAL, FEBRUARY 17, 2017

To jolt New Yorkers out of their winter doldrums, the Great Music at St. Bart’s concert series presents two events in February showcasing the famed St. Bart’s pipe organ, the largest in New York City, that will literally shake the rafters. On February 1, in St. Bartholomew’s magnificent Romanesque-style church, iconic New York composer John Zorn performs The Hermetic Organ Office Nr. 15 (2017), a new chapter in his epic organ improvisation, praised by Lou Reed as one of “culmination and conquest,” and his new work Candlemas Eve. And on February 17, St. Bart’s presents the third annual screening of a silent film classic to live organ accompaniment by St. Bart’s Associate Organist Jason Roberts – this year, The General, the comedy masterpiece by Buster Keaton.

WATCH: A video about the St. Bart’s organ on Vimeo.

Tickets may be purchased online at this website, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

The 2016-17 season of Great Music at St. Bart’s continues the new programmatic focus initiated last year by MMPAF Artistic Director William K. Trafka (Director of Music and Organist of St. Bart’s): to embrace a wider range of music in programs that shine in St. Bart’s spaces. The spring 2017 season also features programs of chamber music in the Chapel that showcase modern and new repertoire, performed by acclaimed ensembles ECCO East Coast Chamber Orchestra (A Thousand Cranes by Christopher Theofanidis, NY premiere), and Apple Hill String Quartet (Presences by John Harbison, world premiere). Among the programs presented in the magnificent sanctuary are two vastly different interpretations of the St. John Passion: Bach’s, performed by The English Concert Players and the Choir of New College, Oxford, conducted by Robert Quinney, and Arvo Pärt’s, performed by Trafka leading the St. Bartholomew’s Choir; and Orff’s Carmina Burana performed by the Dalton Chorale.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at 8:30 pm in the Church
JOHN ZORN: CANDLEMAS EVE AND THE HERMETIC ORGAN

Barry Crawford, flute
Isabel Gleicher, flute
Al Lipowski, vibraharp
Sae Hashimoto, vibraharp assistant
John Zorn, organ

Modern music icon John Zorn returns to St. Bart’s with a performance of The Hermetic Organ Office Nr. 15 (2017), a new chapter in his epic organ improvisation, praised by Lou Reed as one of “culmination and conquest.” His 2016 work Candlemas Eve for two flutes and vibraharp will be offered on the eve of the church’s feast day of Candlemas.

John Zorn performed The Hermetic Organ Office Nr. 14 last year at St. Bart’s and has released a recording of that performance on his Tzadik website, www.tzadik.com (Cat. #8340): “Recorded at midnight on the eve of Halloween on the largest organ in New York City, Zorn approaches this performance as ritual, creating a mysterious mood of contrasts, colors, bells, drones, counterpoint and simultaneity.”

“The one word virtually everyone can agree on in any discussion of the work of composer John Zorn is ‘prolific,’ in the strictest sense of the definition,” says Thom Jurek in allmusic.com. “Though he didn’t begin making records until 1980, the recordings under his own name number well over 100, and the sheer number of works he has performed on, composed, or produced easily doubles that number. Though now an internationally renowned musician and the founder and owner of the wildly successful and equally prolific Tzadik imprint, Zorn is a cornerstone of New York’s fabled and influential downtown scene. In addition, he has played with musicians of every stripe. He is … a quintessential mirror of 21st century culture.”

WATCH: John Zorn’s talks about his approach to The Hermetic Organ on YouTube
Tickets: $25, $15 for Students and Seniors


Friday, February 17, 2017, at 7:30 pm in the Church
JASON ROBERTS ACCOMPANIES THE GENERAL

Jason Roberts, organ

St. Bart’s Associate Director of Music and Organist Jason Roberts improvises organ accompaniment to The General, the great 1927 action-packed comedy adventure from Buster Keaton inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862.

As Gary Giddins wrote in Slate.com, “The General belongs to at least three movie genres: comedy, historical, and chase. Most of it is constructed around a pursuit as relentless as any Bourne blowout, involving a Confederate locomotive, called the General, hijacked by Union spies. … Keaton’s authenticity and comedic understatement make The General a surprisingly modern experience. The storytelling and the gags are free of sentimentality and knockabout clichés. The four-minute battle scene is simply one of the most gripping, and occasionally hilarious, ever filmed.”

Over the past two years, Jason Roberts has improvised the organ accompaniment to St. Bart’s screenings of The Wind starring Lillian Gish and the Buster Keaton classic Steamboat Bill, Jr. St. Bart’s Associate Director of Music, Organist, and the Director of the Boy and Girl Choristers since 2014, Jason is a sought-after recitalist in the U.S. and an avid improviser. He won first prize at the AGO National Competition in Organ Improvisation in 2008 and was a finalist at the St. Alban’s International Organ Competition in 2011 (Improvisation). He holds degrees from Rice University, Yale University and the Manhattan School of Music.

READ: Critic Roger Ebert’s review of “Great Movie” The General
Tickets: $20, $10 for Students and Seniors


Tickets may be purchased online at this website, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, for the past six years has presented music in St. Bartholomew’s Church, a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of New York located in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The magnificent 1918 Romanesque-style church features a portal designed by Stanford White and a grand Byzantine-style interior – and two of New York’s unlikely but outstanding concert spaces: the 150-seat chapel, an intimate and acoustically brilliant space that is perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music, and the majestic 1,000-seat sanctuary – outfitted with comfortable chairs enabling flexible seating – whose Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is the largest in New York City and one of the finest examples of the American Classic Organ in the U.S.

Welcome to Our 2016 – 2017 Season

The new season for 2016-2017 has just been announced, and we’ve got quite an exciting line up as well as a new, updated look for the website.   To explore the concerts and events, click here.

To read the press release for this season, click here.

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents – Andy Akiho and the Sebastians

Monday, April 25, 2016, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

ANDY AKIHO & THE SEBASTIANS

with:
Kristin Lee, violin
Ian David Rosenbaum, percussion
Amphion String Quartet

andy_akiho_and_sebastians

Andy Akiho, photo by Aestheticize Media; The Sebastians

Music by the dynamic young composer Andy Akiho, which has been praised as “mold-breaking” and “vital,” mixes with a series of Baroque masterpieces in this program performed by some of the finest young chamber musicians and ensembles on the New York music scene: violinist Kristin Lee, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum, the Amphion String Quartet, and “leading young early-music ensemble” The Sebastians. Akiho himself also performs, on steel pan. The concert, presented by the Great Music at St. Bart’s series (produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation), takes place in the St. Bart’s Chapel, a wonderfully intimate space ideally suited for contemporary chamber music.

The Sebastians’ segments of the program, early-Baroque works – chamber pieces by Purcell , Schmelzer, and Graupner; and Biber’s exciting Battalia (Battle) for string ensemble – and one of the era’s most popular masterpieces, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, both echo and contrast with the keen sense of line and syncopated counterpoint in Akiho’s LIgNEouS for string quartet and marimba and Deciduous for violin and steel pan, which will be performed by Kristin Lee, for whom the work was written, and Akiho.

BIBER Battalia à 10 for strings (1673)
AKIHO LIgNEouS for marimba and string quartet (2010)
SCHMELZER Sonata for three violins in D Major (c. 1660-1670)
PURCELL Fantasia upon a Ground for three violins in D Major (c. 1680)
GRAUPNER Presto from Canon for two violins, cello, and continuo
AKIHO Deciduous for violin and steel pan (2014)
BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 (1721)

Watch Kristin Lee and Andy Akiho perform Deciduous in the video clip below:

Andy Akiho, whose work has been described as “mold-breaking,” “alert and alive,” “dramatic,” and “vital” by The New York Times, is an eclectic composer and performer of contemporary classical music. Recent engagements include commissioned premieres by the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW. Akiho’s debut CD, No One To Know One, on innova Recordings, features compositions that pose intricate rhythms and exotic timbres around his primary instrument, the steel pan. www.andyakiho.com  Twitter

Named the recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Korean-American violinist Kristin Lee has been praised by The Strad for her “mastery of tone.” A violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique, Ms. Lee enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and 
educator. www.violinistkristinlee.com  Twitter

Praised for his “excellent” and “precisely attuned” performances by The New York Times, percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum made his Kennedy Center debut in 2009 and later that year garnered a special prize created for him at the Salzburg International Marimba Competition. Mr. Rosenbaum joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program in 2012 as only the second percussionist they have selected in their history. www.iandavidrosenbaum.com  Twitter

Hailed for its “gripping intensity” and “suspenseful and virtuoso playing” (San Francisco Classical Voice), the Amphion String Quartet (Katie Hyun and David Southorn, violin; Wei-Yang Andy Lin, viola; Mihai Marica, cello) is a winner of the 2011 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition and joined the roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two Program in fall 2013. Through CMS, the ensemble made its Alice Tully Hall debut in March 2014, about which The New York Times praised “the focused, forceful young Amphion String Quartet” for its “sharply detailed performances.” www.amphionquartet.com  Twitter

The Sebastians are a dynamic musical ensemble specializing in music of the Baroque and Classical eras. Lauded as “everywhere sharp-edged and engaging” (The New York Times), the Sebastians have also been praised for their “well-thought-out articulation and phrasing” (Early Music Review) and “elegant string playing… immaculate in tuning and balance” (Early Music Today). Winners of the Audience Prize at the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition, the Sebastians were also finalists in the 2011 York International Early Music Competition and the 2011 Early Music America/Naxos
Recording Competition. www.sebastians.org

Tickets: $35, $15 for Students and Seniors

Tickets may be purchased online at on the event page, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s is produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop the understanding and love of the performing arts as presented at St. Bartholomew’s Church, a treasured masterpiece of architecture on the east side of Manhattan’s midtown. The corporation sponsors performances of music, dance, drama, and other performing arts as well as the exhibition of works in the film and fine arts genres.

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Wada Communications
718-855-7101
jennifer@wadacommunications.com

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents – The Apple Hill String Quartet

Sunday, March 13, 2016, at 2:30 pm in the Chapel
THE APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET – Music of Purcell, Glass, Haas

Apple Hill String Quartet (Elise Kruder, Colleen Jennings, violin; Mike Kelley, viola; Rupert Thompson, cello)

apple_hill_string_quartet_2016

The Apple Hill String Quartet performs its sixth annual performance on the Great Music at St. Bart’s series, a program in the intimate St. Bart’s Chapel: an arrangement of Purcell’s Three Fantasias (1680); Philip Glass’s String Quartet #4 “Buczak,” written in 1987 in remembrance of the artist Brian Buczak; and Pavel Haas’s String Quartet No. 2, “From the Monkey Mountains,” Op. 7 – a 1925 work that continues the Czech heritage of Haas’s teachers Dvořák and Janáček and evokes the Moravian highlands of its subtitle, with four movements titled “Landscape,” “Coach, Coachman and Horse,” “The Moon and I,” and “Wild Night.”

Since its founding in 2007 at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in Nelson, New Hampshire, the quartet has earned praise around the world for its performances of traditional and new repertoire. Central to the mission of Apple Hill is “Playing for Peace,” an innovative outreach program that focuses on social change and conflict resolution through music. As resident musicians at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the Quartet is featured in the summer concert series held every Tuesday night at the Center in Nelson, N.H. These concerts attract hundreds of visitors and have become a mainstay of the Monadnock area summer music offerings. Watch the quartet perform a segment from Geoffrey Hudson’s The Quartet Project in a video clip on the St. Bart’s event page.

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Wada Communications
718-855-7101
jennifer@wadacommunications.com

Great Music at St. Bart’s – Apple Hill String Quartet, March 13, 2016.
Click here to learn more.

Tickets: $25, $15 for Students and Seniors
Tickets may be purchased online at www.mmpaf.org, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s is produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop the understanding and love of the performing arts as presented at St. Bartholomew’s Church, a treasured masterpiece of architecture on the east side of Manhattan’s midtown. The corporation sponsors performances of music, dance, drama, and other performing arts as well as the exhibition of works in the film and fine arts genres.

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents

THIRD SOUND – A NEW ENSEMBLE MAKES ITS U.S. DEBUT WITH A PROGRAM OF NEW AMERICAN & CUBAN MUSIC – January 12
CONCORDIA CHOIR – February 23

Third-Sound-photo-by-Tristan-Cook-1

Third Sound in Havana, photo by Tristan Cook. Click on photo for hi-res.

The U.S. debut of Third Sound, a “supergroup” of young New York musicians, performing new American and Cuban music, and a performance by the renowned Concordia Choir from Moorhead, Minnesota, are the first events of 2016 from Great Music at St. Bart’s, presented by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation:

Tuesday, January 12, 2016, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

THIRD SOUND – U.S. Debut
Third Sound is a new collective of virtuoso performers drawn from New York City’s finest chamber musicians: Sooyun Kim, flute; Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet; Karen Kim, violin; Michael Nicolas, cello; and Orion Weiss, piano; composer Patrick Castillo is the artistic director. Having just made its debut as part of the delegation from the American Composers Forum invited to participate in the Festival de Música Contemporánea (Contemporary Music Festival) in Havana, Cuba, this New York ensemble will present its first performance in the U.S. in the St. Bart’s chapel, an acoustically brilliant space perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music.

“Third Sound is already one of the country’s best contemporary music ensembles,” says composer Michael Harrison, who also took part in the Havana residency. “For their debut concert at the Havana Contemporary Music Festival they selected an incredibly diverse range of ten works by leading American composers. Everything was executed with the kind of passion and precision that one only hears from the most experienced ensembles. Working with Third Sound is a composer’s dream!”

Drawing on its Havana program, which was the first live concert in that festival’s history featuring American performers in a program of exclusively contemporary American music (read about it, and hear selections from the concert, in Anastasia Tsioulcas’s story for NPR Music, “Hear a New Music Journey, from the U.S. to Havana“), Third Sound will perform American works along with music by Cuban composers Wilma Alba Cal, Juan Piñera, and others to be announced, acquired during the ensemble’s Havana visit. All the works on the program were written within the past 15 years, and eight of them will receive their New York or U.S. premiere performances:

CINDY COX Wave for piano trio (first movement) (2009) (New York premiere)
KAI-YOUNG CHAN Mieko for flute and electronics (2014) (New York premiere)
AMADEUS REGUCERA Inexpressible (v. 2) for flute, violin, and cello (2013, rev. 2015) (U.S. premiere)
JUAN PIÑERA Work for clarinet, violin, and piano to be announced (U.S. premiere)
INGRID ARAUCO Fantasy Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2001) (New York premiere)
WILMA ALBA CAL Homenaje a Piazzolla for clarinet and piano (second movement) (U.S. premiere)
CHRISTOPHER WENDELL JONES A Crowd of Twisted Things for violin and piano (2011) (New York premiere)
JEREMY GILL Paean, Epitaph, and DIthyramb for flute, cello, and piano (2008) (New York premiere)
JENNIFER HIGDON Smash for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano (2006)

The program, which will be recorded for commercial release later in 2016, is the first of two American/Cuban programs that Third Sound will present this season, the second to take place in May.

Conceived from a desire to present music as a rich and dynamic continuum, Third Sound brings together an accomplished group of musicians equally skilled in – and equally passionate about – the work of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms as that of composers ranging from Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Messiaen; Carter, Wuorinen, Adams, and Reich; to emerging composers of the early 21st century. The group’s members have appeared on the most prestigious series and stages around the world and garnered major honors, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Georg Solti Foundation Career Grant, and the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, among many others.

Learn more:
“Hear a New Music Journey, from the U.S. to Havana,” coverage and concert excerpts, from NPR Music: http://tinyurl.com/qg9nr3t
Third Sound and the ACF delegation to Havana: http://composersforum.org/press/acf-cuba-delegation
Third Sound: Facebook and website
Blog post from composer Kati Agócs about the Havana festival: http://www.katiagocs.com/blog/

Tickets: $35, $15 for Students and Seniors

Tuesday, February 23, 2016, at 7:30 pm, in the Church

THE CONCORDIA CHOIR
The Concordia Choir
René Clausen, conductor

The renowned 72-voice Concordia Choir from Moorhead, Minnesota, makes its only New York City appearance this season with a return visit to St. Bart’s, part of a 16-city U.S. tour. The choir, led by Dr. René Clausen, will perform a diverse program of traditional and contemporary choral works drawing from, or inspired by, hymns, spirituals, and the Lutheran tradition – including works by Dr. Clausen, Stephen Paulus, Jens Klimek, David Dickau, and Bobby McFerrin; Ives, Vaughan Williams, and Copland; and Bach and Mendelssohn.

The Concordia Choir continues to affirm its reputation as one of America’s finest a cappella choirs. Since 1920, the choir has performed in nearly every major hall including Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center as well as on numerous international tours, and has performed many times on Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion” radio show. Recent activities include a 2010 performance and recording with the Grammy Award-winning King’s Singers and a 2011 tour of South Korea. The Concordia Choir is featured in the Emmy-winning “Concordia Christmas Concerts,” which are nationally broadcast on public television. The choir’s recordings are distributed internationally and through iTunes, and it is one of the top-selling choirs in the country.

Dr. René Clausen is the third conductor in the choir’s history, assuming the role in 1986. As a composer he has written more than 120 commissioned works. The Kansas City Chorale recording Life and Breath: Choral Works by René Clausen won two Grammy awards in 2013.

Learn more:
https://www.concordiacollege.edu/music/ensembles/choirs/the-concordia-choir/

Tickets: $30, $20 for Seniors, $10 for Students

Tickets may be purchased online at www.mmpaf.org, by phone by calling 212-378-0248, or in person at St. Bart’s in Midtown Manhattan, 325 Park Avenue at 51st Street.

Great Music at St. Bart’s is produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop the understanding and love of the performing arts as presented at St. Bartholomew’s Church, a treasured masterpiece of architecture on the east side of Manhattan’s midtown. The corporation sponsors performances of music, dance, drama, and other performing arts as well as the exhibition of works in the film and fine arts genres.

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

Press Contact:
Jennifer Wada Communications
718-855-7101
jennifer@wadacommunications.com

A Joyous Christmas Concert Artwork by Steve Ross

Title: Theotokos (Mary and Baby) Medium: Watercolor Artist: Steve Ross

Title: Theotokos (Mary and Baby); Medium: Watercolor; Artist: Steve Ross

Of all the players during Advent, I believe the season really belongs to Mary. She said ‘Yes’ to God, with no guarantee as to how it would pan out, so I wanted to pay tribute to her courage and generosity with this painting. Many artistic interpretations of Mary render her in a submissive and passive role, with eyes downcast or meekly looking at her baby. My interpretation affords Mary much more agency and thus I have her break from demure tradition and engage the viewer boldly and directly. I also have her holding her baby in such a way as to acknowledge that the child is not just hers, but that she is consciously “offering” the child to us, the viewer.

Artist Bio:
Steve Ross is an illustrator and artist living in New York City. His work is in many private collections and his illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist and many other magazines and publications. He is the author of two graphic novels; “Marked” based on the Gospel of Mark, and “Blinded,” based on the adventures of St. Paul of Tarsus. More of his work can be seen at www.StevenTracyRoss.com.