GREAT MUSIC AT ST. BART’S 2018-19 SEASON: 10 EVENTS

  • Choral “Storytime” with Choral Chameleon
  • Deviant Septet Performs Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat and Sleeping Giant’s Histories
  • Marilyn Nonken Performs “American Voices of the Early 20th Century”
  • Empire City Men’s Chorus – “Resplendent: A Silver Anniversary Concert”
  • A Sailor-Made Man – Harold Lloyd Film with Live Organ Accompaniment by Jason Roberts
  • 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”

St. Bartholomew’s Church, the historic Episcopal parish on Park Avenue in New York City, this fall celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first service in its current location. 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, 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.

Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation (MMPAF) marking its eighth season, is the most recent installment in the church’s rich musical history (see below). The 10 events of the 2018-19 season of Great Music at St. Bart’s continue the programmatic focus of embracing 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, “Storytime,” a program featuring the ensemble Choral Chameleon journeying through five centuries of choral storytelling from Josquin to The Beatles and a world premiere by Dale Trumbore. The new music group Deviant Septet combines Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat with Histories, a collaborative work intended as a companion piece to L’Histoire, composed by the six-composer consortium Sleeping Giant. The Apple Hill String Quartet returns to the St. Bart’s Chapel with a program of quartets by Schubert, Caroline Shaw, and Michael Kropf. Pianist Marilyn Nonken pays tribute to Scott Joplin, the master of ragtime, and the modernist Charles Ives with a program featuring Joplin’s Bethena (1904) and Ives’s Concord Sonata. And baritone Jeff Morrissey offers his annual holiday presentation of “Adoration of the Magi.”

The season’s events in the main sanctuary of St. Bart’s include “Et in Terra Pax: A Concert for Hope,” featuring performances of Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (Mass for Troubled Times), Ola Gjeilo’s Song of the Universal, Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten and John Tavener’s The Lamb by Seton Hall University Chorus and Mid-Atlantic Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Jason C. Tramm, conductor. The fourth annual silent film screening to live organ accompaniment by St. Bart’s Associate Director of Music and Organist Jason Roberts features Harold Lloyd’s A Sailor-Made Man. The Empire City Men’s Chorus kicks off World Pride 2019 with a Silver Anniversary celebration concert of men’s choral works ranging from Orlando di Lasso to George Gershwin, Ysaye Barnwell, and Elizabeth Alexander. And the church is the setting for such beloved holiday events as the annual “Joyous Christmas Concert” 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.

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. http://mmpaf.org

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 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.

For more information on the centenary, visit http://stbarts.org/stbarts100/.


GREAT MUSIC AT ST. BART’S 2018-19 SEASON

Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel
“STORYTIME” WITH CHORAL CHAMELEON
Vince Peterson, Artistic Director
The award-winning vocal ensemble Choral Chameleon, a choir known for championing new music for voices, presents a journey through the magic of choral storytelling. Combining powerful commentary in the style of the Greek chorus with the empathy of human singing, this unique program presents life stories both sacred and secular, interpreted by composers from across five centuries, including including Mateo Fletxa el Viejo, Josquin des Prez, The Beatles, and others, featuring a world premiere by the ensemble’s 2018–19 Composer-In-Residence Dale Trumbore, and a concert opener by Artistic Director Vince Peterson. Choral Chameleon was the 2017–18 Group in Residence at National Sawdust in Brooklyn.
Tickets: $25, $15 for students and seniors


Sunday, October 28, 2018, at 7:00 pm in the Church
ET IN TERRA PAX: A CONCERT FOR HOPE
Mid-Atlantic Symphony Chamber Orchestra Seton Hall University Chorus
Jason C. Tramm, Conductor
Ashley Bell, Soprano
Augusta Caso, Mezzo-Soprano
Victor Starsky,Tenor
Jeremy Galyon, Bass
Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (Mass for Troubled Times), sometimes called Lord Nelson Mass, was written in 1798, a time of great instability and turbulence in Europe. Beginning with a gripping and intense Kyrie, the work ends with a life-affirming Dona Nobis Pacem. Ola Gjeilo’s Song of the Universal is a setting of verses from Whitman’s great work. According to the composer, “I love the unabashed optimism, exuberance and his unwavering confidence in our deeper humanity.” Arvo Pärt’s Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten and John Tavener’s The Lamb complete this evening of powerful music. The concert will be conducted by Jason C. Tramm, hailed as a “conductor to watch” by Symphony magazine.
Tickets: $35, $25; students and seniors receive a $10 discount


Friday, November 2, 2018, at 7:00 pm in the Church
JASON ROBERTS ACCOMPANIES HAROLD LLOYD’S A SAILOR-MADE MAN
Jason Roberts, Organ
Harold Lloyd, along with Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, was one of the most popular and influential comedians of the silent film era, and A Sailor-Made Man was his first full-length motion picture. Lloyd plays a wealthy, idle young man who joins the Navy to win the hand of the girl he loves. Lloyd himself was a champion of the organ, and would not allow his films to be accompanied by pianists. Jason Roberts will offer a live, improvised accompaniment to this film on St. Bart’s magnificent Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ.
Tickets: $20, $10 for students and seniors


Tuesday, December 11, 2018, at 7:30 pm in the Church
A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT
St. Bartholomew’s Choir, Boy and Girl Choristers, Chamber Orchestra
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, Holst’s Christmas Day, and carol settings of Lauridsen, 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 14, 2018, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel
ADORATION OF THE MAGI
Jeff Morrissey, baritone
Singer Jeff Morrissey presents his 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


Monday, December 31, 2018, at 11:00 pm in the Church
A CONCERT TO USHER IN THE NEW YEAR
Hear one of New York’s greatest musical treasures, St. Bartholomew’s grand Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ with 168 stops and over 12,000 pipes, including its recently restored Celestial division in St. Bart’s celebrated dome. Festive organ works will be performed to magnify the evening’s celebration. A free champagne reception will follow the concert.
Admission is free


Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 7:30 pm in the Chapel
DEVIANT SEPTET – L’HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT AND HISTORIES
Bill Kalinkos, Clarinet
Mike Gurfield, Trumpet
Karen Kim, Violin
Brad Balliett, Bassoon
Doug Balliett, Double Bass
Mike Lormand, Trombone
Jared Soldiviero, Percussion
Acclaimed as “exciting” (The New York Times), and “exceedingly fun” (Time Out New York), the ensemble Deviant Septet will perform Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale), a Faustian legend for seven instruments and a signature work for this ensemble. The evening will also feature Histories, a collaborative work intended as a companion piece to L’Histoire, composed by Sleeping Giant, a consortium of six composers, praised by WQXR for “rapidly gaining notice for their daring innovations and acute attention to instrumental nuance.”
Tickets: $25, $15 for students and seniors


Sunday, March 31, 2019, at 2:30 pm in the Chapel
APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET
Elise Kruder, Colleen Jennings, Violin;
Mike Kelley, Viola;
Rupert Thompson, Cello
Since its founding in 2007, the Apple Hill String Quartet has earned praise around the world for its concerts presenting interpretive mastery of traditional repertoire and new and commissioned works. Apple Hill’s innovative outreach program Playing for Peace focuses on social change and conflict resolution through music in areas where there is conflict, particularly the Middle East. This concert will include Franz Schubert’s Quartet in A Minor (“The Rosamunde”) as well as quartets by Pulitzer Prize- winner Caroline Shaw and Michael Kropf.
Tickets: $25, $15 for students and seniors


Sunday, May 5, 2019, at 2:30 pm in the Chapel
MARILYN NONKEN, PIANO – “AMERICAN VOICES OF THE EARLY 20TH CENTURY”
After bringing Morton Feldman’s Patterns in a Chromatic Field to the St. Bart’s Chapel in spring 2018, pianist Marilyn Nonken returns with a program that pays tribute to Scott Joplin, the master of ragtime, and the modernist Charles Ives. Joplin’s Bethena (1904) livens the classical waltz with the spirit of ragtime, paying poignant tribute to the composer’s wife, Freddie, who died just ten weeks after their wedding. Ives’s Concord Sonata (1911) weaves together popular music from the Civil War, along with quotes from Beethoven, Wagner, and Debussy. “There is genuine majesty in the Concord Sonata, and nobody else, in my experience, has brought it out so convincingly as Nonken.” (Washington Post) Marilyn Nonken, “one of the greatest interpreters of new music” (American Record Guide) has been acclaimed for performances of the complete piano music of Schoenberg, Boulez, and Murail, as well as works by composers associated with ultramodernism, the New York School, the New Complexity, and spectral music.
Tickets: $25, $15 for students and seniors


Saturday, June 1, 2019, at 5:00 pm in the Church
EMPIRE CITY MEN’S CHORUS – “RESPLENDENT: A SILVER ANNIVERSARY CONCERT”
The Empire City Men’s Chorus
Vince Peterson, Conductor
Empire City Men’s Chorus (ECMC) kicks off the summer and World Pride 2019 in New York City with a program celebrating excellence in men’s choral music. This Gala Concert will feature men’s choral works by such esteemed composers as David Conte, Gwyneth Walker, George Gershwin, Orlando di Lasso, Ysaye Barnwell, and Elizabeth Alexander. The chorus will also present two world premieres, underscoring its mission to foster and cultivate artistic contributions to men’s choral music repertoire. The concert will be followed by a Gala Reception and Gala Dinner. For tickets to ECMC’s Gala events, visit www.ecmc.nyc.
Tickets: $30, $20 for 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 at www.mmpaf.org.

MMPAF Announces Its 2018-2019 Season!

The Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation just announced its 2018-2019 Season of great music at St. Bartholomew’s Church (which is located at 325 Park Avenue in New York City). Click here to download the season brochure. Or click here to see the full line up of concerts on the MMPAF website.

First up is Storytime – Choral Chameleon this Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm

The 10 voice, award-winning vocal ensemble, Choral Chameleon, takes you on a whimsical journey through the magic of choral storytelling. Harnessing powerful commentary in the style of the Greek chorus combined with the beauty and empathy of human singing, this unique performance will narrate rich life stories, of both a sacred and a secular ilk, through the lenses of composers from across five centuries, including Mateo Fletxa el Viejo, Josquin des Prez, The Beatles, and others.

The performance will also feature the world premiere of Footnotes to a History of Music by their 2018-2019 Composer-In-Residence, Dale Trumbore.

Mark your calendar now for a concert experience you won’t forget!

Click here for tickets and more information!

Great Music at St. Barts Presents Marilyn Nonken & Stephen Marotto

GREAT MUSIC AT ST. BART’S PRESENTS
MARILYN NONKEN & STEPHEN MAROTTO PERFORMING
MORTON FELDMAN’S PATTERNS IN A CHROMATIC FIELD
SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2018, AT 3:00 PM IN THE ST. BART’S CHAPEL

Morton Feldman, Marilyn Nonken, Stephen Marotto

Patterns in a Chromatic Field is a late work (1981) by Morton Feldman (1926-1987), an 80- minute odyssey for cello and piano exploring different degrees of stasis and patterns of harmony and color. As described on AllMusic.com, “Feldman’s small, interlocking gestures – inspired by designs in Asian carpets – are spun out through a convoluted process of repetition, layering, and alternation with contrasting sonorities and shapes, and these juxtaposed figures cycle over 80 minutes to mesmerizing effect.” 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 canvas with an overall hue of music.”

Marilyn Nonken, who The New York Times has called “a pianist from music’s leading edge,” and cellist Stephen Marotto, a young member of the acclaimed Boston-based new music ensemble Sound Icon, will present this rarely-performed work as the culminating event of the Great Music at St. Bart’s concert series, on Sunday, May 13, 2018, at 3:00 pm. The concert will take place in the intimate, 150-seat St. Bart’s Chapel.

Marilyn Nonken’s history with the music of Morton Feldman has included being featured in the 2001 Carnegie Hall festival “When Morty Met John: John Cage, Morton Feldman and New York in the 1950’s,” and recording Feldman’s solo piano work Triadic Memories in 2004. She says, “Patterns in a Chromatic Field has been a piece I have wanted to play for such long time. My first experiences playing his music were with the late work Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, written just a few months before he died. There is a sense in which the music is very ritualistic…. There is tremendous stillness in the music, and yet extraordinary activity, concentration, intensity.”

A few years ago, Nonken had the opportunity to work with cellist Stephen Marotto in a performance of Gerard Grisey’s Vortex Temporum with Sound Icon. “I thought, this person is just on fire! And then one day, he mentioned Patterns in a Chromatic Field … and it seemed like the stars aligned.”

Pianist Marilyn Nonken has been heralded as “a determined protector of important music” (The New York Times) and “one of the greatest interpreters of new music” (American Record Guide). Her repertoire comprises the complete piano music of Schoenberg, Boulez, and Murail, as well as works by pioneers of the New York School, New Complexity, and spectral music. She has recorded more than 30 CDs for the New World, Lovely Music, Hanging Bell, Harrison House, Albany, Divine Art, Innova, CRI, BMOP Sound, New Focus, Kairos, Metier, Mode, and Bridge labels. Highlights of her 2017-18 season include collaborations with cellist Stephen Marotto, mezzo-soprano Jessica Bowers, violinist Rolf Schultz, and pianists Joseph Kubera, Stephen Beck, and Irina Kataeva-Aimard. A Steinway Artist, she is also the author of The Spectral Piano: From Liszt, Scriabin, and Debussy to the Digital Age (Cambridge University Press, 2014). A graduate of the Eastman School and Columbia University, Marilyn Nonken is Associate Professor and Director of Piano Studies at New York University. www.marilynnonken.com

As a passionate advocate of contemporary music, cellist Stephen Marotto has worked with numerous composers, and has played with several new music ensembles in the Boston area including Sound Icon and EQ Ensemble. Marotto has attended music festivals at the Banff Centre, SoundSCAPE in Maccagno, Italy, and the Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. He has played in master classes for artists such as the Arditti Quartet and JACK Quartet. Marotto has a wide range of musical interests that include contemporary chamber music, improvisatory music, and electronic music. A native of Norwalk, Connecticut, he received a bachelor’s degree with honors from the University of Connecticut, a master’s degree from Boston University, and is currently a candidate for a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree also from Boston University under the direction of Michael Reynolds. Marotto’s formative teachers include Kangho Lee, Marc Johnson, and Rhonda Rider. www.stephenmarotto.com

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.


Sunday, May 13, 2018, at 3:00 pm
Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents
MORTON FELDMAN’S PATTERNS IN A CHROMATIC FIELD
Marilyn Nonken, piano
Stephen Marotto, cello

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


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.

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 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.