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

  • Chamber Music from Apple Hill presents the New York premiere of a Michael Kropf Quartet on Sunday, March 31
  • Pianist Marilyn Nonken’s “American Voices of the Early 20th Century” Salutes Scott Joplin & Charles Ives on Sunday, May 5
Apple Hill musicians, Marilyn Nonken

Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid‐Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation (MMPAF) continues its eighth season in 2019 with March and May concerts of chamber music: two programs of masterworks and new repertoire perfectly suited to the intimate atmosphere and brilliant acoustics of the St. Bart’s Chapel.

Sunday, March 31, 2019, at 2:30 pm in the Chapel
CHAMBER MUSIC FROM APPLE HILL
Elise Kuder, Anne Takeda, violins
Mike Kelley, viola
Rupert Thompson, cello
Mikael Darmanie, piano

Apple Hill musicians have earned praise around the world for their concerts presenting interpretive mastery of traditional repertoire—including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven, and Ravel—as well as new and commissioned works. For this Great Music at St. Bart’s program, the ensemble will perform the New York premiere of Michael Kropf’s String Quartet (2017), a work the group commissioned; Dmitri Shostakovich’s Piano Preludes, Op. 87D, arranged for string trio by Mike Kelley; and Gabriel Fauré’s Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 15.

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 in areas of conflict, particularly the Middle East. 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, $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 his 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,” said The Washington Post.

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

Tickets: $25, $15 for students and seniors

MIDTOWN CONCERTS: A FREE WEEKLY SERIES OF CONCERTS OF EARLY MUSIC BY GEMS

Gotham Early Music Scene, in conjunction with the Mid‐Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, presents Midtown Concerts, a weekly series of 35‐minute early music concerts in midtown Manhattan featuring soloists and ensembles from the U.S. and abroad.
For a schedule, visit www.gemsny.org/index.php/current-season

Admission is free


The Great Music at St. Bart’s series concludes with Empire City Men’s Chorus “Resplendent: A Silver Anniversary Concert,” kicking off World Pride 2019, on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
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 http://mmpaf.org

Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid‐Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation (www.mmpaf.org) that embraces a wide range of music in programs that shine in St. Bart’s spaces, is the most recent installment in the rich musical history (see below) of St. Bartholomew’s Church. St. Bart’s features two of New York’s unlikely but outstanding concert spaces: the 150‐seat chapel is an intimate and acoustically brilliant venue perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music, and the majestic 1,000‐seat sanctuary 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.

St. Bartholomew’s Church, the historic Episcopal parish on Park Avenue in New York City, was founded in January 1835, and this fall celebrates the 100th anniversary of the first service in its current location. The magnificent 1918 Romanesque‐style church, a National Historic Landmark that features a portal designed by Stanford White and a grand Byzantine‐style interior and iconic dome designed by Bertram Goodhue, 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.

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.

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.