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.

Third String Quarterback Makes Good

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In 1722, Johann Kuhnau, cantor of the Leipzig St. Thomas’ Church, died. Although Georg Phillipp Telemann , then cantor of Hamburg’s Academic School of the Johanneum was the candidate strongly favored by the Leipzig city council to replace Kuhnau, Telemann refused the position, which was subsequently offered to Christoph Graupner. Graupner also declined the position, which the Leipzig city council then offered- reluctantly- to Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach held this prestigious post for 27 years until his death in 1750.

It was during his tenure in Leipzig that Bach composed some of his most resplendent sacred choral works including his Magnificat and Easter Oratorio intended to be sung for the great feast days of Christmas and Easter. Hear these sumptuous works on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 pm sung by St. Bartholomew’s Choir and an orchestra of period instruments including trumpets and tympani at St. Bart’s, Park Ave between 50th and 51st St. Experience the joy of Bach in two of his most festive works.