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

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

Apple Hill String Quartet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Jason Roberts, organ

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

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

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

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


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

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

Welcome to Our 2016 – 2017 Season

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

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

MMPAF’s 2015-2016 Season Announced

MMPAF’s exciting 2015-2016 Season has been announced! Please enjoy an abridged version of our press release (below). Or delve into the full press release by clicking here.

MMPAF_press_release_iconGREAT MUSIC AT ST. BART’S LAUNCHES ITS 2015-16 SEASON WITH AN EXPANDED CONCERT SERIES: 10 MAIN EVENTS FROM SOUTH AMERICAN BAROQUE TO CONTEMPORARY CUBAN, FROM BACH TO ANDY AKIHO, AND JOHN ZORN’S THE HERMETIC ORGAN, SHOWCASE TWO OUTSTANDING CONCERT SPACES

Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation (MMPAF) which for the past five years has presented music in the magnificent St. Bartholomew’s Church in midtown Manhattan, is expanding its offerings and focusing its programmatic range in the 2015-16 season.

The season’s 10 main events include a program of Italian/South American Baroque composer Domenico Zipoli and Bach cantatas; a midnight concert of John Zorn performing his famous The Hermetic Organ on the celebrated St. Bart’s organ, the largest in New York (presented in tandem with National Sawdust’s John Zorn Festival); the New York debut of the chamber “supergroup” Third Sound featuring new American and Cuban music; and a program mixing music by the young composer Andy Akiho with Baroque masterpieces performed by the early music group The Sebastians. These concerts join such returning series events as the beloved annual Joyous Christmas Concert and Concert for the New Year and silent film screenings with live organ improvisation. (The full season schedule is below.)

To grow and define the concert series, MMPAF’s Artistic Director William Trafka aimed both to embrace a wider range of music and to showcase the church’s concert spaces, two of the most outstanding in New York: 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, an architectural marvel – outfitted with comfortable chairs enabling flexible seating – whose Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is the largest in New York City.

”The Board of MMPAF is fortunate to have welcomed Patrick Castillo as a member,” said William Trafka. “As the former program director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and an exceptional composer, he brings valuable expertise in programming and knowledge of the most currents trends in contemporary music. St. Bart’s will now be one of the few sacred spaces in New York hosting performances of new music, elevating these compelling works to a new level by embracing them in spaces of architectural distinction and beauty.”

All regular tickets to Great Music at St. Bart’s are priced between $20 and $40, with discounted tickets for students and seniors available for all events. Admission to the Concert for 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 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 the 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 Eriks Esenvalds 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, 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.

Founded in January 1835, St. Bartholomew’s began its life as part of the Evangelical movement in the Episcopal Church. 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.

Tickets will be available through the Box Office at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue, New York, NY, and will be available by phone, 212-378-0248, and online at , by October 1.

NYTimes Music Review: “The Angels in the Heavens Sing for Themselves”

NYTimes MUSIC REVIEW

By ALLAN KOZINN
5/2/12

The Angels in the Heavens Sing for Themselves

Haydn’s Oratorio ‘Die Schöpfung’ at St. Bartholomew’s Church

Truth be told, the “Representation of Chaos” that opens Haydn’s 1798 oratorio “Die Schöpfung” (“The Creation”), sounds oddly decorous to modern ears. Granted, it begins with a short burst of brassy dissonance, and altered versions of that gesture return during the slow, dark-hued overture that pours forth before the angel Raphael’s serene narration of the familiar scene from Genesis: the formlessness of the earth, the darkness on the face of the waters. And when a second angel, Uriel, announces the creation of light, Haydn provides a magnificent explosion of C major orchestral timbre.

Yet the salient musical features of this depiction are graceful melody and tonal harmony. To experience it as the primordial chaos Haydn intended, you need to imagine hearing it with 18th-century ears.

The Japanese early-music specialist Masaaki Suzuki offered technical support, in the form of a period-instrument account, for listeners inclined to make that imaginative leap — and a beautifully shaped performance for those who simply wanted to hear Haydn’s richly painterly score — on Monday evening at St. Bartholomew’s Church. His forces were the Yale Schola Cantorum, a superb chorus, and an orchestra of 41 players drawn largely from the Yale Baroque Ensemble and Juilliard415, the student ensemble of the Juilliard School’s historical performance program.

Source: http://nyti.ms/IymrCu