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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Jason Roberts, organ

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

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

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

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


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

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

Welcome to Our 2016 – 2017 Season

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

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

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

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

ANDY AKIHO & THE SEBASTIANS

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

andy_akiho_and_sebastians

Andy Akiho, photo by Aestheticize Media; The Sebastians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets: $35, $15 for Students and Seniors

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

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

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

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

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

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

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

apple_hill_string_quartet_2016

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

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

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

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

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

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

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

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tickets: $35, $15 for Students and Seniors

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

THE CONCORDIA CHOIR
The Concordia Choir
René Clausen, conductor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for full press release on these concerts.

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

A Joyous Christmas Concert Artwork by Steve Ross

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

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

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

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

Great Music at St. Bart’s Presents Its Annual Holiday Events

A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT – December 15
ADORATION OF THE MAGI – December 18
A CONCERT FOR THE NEW YEAR – December 31 – FREE

st_barts_snowThe December events presented by Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series at St. Bartholomew’s Church produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation (MMPAF), are among New Yorkers’ favorite holiday traditions. A Joyous Christmas Concert offers choral, orchestral, and organ music of the season along with a Christmas carol sing-in; Adoration of the Magi is an intimate visual and musical celebration of the holidays in the St. Bart’s Chapel; and A Concert for the New Year, a holiday gift to the city, is a late evening organ concert by William Trafka, Director of Music and Organist of St. Bartholomew’s Church, and post-concert reception, that is free to the public.

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.

Click here for full press release on Holiday Events.

Great Music at St. Bart’s: “The Argentinian-Italian Bach,” Domenico Zipoli

Click here to read a news-filled pdf brochure about this concert.

Italian_Argentinian_Bach_Zipoli_flier

The Program

Domenico Zipoli
(1688–1726)
Misa San Ignacio
Kyrie
symbol Gloria

symbol Tantum Ergo

symbol Credo
from Misa San Ignacio

Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685–1750)
symbol Cantata BWV 150 “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich”
1. Sinfonia
2. Coro: “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich”
3. Aria (soprano): “Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnugt”
4. Coro: “Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit”
5. Aria (alto, tenor, bass): “Zedern mussen von den Winden
6. Coro: “Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn”
7. Coro (ciaccona): “Meine Tage in dem Leide”

– Intermission –

Domenico Zipoli

symbol Confitebor Domine
from Vespers San Ignacio

symbol Laudate Dominum
from Vespers San Ignacio

Johann Sebastian Bach
symbol “Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn”
Aria BWV 1127 – verses 1, 4, 8, 12

Domenico Zipoli

symbol Beatus Vir
from Vespers San Ignacio

symbolsymbol symbol

The Performers

Vocal soloists

Julianne Baird – Soprano (Zipoli & BWV 1127)
Sarah Moulton Faux – Soprano (BWV 150 & BWV 1127)
Nicholas
Tamagna – Countertenor
Pablo Bustos
– Tenor
John-Arthur Miller
– Baritone

Crescendo Period Instrument Orchestra

Judson Griffin – Violin 1, Concertmaster
Margaret Ziemnicka
– Violin 2
Carlos Boltes
– Viola
David Bakamjian
– Violoncello
Jane Hershey
– Violone
Rachel Begley
– Bassoon & Dulcian
Christa Patton
– Baroque Harp
Rodrigo Tarraza
– Quena 1
Gonzalo Cortes
– Quena 2
Carlos Boltes
– Charango
Scott Hill
– Guitar*
Juan Andres Mesa
– Organ

*Mr. Scott’s performing fee was generously underwritten by Cynthia Walsh.

The Crescendo

Choir Section leaders bolded; Singers with asterisk perform BWV 150

Sopranos: Louise Brown, Kathy Drake*, Sarah Fay*, Susan Fox, Anne Frieze, Carol Goodfriend, Peggy Heck, Jordan Rose Lee*, Sarah Moulton Faux*, Jane Meigs, Sarah Melcher, Margaret O’Brien*, Andrea Patel, Roberta Roll*

Altos: Pat Barton*, Laura Evans*, Susan Francisco, Martha King, Susan McBrien, Karen Miller, Martha Nesbitt, Randy Orzano*, Andrea Patel*, Susan Pettee, Trudy Weaver Miller*

Tenors: Gordon Gustafson, John La Porta*, Eric Martin*, Randy Orzano, Peter Perkins*, Doug Schmolze*, Richard Vreeland II

Basses: James Barrett*, Paul De Angelis, Stephen Enoch, John-Arthur Miller*, Rene Milo, Thomas Schindler*, Bruce Weinstein*, John Wightman, Michael Wise*

Youth Singers: Lucia Cicerchia, Charlotte Clulow, Eleanor Clulow

Christine Gevert, Conductor