MMPAF Great Music
PAST EVENTS
Past events sponsored by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation.
   
 
MMPAF presents composer Arvo Part

ARVO PÄRT: PASSIO

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 7:30 pm

This concert was made possible by a generous gift from Robin Henry.

The music of the extraordinary Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt, has been described as mystical, hypnotic and transcendent, earning him the label “modern mystic.” For the past five years, he has been the most performed living composer in the world. His Passio (1982), a setting of St. John’s Passion in Latin, was inspired by the austerity of medieval monophonic settings of the Passion, but infused with Pärt's individual, compelling harmonic style.

St. Bartholomew’s Choir; Jeff Morrissey (Jesus), baritone; Ryland Angel (Pilate) tenor; Jason Roberts, organ; Instrumental Ensemble; William K. Trafka, conductor.

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"ST. JOHN" PASSION, BWV 245
The Choir of New College


Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 7:30 pm

There was a PRE-CONCERT TALK on Bach’s “St. John” Passion and Pärt’s “Passio” given by Michael Marissen, the Daniel Underhill Professor Emeritus of Music, Swarthmore College which was held before the concert at 6:45 pm in the chapel.

The Choir of New College, Oxford, traveled to the United States for the first time since the appointment of its new director, Robert Quinney. With renowned period-instrument ensemble, The English Concert Players, New College Choir performed J. S. Bach’s timeless setting of the Passion according to St. John, first heard in Leipzig in 1724, and currently an established masterwork of the choral repertoire. With sixteen boy choristers and fourteen adult clerks, the Choir of New College, Oxford, established in 1379, is one the most celebrated and acclaimed choral ensembles in the UK. The English Concert Players enjoys an unsurpassed reputation for inspiring performances of Baroque and Classical repertoire.

The Choir of New College, Oxford; The English Concert Players; Nick Pritchard (Evangelist), Robert Quinney, conductor

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JOHN ZORN: CANDLEMAS EVE AND THE HERMETIC ORGAN

THE APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET

Sunday, March 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm in the Chapel

Click here for: Apple Hill String Quartet press release

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 for new and commissioned works by outstanding composers as well. 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.

Apple Hill’s program included the premiere of Presences, a new work by John Harbison for cello, string quartet and string bass which was commissioned in memory of David Anderson, a young student cellist who studied at Apple Hill.

Harbison was interviewed in a pre-concert event in the chapel before the concert.

The concert also included Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 54, No. 2 and Ahmed Adnan Saigon’s String Quartet #1.

The Apple Hill String Quartet (Elise Kruder, Colleen Jennings, violin; Mike Kelley, viola; Rupert Thompson, cello) Tony Rymer, cello soloist; Max Zeugner, bass.

Video: Please enjoy Apple Hill String Quartet performing "Two-pair" by Geoffrey Hudson.

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JOHN ZORN: CANDLEMAS EVE AND THE HERMETIC ORGAN

JASON ROBERTS ACCOMPANIES THE SILENT FILM

Friday, February 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm

For the last several years, Jason Roberts has performed an improvised live interpretation to many great silent films on the mammoth Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ at St. Bart's.

In 2017 Jason accompanied one of Buster Keaton's great silent classics, "The General." The film was inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase of 1862, and is an action-packed comedy adventure.

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.

The audience experienced what the film would have been like for its first audiences in 1927!

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JOHN ZORN: CANDLEMAS EVE AND THE HERMETIC ORGAN

JOHN ZORN: CANDLEMAS EVE AND THE HERMETIC ORGAN

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 8:30 pm

John Zorn The Hermetic OrganModern music icon John Zorn returned 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 Candlemas Eve for two flutes and vibraharp was also offered on the eve of the church’s feast day of Candlemas.

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

YouTube: John Zorn talks about the Hermetic Organ.

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William K Trafka A Concert to Usher in the New Year

WILLIAM K. TRAFKA: A CONCERT TO USHER IN THE NEW YEAR

Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 11 pm

William K Trafka A Concert to Usher in the New YearLucky audience enjoyed St. Bartholomew’s grand Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, one of New York’s greatest musical treasures.

William K. Trafka, St. Bartholomew’s Director of Music and Organist, played festive works for this New Year’s celebration. The program included organ works of Bach, Böhm, Franck and Willan.

Trafka’s own transcription of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man was played at the stroke of midnight.

This was a FREE event with a free champagne reception which followed the concert.

William K. Trafka, organ

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MMPAF Adoration of the Magi Concert

ADORATION OF THE MAGI

Friday, December 16, 2016 at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

Adoration of Magi MorrisseyJeff Morrissey, Baritone, and William Trafka, Pianist, returned this season with their popular Christmas program inspired by the elegant paintings found in the South Chapel of St. Bartholomew’s.

In 1919 Ethel Parsons Paullin and her husband Telford created the beautiful Adoration of the Magi and the 13 medallions surrounding it depicting subjects connected with the Nativity of Christ.

Morrissey, whose voice The New York Times has called “a ringing baritone and first rate,” highlighted the artwork by weaving passages from the Bible with Polish carols, spirituals and ballads from his own Southern Appalachian Mountains presenting a visual and musical telling of the Christmas story.

Jeff Morrissey, baritone; William K. Trafka, piano

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MMPAF Concert with Andy Akiho & The Sebastians

A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT 2016

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 7:30 pm

St. Bartholomew’s Choir, Boy and Girl Choristers, New York City’s largest pipe organ and a chamber orchestra joined forces for this concert of Christmas favorites.

Works included the Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah, and carol settings of Sandström, Chilcott, Willcocks and others. The audience experienced the joy and warmth of the holidays with great choral works, sacred and secular, and the chance to sing the beloved carols of the season with organ and orchestra in the candlelit splendor of St. Bartholomew’s Church.

St. Bartholomew’s Choir, Boy and Girl Choristers, Chamber Orchestra; Jason Roberts, organist and conductor; William K. Trafka, conductor.

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MMPAF Concert with Andy Akiho & The Sebastians

THIRD SOUND

Friday, October 21, 2016 at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

“Forward-looking, expert ensemble Third Sound” (The New Yorker) returned to Great Music at St. Bart’s to open the 2016–17 season.

Following its historic residency at the 2015 Havana Contemporary Music Festival, Third Sound made its US debut with “an impressive night” (New York Classical Review) at St. Bart’s. In anticipation of the ensemble’s return to Havana this fall, Third Sound launched the Great Music season with a preview of its festival program, which offered a unique snapshot of the dynamism and diversity of the contemporary American musical landscape.

Sooyun Kim, flute; Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet; Karen Kim, violin; Michael Nicholas, cello; Orion Weiss, piano.

Video: Recorded live at the Festival de Música Contemporánea de La Habana, Basílica Menor de San Francisco de Asís, Havana, Cuba, November 17, 2015.

Video: New York-based Third Sound ensemble debuts in Old Havana for the 28th Havana Contemporary Music Festival. Third Sound's concert debut was on November 17, 2015, in the 16th Century Basilica of St. Francis of Asisi in Old Havana, Cuba.

Video Production: Zac Nicholson

 

 

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MMPAF Concert with Andy Akiho & The Sebastians

ANDY AKIHO & THE SEBASTIANS

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

This intriguing double bill juxtaposed music by the dynamic young composer Andy Akiho (who also performed) with a set of Baroque masterpieces, which were performed by the Sebastians (“everywhere sharp-edged and engaging” – The New York Times). The piquant counterpoint of such works as Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, which anchored the Sebastians’ program, was echoed by the keen sense of line in Akiho’s masterful LIgNEouS for string quartet and marimba. Akiho’s music, praised by the Times as “mold-breaking” and “vital,” featured a cadre of today’s finest chamber musicians.

The Sebastians
Andy Akiho
Kristin Lee, violin
Ian David Rosenbaum, percussion
Amphion String Quartet (Katie Hyun and David Southorn, violin; Wei-Yang Andy Lin, viola; Mihai Marica, cello)

YouTube: Please enjoy a selection of compositions below by Andy Akiho.

First up, Deciduous, composed by Andy Akiho and performed by Kristin Lee (violin) and Andy Akiho (steel pan).

YouTube: Alloy, composed by Andy Akiho and performed by The Foundry Steel Pan Ensemble

For one final Andy Akiho video click here to listen to Karakurenai, composed by Andy Akiho and performed by Ian Rosenbaum & Andy Akiho.

YouTube: How Readily Each Pliant String, composed by Henry Purcell performed by Tenet and The Sebastians.

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MMPAF Concert with John D'Ercole

THE APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET

Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 2:30 pm in the Chapel

Since its founding in 2007, the Apple Hill String Quartet has earned praise around the world for its concerts featuring traditional repertoire as well as new and commissioned works by outstanding composers. 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. The quartet performed works by Henry Purcell, Philip Glass, and Pavel Haas in the the beautiful acoustics of the chapel.

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

Video: Please enjoy Apple Hill String Quartet performing "Two-pair" by Geoffrey Hudson.

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MMPAF Concert with John D'Ercole

THE CONCORDIA CHOIR

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

The world-renowned 72-voice Concordia Choir from Moorhead, Minnesota made their only New York City appearance this season at St. Bartholomew’s, and performed a diverse program of traditional and contemporary choral works. This was a wonderful chance to hear one of America’s finest a cappella choirs.

The Concordia Choir René Clausen, conductor

From YouTube: The Concordia Choir (Moorhead, MN) - René Clausen, Conductor perform "O Day Full of Grace," F.Melius Christiansen.

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MMPAF Concert with John D'Ercole

THIRD SOUND

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Newly formed chamber music supergroup Third Sound made its New York debut at St. Bart’s.

The program featured selections from the quintet’s fall residency at the Havana Contemporary Music Festival, which brought together works by some of the most dynamic voices in American and Cuban contemporary music. It was a must-hear opportunity to discover music from one of the world’s most vibrant cultural centers.

Third Sound (Sooyun Kim, flute; Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet; Karen Kim, violin; Michael Nicolas, cello; Orion Weiss, piano)

Video: New York-based Third Sound ensemble debuts in Old Havana for the 28th Havana Contemporary Music Festival. Third Sound's concert debut was on November 17, 2015, in the 16th Century Basilica of St. Francis of Asisi in Old Havana, Cuba.

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MMPAF Concert with John D'Ercole

A CONCERT FOR THE NEW YEAR
A free champagne reception followed the concert


Thursday, December 31, 2015 at 11 pm

Lucky audience members heard St. Bartholomew’s grand Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, one of New York’s greatest musical treasures, on this truly festive New Year’s celebration.

William K. Trafka, St. Bartholomew’s Director of Music and Organist, performed works by Bach, Mendelssohn, and Widor alongside transcriptions of orchestral works by Grieg and Dukas.

Trafka’s own transcription of Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man was played at the stroke of midnight.

This was a free event.

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MMPAF Concert with John D'Ercole

ADORATION OF THE MAGI

Friday, December 18, 2015 at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

Adoration of Magi MorrisseyBaritone Jeff Morrissey and pianist William Trafka returned this season with their popular Christmas program inspired by the elegant paintings found in the South Chapel of St. Bartholomew’s.

In 1919 Ethel Parsons Paullin and her husband Telford created the beautiful Adoration of the Magi and the 13 medallions surrounding it depicting subjects connected with the Nativity of Christ.

This program brought the artwork to life, weaving passages from the Bible with Polish carols, spirituals, and ballads from the Southern Appalachian Mountains to present a visual and musical telling of the Christmas story.

Jeff Morrissey, baritone
William Trafka, piano

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Christmas Concert 2015

A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

St. Bartholomew’s Choir, Boy and Girl Choristers, New York City’s largest pipe organ, and a chamber orchestra joined forces for this concert of Christmas favorites. Works included The Christmas portion of Handel’s Messiah, Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols and carol settings of Sandström, Chilcott, and Willcocks. Audience members experienced the joy and warmth of the holidays with great choral works, and the chance to sing the beloved carols of the season in the candlelit splendor of St. Bartholomew’s Church.

Artwork: Theotokos (Mary and Baby) by Steve Ross

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JASON ROBERTS ACCOMPANIES THE WIND

JASON ROBERTS ACCOMPANIES "THE WIND"
Presented in tandem with National Sawdust's John Zorn Festival

Friday, November 20, 2015 at 7:30 pm

MMPAF Steamboat Bill Jr.Audience members experienced the 1928 film “The Wind” as it would have been viewed originally—with live, improvised organ accompaniment. This pairing of cinematic masterpiece by director Victor Sjöström and the sounds of Jason Roberts at the organ made for a winning combination. “The Wind,” starring Lillian Gish, was one of the last great silent films. Lillian Gish herself was an active member of St. Bart’s, and is buried in the memorial chapel.

The silent film era lasted only a little over a decade. During this time, when recordings could not yet be synchronized to video, organists and pianists cultivated the art of silent film accompaniment. Although in large theaters scores were composed for orchestras to play, most often film accompaniments were improvised.

This art is mostly lost today, but occasionally there are opportunities to experience this exciting art form.

Jason Roberts, on St. Bart's famous pipe organ

Video Credits: Barry Phillips & Brian Burnett

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MMPAF Concert with John Zorn

JOHN ZORN: THE HERMETIC ORGAN
Presented in tandem with National Sawdust's John Zorn Festival

Friday, October 30, 2015 at 11:59 pm

Modern music icon John Zorn opened the 2015-2016 season with a midnight performance of The Hermetic Organ. When Zorn first performed his now notorious solo organ improvisation in 2011, Lou Reed praised the performance as one of “culmination and conquest.” Zorn then took The Hermetic Organ to St. Bartholomew’s Church’s magnificent Aeolian-Skinner, the largest pipe organ in New York City.

John Zorn, organ

YouTube: John Zorn talks about the Hermetic Organ:

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“THE ARGENTINIAN-ITALIAN BACH" – DOMENICO ZIPOLI
Part of the New York Early Music 2015 Celebration “El Nuevo Mundo”

Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 7:30 pm

The Great Music Series kicked off the 2015-2016 season with a program dedicated to Domenico Zipoli, the Jesuit musician, missionary, and renowned Baroque composer in South America. His works, including his “Misa San Ignacio” and “Laudate Dominum” were performed alongside two cantatas by Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas “Nach Dir, Herr, verlanget mich” and “Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn.”

Crescendo Chorus and Youth Singers
Crescendo Period and Andean Instrument Orchestra
Christine Gevert, conductor

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

Click here to listen to Crescendo perform selections that were in this program.

YouTube: Live performance by Crescendo (Nov. 2014) of Credo from Misa San Ignacio, Domenico Zipoli.


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MMPAF Back Tour

Follow J.S. Bach’s Footsteps through Germany
with William Trafka and William Fulton ...


BACH TOUR: May 13 – 22, 2015

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has inspired generations of music lovers for its unparalleled genius in craftsmanship and its deeply spiritual affect. Bach's great art was practiced in both quaint towns and major urban centers in Germany.

For the third time since 2009, Director of Music and Organist, William K. Trafka along with St. Bart’s parishioner, William Fulton led a tour of the German cities and churches where J. S. Bach lived and worked as a church musician. William Trafka performed the organ works which Bach composed for those magnificent buildings. The tour included the charming and beautiful towns of Eisenach, Bach’s birthplace, Mühlhausen, Arnstadt and Weimar as well as the magnificent cities of Dresden, Berlin and Leipzig, where Bach composed his most enduring organ and choral works for the Thomaskirche. Participants experienced the thrill of hearing Bach’s works in the great architectural spaces where they reverberated three centuries ago.

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MMPAF Concert with John D'Ercole

RISE UP MY LOVE MY FAIR ONE
The College of New Jersey Chorale
Phillip Cave, Conductor

MAGNIFICAT
John Leonard, Conductor

Saturday, April 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm

The lyric poetry of the Song of Songs has been a source of inspiration to composers for centuries. In this shared performance with the critically acclaimed English vocal ensemble, Magnificat, The College of New Jersey Chorale returned to St. Bart’s to present settings of these passionate texts from the sixteenth-century to the present day. The program included music by Palestrina, Bertolusi, Clemens, Da Silva, L’Heritier, and Praetorius, and also the New York City Premiere of Donald McCullough’s Song of the Shulamite for chorus, soprano soloist, harp, marimba and xylophone.

The Chorale, under the direction of John P. Leonard, is the premier choral ensemble at The College of New Jersey. During their last performance at St. Bart’s with the Argento Ensemble, TCNJ’s Chorale was praised as “excellent” with “superlative voices,” (ConcertoNet.com) and “entirely in control” (New York Arts).

Since its formation in 1991 by director Philip Cave, Magnificat has forged a reputation as one of the premier early music consorts. The reviews say it all: "The choral sound is extraordinarily coherent...clearly Cave and Magnificat are the team for this repertory." (Fanfare Magazine). "Director Philip Cave creates some revelatory readings...For clarity, nuance and intimacy, Magnificat’s vocalists are unmatched." (BBC Music Magazine).

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MMPAF Concert with John D'Ercole

JOHN D'ERCOLE, BASS GUITAR

Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 3 pm in the Chapel

A native of Lakeville, CT, John D’Ercole’s music education extended from middle school to Berklee College of Music, where he focused on traditional jazz and contemporary music. Being greatly inspired by Andrés Segovia, John began transcribing classical works to the bass guitar and has since developed an extensive repertoire of works not normally associated with this instrument. His performances are in demand around the US.

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MMPAF East of the River Levantera

JASON ROBERTS ACCOMPANIES "STEAMBOAT BILL, JR."

Friday, February 13, 2015 at 7:30 pm

The silent film era lasted only a little over a decade. During this time, when recordings could not yet be synchronized to video, organists and pianists cultivated the art of silent film accompaniment. Although in large theaters scores were composed for orchestras to play, most often film accompaniments were improvised.

This art is mostly lost today, but occasionally there are opportunities to experience this exciting art form. Our screening of the 1928 film "Steamboat Bill, Jr.," featuring Buster Keaton, was one such opportunity. Keaton, in the role of William Canfield Jr., returns home from college to find his father in fierce competition with another riverboat captain. With his ukelele and beret, he's not really what his father expected; and his girlfriend turns out to be the daughter of his father's rival. Despite these barriers, he soon proves himself worthy of the family name.

The film featured live improvised accompaniment on St. Bart's famous pipe organ by Jason Roberts, St. Bart's brilliant Associate Organist.

See slideshow from the event:

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MMPAF East of the River Levantera

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL – JUDAS MACCABEUS
Yale Schola Cantorum and Instrumentalists from the Yale School of Music, David Hill, Conductor

Sunday, January 25, 2015 at 7 pm

Yale Schola Cantorum, founded in 2003 by Simon Carrington, is a 24-voice chamber choir that sings in concerts and choral services. Supported by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music with the School of Music, and open by audition to all Yale students, it specializes in music from before 1750 and the last hundred years.

Adoration of Magi MorrisseySchola Cantorum was under the direction of conductor Masaaki Suzuki from 2009 until 2013. Beginning in 2013-2014 Schola's principal conductor is David Hill, while Suzuki remains affiliated as principal guest conductor.

In addition to performing regularly in New Haven and New York, the choir records and tours nationally and internationally. Schola Cantorum has toured internationally in England, Hungary, France, China, South Korea, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Japan and Singapore.

David Hill has a long and distinguished career as one of the leading conductors in Europe. His talent has been recognized by appointments as chief conductor of The BBC Singers, musical director of the Bach Choir, chief conductor of the Southern Sinfonia, music director of Leeds Philharmonic Society, and associate guest conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Southampton in recognition of his services to music. In 2007, he received an honorary Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music, and in 2010 an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music. Previously, Hill was Master of the Music at Winchester and Westminster Cathedrals, Music Director of the Waynflete Singers, Artistic Director of the Philharmonia Chorus, and Director of Music at St. John's College, Cambridge.

Check out this feature on Yale Institute of Sacred Music on the PBS Religion & Ethics broadcast (MMPAF is mentioned at time marker 4:30):

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MMPAF East of the River Levantera

A CONCERT TO USHER IN THE NEW YEAR

Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 11 pm

A lucky audience ushered in the New Year listening to St. Bartholomew's grand Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, one of New York's greatest musical treasures.

William K. Trafka, St. Bartholomew's Director of Music and Organist, played festive works for this New Year's celebration.

Organ works of Bach, Franck and Jacob were heard alongside transcriptions of orchestral works by Ravel and Fauré. Trafka's own transcription of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man were played at the stroke of midnight. A free champagne reception followed the concert.

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MMPAF East of the River Levantera

ADORATION OF THE MAGI

Friday, December 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

Jeff Morrissey, Baritone, and William Trafka, Pianist, returned this season with their popular Christmas program inspired by the elegant paintings found in the South Chapel of St. Bartholomew's.

In 1919 Ethel Parsons Paullin and her husband Telford created the beautiful Adoration of the Magi and the 13 medallions surrounding it depicting subjects connected with the Nativity of Christ.

Morrissey, whose voice The New York Times calls "a ringing baritone and first rate," highlighted the artwork weaving passages from the Bible with Polish carols, spirituals and ballads from his own Southern Appalachian Mountains to present a visual and musical telling of the Christmas story.

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MMPAF East of the River Levantera

THE JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm

An annual St. Bart's tradition, St. Bartholomew's Choir joined forces with St. Bartholomew's Boy and Girl Choristers and St. Bartholomew's Festival Orchestra for a concert of sacred and secular music of the season in the candlelit splendor of St. Bartholomew's Church. This concert featured a blend of treasured classics, compelling new works and delightful arrangements of beloved carols.

Highlights of the concert included the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah," works by Willcocks, Rutter as well as Gjeilo's ravishingly beautiful "O Magnum Mysterium" and Stephen Paulus' tender "The Road Home" all accompanied by orchestra and St. Bartholomew's magnificent Aeolian/Skinner pipe organ, the largest in New York City. The audience joined with the choirs and musical forces in singing many of the most popular carols of the season. William K. Trafka conducted Bartholomew's Choir and Festival Orchestra; Jason Roberts conducted the Boy and Girl Choristers and be the organist for the program.

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MMPAF East of the River Levantera

EAST OF THE RIVER: LEVANTERA

Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm in the Chapel

East of the River was founded by internationally renowned recorder players Nina Stern and Daphna Mor. Referred to as “recorder virtuosos” by the New York Times, Stern and Mor each have impressive careers as soloists and chamber music players. They have appeared as a duo with groups as varied as The New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s and world music ensemble, Pharoah’s Daughter, in venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and for Music Before 1800.

In the spirit of the program’s title, Levantera, East of the River explored Medieval music of the Mediterranean and travels eastward through the Balkans to Armenia and the Middle East, explored the earliest songs of those extraordinary cultures, together with their traditional dances – the origins of which go back centuries. In this program East of the River lent its innovative blend of sounds to a fascinating and beautiful repertory much of which is little known to today’s audiences.

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JGarcia Photo - Approved Photo courtesy of Herb Greene and the Jerry Garcia Family LLC

SONGS TO FILL THE AIR
David Bryan and friends

Friday, August 8, 2014 at 7:30 pm

On the eve of the 19th anniversary of Garcia's death, the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation hosted a celebration of the musical legacy of Jerry Garcia. This celebration was spearheaded by David Bryan (St. Bart's Director of Welcome, Inclusion and Incorporation), an eclectic musician with years of performance experience in the New York music scene. With several guest musicians, David honored the life of this American cultural icon, as audience and musicians came together to explore the power, beauty, and grace of some of the richest recent additions to the American songbook – such as the timeless tune "Brokedown Palace," from the inimitable 1970 album American Beauty.

Check out this video from the concert:

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since it was the day of preparation

SINCE IT WAS THE DAY OF PREPARATION (US PREMIERE)
James MacMillan

Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Scottish composer James MacMillan is one of the most compelling composers of sacred music today. His "Since It Was the Day of Preparation" picks up where his "St. John Passion" left off, setting the Resurrection narrative from St. John's Gospel. It is scored for bass-baritone soloist, chamber choir and a small ensemble of instrumentalists, including clarinet, horn, harp, theorbo and cello.

It was co-commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria, an American organization whose mission is to preserve, enhance and promote sacred music, along with the Edinburgh International Festival and other partners. Its world premiere in Edinburgh inspired Scotland's The Herald to remark, "The music ranges in mood from austere to warm and tender, from the purity of intensity to relaxed expansiveness."

St. Bartholomew's Director of Music conducted an ensemble of outstanding singers and instrumentalists.

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Paul Brantley and Flux Quartet

PAUL BRANTLEY AND THE FLUX QUARTET:
In Celebration of Franz Alt

Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Estherházy Book I, a new string quartet by New York composer Paul Brantley, received its premiere performance in a program, which also included John Cage's "String Quartet in Four Parts," Gyorgy Kurtag's "Six Moments Musicaux," as well as selected string quartet movements of Franz Joseph Haydn.

The Flux Quartet, whom the New York Times called "... an intrepid ensemble devoted to illuminating the pricklier corners of contemporary repertory..." presented a provocative and adventurous program.

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Apple Hill Chamber Players

THE APPLE HILL CHAMBER PLAYERS

Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 2:30 pm

The Apple Hill Chamber Players, resident artists of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire, have won international praise for vital and elegant performances of chamber music literature, from 18th century masterpieces to new and commissioned works by leading composers.

They serve as performing artists and core faculty for the internationally celebrated Summer Chamber Music Workshop held annually at Apple Hill. They will be joined by the Dorian Wind Quintet, who are recognized worldwide by professional musicians and audiences alike for their vibrant and engaging performances.

The program included Beethoven's "String Quartet, Op. 18," "#6" and Brahms' "Serenade in the Nonet" version. A powerhouse concert!

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SHOMYO-BUDDHIST RITUAL CHANT

Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm

In conjunction with the Japan Society, the celebrated ensemble Shomyo no Kai–Voices of a Thousand Years, comprising priests from the Shingon and Tendai sects whose mission it is to offer the beauty of shomyo as an art form, performed the contemporary shomyo work "Life in an Autumn," written in the aftermath of 9/11 by New York/Tokyo-based composer Ushio Torikai.

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A FREE CONCERT TO USHER IN THE NEW YEAR

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 11 pm

The audience enjoyed St. Bartholomew's Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, one of New York's greatest musical treasures.

William K. Trafka, St. Bart's Director of Music and Organist, played festive works for this New Year's celebration.

Organ works of Bach, Mendelssohn and Langlais were heard alongside transcriptions of orchestral works by Ravel and Debussy. Trafka's own transcription of Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" was played at the stroke of midnight.

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ADORATION OF THE MAGI

Friday, December 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

Jeff Morrissey, Baritone, and William Trafka, Pianist, with their popular Christmas program inspired by the elegant paintings found in the South Chapel of St. Bartholomew's.

In 1919 Ethel Parsons Paullin and her husband Telford created the beautiful Adoration of the Magi and the 13 medallions surrounding it depicting subjects connected with the Nativity of Christ.

Morrissey, whose voice The New York Times calls "a ringing baritone and first rate," highlighted the artwork weaving passages from the Bible with Polish carols, spirituals and ballads from his own Southern Appalachian Mountains and presented a visual and musical telling of the Christmas story.

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THE JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 7:30 pm

An annual St. Bart's tradition, St. Bartholomew's Choir joined forces with St. Bartholomew's Boy and Girl Choristers and St. Bartholomew's Festival Orchestra for a concert of sacred and secular music of the season in the candlelit splendor of St. Bartholomew's Church. This concert featured a blend of treasured classics, compelling new works and delightful arrangements of beloved carols.

Highlights of the concert included arias and choruses from the Christmas portion of Handel's "Messiah," Stephen Paulus' "Christmas Tidings," John Rutter's "Nativity Carol" and "What sweeter musick," with Malcolm Sargent's "Silent Night," all accompanied by orchestra and St. Bartholomew's magnificent Aeolian/Skinner pipe organ, the largest in New York City.

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MMPAF Back Tour

Follow J.S. Bach’s Footsteps through Germany
with William Trafka and William Fulton ...


BACH TOUR: October, 2013

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has inspired generations of music lovers for its unparalleled genius in craftsmanship and its deeply spiritual affect. Bach's great art was practiced in both quaint towns and major urban centers in Germany.

Director of Music and Organist, William K. Trafka along with St. Bart’s parishioner, William Fulton led a tour of the German cities and churches where J. S. Bach lived and worked as a church musician. William Trafka performed the organ works which Bach composed for those magnificent buildings. Participants experienced the thrill of hearing Bach’s works in the great architectural spaces where they reverberated three centuries ago.

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MMPAF presents THE ACADEMIC ORCHESTRA from Tübingen University, Germany

THE ACADEMIC ORCHESTRA

of Tübingen University, Germany
Friday, October 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm

The Academic Orchestra of Tübingen University was founded by Friedrich Silcher in 1837. Today it includes over 60 members, and is conducted by Philipp Amelung. The repertoire ranges from the Baroque period to contemporary music and includes great orchestral works of Honegger, Mahler, Satint-Saëns and Brahms. At St. Bart's the orchestra performed Mozart's Overture to "Don Giovanni," Schumann's "Symphony #4" and the US premiere of Randall Svane's "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra" with renowned German violinist Julia Galic.
MMPAF presents THE MEN AND BOYS CHOIR FROM TRINITY CHURCH from Esbjerg, Denmark

THE MEN AND BOYS CHOIR FROM TRINITY CHURCH

from Esbjerg, Denmark
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 7:30 pm

The Men and Boys Choir from Trinity Church in Esbjerg is considered to be the finest choir of men and boys in Denmark. Inspired by the English Cathedral choral tradition, the choir, founded in 1964, has grown to international stature and has toured Europe, Australia and the US to critical acclaim. The choir, conducted by Lone Geslinge, sang great English anthems by Purcell, Stanford and Howells as well as Scandinavian works by Gjielo, Nielsen and Gade.

THE MAHLER PROJECT at ST. BART'S

Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm

For the second year in a row, The Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation in conjunction with the Sheep Island Ensemble hosted the New York City Summer Mahler Project at St. Bartholomew's Church. The concert was titled "The Origins of Mahler" and focused on the composer's two greatest musical influences, Beethoven and Wagner. The concert included the "Blumine" movement from Mahler's First Symphony as well as Wagner's Overture to "Rienzi" and Beethoven's Third Symphony ("The Eroica"). All proceeds benefited the Youth Orchestra of New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward, an El Sistema-inspired program entering its third year.

MIDTOWN CONCERTS: A FREE WEEKLY SERIES
Concerts of Early Music
Every Thursday May 2nd - June 13th, 2013 at 1:15 pm in the Chapel

Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS) in conjunction with The Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation presented Midtown Concerts, a weekly series of 35-minute early music concerts in midtown Manhattan featuring soloists and ensembles from the U.S. and abroad. These events were all free to the public and featured the following solo artists and performing groups – Rebecca Pechefsky, Summit Ensemble, Uncloistered, Trefoil, White Sparrow, New Comma Baroque, and Lizzie and the Theorboys.

THE ORCHESTRA MODERN

Monday, May 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm

The Orchestra Modern gave their debut concert at St. Bart's with conductor Steven Fox,well known for his work with the period-instrument Clarion Music Society. This program put side by side two orchestral expressions of passionate, ardent love by the two great late Romantic masters Verdi and Wagner - Verdi's Overture to La Forza del Destino in its 1862 version and Wagner's Siegfried Idyll, a piece written for the birthday of his wife Cosima in 1869. The orchestra also played the clever and charming first orchestral suite of Igor Stravinsky in four movements. In a final touch to the program, Charles Wuorinen's dynamic Spinoff for violin, double bass and congo drums were included.

HAZY NIGHTS AND CITIES OF LIGHT
Abigail Levis, Mezzo Soprano
Chorong Park, Pianis

Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Acclaimed for singing which is "consistently sumptuous and brilliant," and named "Debut Artist of the Year" by the Joy in Singing Foundation, lyric mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis is emerging as one of the most exciting young singers of today. Her program, "Hazy Nights and Cities of Light," presented listeners with a taste of four distinct musical landscapes. Abigail Levis and Chorong Park presented a recital of music from Paris, New York, Sweden, and Spain. Audience members were treated to an afternoon of beautiful, charming, and interesting songs from these four diverse parts of the world.

APPLE HILL CHAMBER PLAYERS

Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm

The Apple Hill Chamber Players are resident artists of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire, have won international praise for vital and elegant performances of chamber music literature, from 18th century masterpieces to new and commissioned works by leading composers.

They serve as performing artists and core faculty for the internationally celebrated Summer Chamber Music Workshop held annually at Apple Hill.

During the regular concert season, they travel across the United States, Europe, Middle East, and other areas performing concerts, conducting educational activities, and awarding scholarships to musicians of diverse backgrounds as part of the acclaimed Playing for Peace Project.

Their concert on March 10th included Mozart's Quartet in D Minor, K. 421, the breathtaking Quartet #1 by György Ligeti and Edvard Grieg's passionate Quartet in G Minor.

THE NORDIC CHOIR

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Over 100 years ago, the pioneering choral conductor, F. Melius Christiansen established an a cappella choral tradition at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. This discipline aimed for perfection in intonation, blend and diction and has influenced American choral singing to the present day. One of the greatest proponents of this tradition of choral excellence is the Nordic Choir of Luther College.

Great Music at St. Bart's proudly hosted this exemplary 75 voice choir in concert – they performed works of Weelkes, Schütz, Bach, Jennings and Christiansen. Dr. Allen Hightower conducted.

Click here to listen to music from this special concert.

NEW YEAR'S EVE ORGAN CONCERT

Monday, December 31, 2012 at 11 pm

This special event featured the grand St. Bartholomew's Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, one of New York's greatest musical treasures.

William K. Trafka, St. Bart's Director of Music and Organist, played festive works for this New Year's celebration.

Organ works of Bach, Franck and Langlais were heard alongside transcriptions of orchestral works by Fauré and Debussy. Trafka's own transcription of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man were played at the stroke of midnight.

ADORATION OF THE MAGI

Friday, December 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Baritone, Jeff Morrissey and Pianist, William Trafka returned this season with their popular Christmas program inspired by the elegant paintings found in the South Chapel of St. Bart'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.

Morrissey, whose voice The New York Times calls "a ringing baritone and first rate," highlighted the artwork weaving passages from the Bible with Polish carols, spirituals and ballads from his own Southern Appalachian Mountains to present a visual and musical telling of the Christmas story.

THE JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm

St. Bartholomew's Choir, Boy and Girl Choristers, a string orchestra, percussion and New York City's largest pipe organ joined forces for this concert of Christmas favorites.

Works included Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Darke's In the bleak midwinter with music of Willcocks, Paulus, Bach and others.

A full house experienced the joy and warmth of the holidays with great choral works, sacred and secular, and had the chance to sing the beloved carols of the season in the candlelit splendor of St. Bart's.

Click here to see photos from this event.

THE SEVEN SPACES OF MOZART'S REQUIEM

Argento Chamber Ensemble And TCNJ Chorale Performs Mozart's Requiem. With Georg Friedrich Haas's Seven Soundspaces

Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Georg Friedrich Haas frames Mozart Requiem Fragments as Mozart left them.

The Argento Chamber Ensemble, under the baton of conductor Michel Galante, will perform all fragments of Mozart's unfinished Requiem K. 626 along with composer Georg Friedrich Haas's Seven Soundspaces (Sieben Klangraume), which link together the fragments of Mozart's masterwork. To open the program, acclaimed flutist Paula Robison will perform Mozart's Andante K.315 for flute and orchestra. The featured choir for the program is The College of New Jersey Chorale with vocal soloists soprano, Tharanga Goonetilleke; alto, Silvie Jensen; tenor, Steven Wilson and bass Peter Stewart.

 
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MAHLER'S FIFTH SYMPHONY at ST. BART'S
Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Performed by the New York City Summer Mahler Project and presented by the Mid Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation and the Sheep Island Ensemble.

All proceeds from this event benefited the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward, an El Sistema-inspired program entering its second year.

The New York City Summer Mahler Project is a gathering of top-shelf New York freelancers and orchestral musicians who come together once a year for this good cause. The orchestra includes members of the DeClassified, the ACJW program and New York Philharmonic teaching artists, members of the New Jersey Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the horn quartet Genghis Barbie, as well as first-call Broadway musicians. This year the orchestra included members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. In past years players have included members of the New York Philharmonic.

Photo courtesy of Lee Wexler and Images for Innovation.

HAYDN - The Creation
Monday, April 30, 2012 at 7:30

The Schola Cantorum of Yale University
Juilliard 415
Masaaki Suzuki, Conductor

Yale University's Schola Cantorum and Juilliard 415, The Juilliard School's period instrument ensemble joined forces to perform Haydn's great oratorio "The Creation." The concert was conducted by Masaaki Suzuki, the pre-eminent conductor of early music from Japan.

Haydn was most likely inspired to compose a large oratorio during his visits to England in 1791-1792 and 1794-1795, when he heard oratorios of Handel performed by large forces.

Completed in 1798, "The Creation" took one and one half years to write, the longest amount of time Haydn had spent on a single composition. What resulted was one of the greatest sacred masterpieces from the classical era.

Free concert.

BACH - EASTER ORATORIO AND MAGNIFICAT
St. Bartholomew's Choir with an Orchestra of Period Instruments
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Bach's Easter Oratorio ("Kommt, eilet und laufet") and his Magnificat are two of the most festive works composed while he was Kantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. Written for the high feast days of Easter and Christmas, both are scored for choir and soloists with an elaborate orchestra including trumpets and tympani emphasizing the celebratory nature of these important days in the Church calendar.

THE SALOMÉ CHAMBER ORCHESTRA -
A Bach Birthday Concert
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm
(in the Church)

Founded in September of 2009 in New York City, the Salomé Chamber Orchestra has quickly risen to become one of the most sought after orchestras in the US. With imaginative programming and vibrant performances, they are an orchestra on the cutting edge and their concert at St. Bart's included the New York City premiere of J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations as transcribed by Dmitry Sitkovetsky. The program also included Bach's Brandenburg Concertos # 3 and #5, all in celebration of his 327th birthday.

THE APPLE HILL STRING QUARTET --
A 40th Anniversary Concert
Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm
(in the Chapel)

The Apple Hill Chamber Players, whose concert will include chamber works of Haydn, Schulhoff, and Herrmann, are resident artists of Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in New Hampshire. They have won international praise for vital and elegant performances of chamber music literature, from 18th century masterpieces to new and commissioned works by leading composers.

They serve as performing artists and core faculty for the internationally celebrated Summer Chamber Music Workshop held annually at Apple Hill. During the regular concert season, they travel across the United States, Europe, Middle East, and other areas performing concerts, conducting educational activities, and awarding scholarships to musicians of diverse backgrounds as part of the acclaimed Playing for Peace Project.

TARAB SACRED MUSIC ENSEMBLE
Sacred Music from the Muslim World
Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm
(in the Church)

Tarab Sacred Music Ensemble plays Sufi music from Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. Tarab comprises five musicians who sing and play acoustic instruments (nay, oud, buzuq, frame drums and riq) from the Middle East, as well as a whirling dervish who dances along to the music. Tarab is a term used by musicians to describe the feeling that comes along with the enjoyment of music, roughly translated as the "ecstacy of music."

Sufi music is played on Muslim holy days, such as Mawwlad al-Nabawi, Laylat al-Qadr and throughout the month of Ramadan. Audience members were happy to join the Tarab Sacred Music Ensemble as they took us on a musical journey of the Muslim world.

LA SERENISSIMA: Music of Venice and Her Others
Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 3:00 pm
(in the Chapel)

Venice was known as La Serenissima because it managed to maintain an extraordinary level of civil peace throughout its long reign as the dominant political and economic power of the Mediterranean in the 17th century.

The economic engine of La Serenissima thrived on diversity, and with an Arabic School, an Armenian Church, and numerous Jewish ghettos, the influence of foreign voices on the sacred music of the Venetian seicento is unmistakable.

Sacred motets of Strozzi, Rigatti, Cavalli and Monteverdi performed in alteration with music of Venice's Armenian, Turkish, and Dalmatian communities comprise this compelling program.

Jessica Gould, soprano
Daniel Swenberg, theorbo
Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord
The Rose of the Compass Ensemble
Nina Stern, recorders & chalumeau
Ara Dinkjian, oud
Glen Velez, percussion

Co-presented by Salon/Sanctuary Concerts.

NEW YEAR'S EVE ORGAN CONCERT
Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 11 pm

The grand St. Bartholomew's Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is one of New York's greatest musical treasures. William K. Trafka, St. Bartholomew's Director of Music and Organist, played an assortment of festive works for the 2012 New Year's celebration.

Organ works of Bach, Mendelssohn and Bridge were heard alongside transcriptions of orchestral works by Mussorgsky and Ravel. Trafka's own transcription of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man was played at the stroke of midnight.

Free to the public.

JOYOUS CHRISTMAS CONCERT at St. Barts
Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm

The concert was packed this year and the acoustics were top notch with the new chairs installed.

St. Bartholomew's Choir, Boy and Girl Choristers, festive brass, harp and percussion and New York City's largest pipe organ joined forces for this concert of Christmas favorites.

Over 550 of you experienced the joy and warmth of the holidays with great choral works, sacred and secular, and the chance to sing the beloved carols of the season in the candlelit splendor of St. Bartholomew's Church.

photo: Tim Martin

ADORATION OF THE MAGI
Friday, December 9. 2011 at 7:30 pm (in the Chapel)

Baritone Jeff Morrissey performed an eclectic Christmas program inspired by the elegant paintings found in the South Chapel of St. Bartholomew's Church.

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.

Morrissey, whose voice The New York Times calls "a ringing baritone and first rate," led a musical tour of the artwork performing Spirituals, Polish carols, German Christmas songs, and ballads from Morrissey's own Southern Appalachian Mountains arranged by John Jacob Niles.