Jamie Jordan at Penn, “Alleluia” at Emmanuel

I am a bit frantic as I work to finish a quintet for oboe + piano quartet (requested by Peggy Pearson, to be premiered at the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival on June 9), so there is only time for a brief post to say thank you for some recent performances. Jamie Jordan and Steven Beck gave a splendid recital at Penn last week, including excerpts from my Holy the Firm (read more about the program here). Here they are with George Crumb, whose Apparition was a concert highlight. (How it is that Steve read the oversize score for the Crumb off what appeared to be an iPad mini remains a mystery.)

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Holy the Firm was heard in its entirety later last week, as Katie O’Mara, Sarah Cooper, and Rebecca Achtenberg, all students from Westminster Choir College, collaborated with pianist J. J. Penna in a performance as part of the 2017 Art Song Festival at the College. I wasn’t able to attend, but J. J. is such a splendid pianist and admired coach that I am sure the performances were excellent.

On Sunday, Emmanuel Music did my Alleluia on a Ground as part of the weekly Eucharist at Emmanuel Church in Boston. I count myself very lucky to have an ongoing relationship (23 years!) with Emmanuel, with virtuosic performances of my motets in the context of a deeply welcoming community that knows how to listen thoughtfully thanks to decades of Bach cantata performances as an integral part of worship. Thank you to conductor Ryan Turner and all the singers, especially Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow Sarah Yanovitch who was angelic in the little solo near the end of my piece, and spectacular in BWV 51 later in the service.

Rehearsing in the Emmanuel sanctuary:

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Emmanuel Music warming up before the service:

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And the cantata in full flight:

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“Holy the Firm” at Penn and at Westminster Choir College

h-the-fSoprano Jamie Jordan will be offering three songs from my cycle Holy the Firm as part of her recital with pianist Steven Beck at Penn tomorrow evening (2/22/17) – go here for more on the concert, and click here for a PDF of the program. The piece will be heard again later this week, as  J. J. Penna has programmed the complete cycle as the closing event of Westminster Choir College’s 2017 Art Song Festival. I don’t yet have the name of who will be singing at Westminster, but J. J. will be playing piano and I will update this post with the singer’s name as soon as I get it. The concert is this Saturday, 2/25, at 7:30 in Bristol Chapel on the Westminster campus. More information here. UPDATE: vocal duties for Holy the Firm will be shared by Katie O’Mara, Sarah Cooper, and Rebecca Achtenberg, all students at Westminster.

Three Performances in New York

By some happy coincidence, I have three performances in New York this week. In addition to the Prism Quartet and pianist Marilyn Nonken giving the second performance of my Stratigraphy earlier today, soprano Liv Redpath and pianist J. J. Penna will do Holy the Firm in Juilliard’s Paul Hall this coming Tuesday, March 22 at 8 PM. This will be the first performance of the complete cycle in New York City. Go here for an earlier post about Liv. And on Friday, Weekend of Chamber Music will offer my Oboe Quartet, with Peggy Pearson, oboe; Ari Streisfeld (of the JACK Quartet) violin; Kathryn Lockwood, viola; and Caroline Stinson, cello (both Kathryn and Caroline are members of the Lark Quartet) – quite an all-star group. The performance will be at the Tenri Cultural Institute on Friday, March 25 at 7:30 PM, with an encore performance at The Cooperage in Honesdale, PA on Saturday, March 26, also at 7:30. Go here for ticket information and a video from W of CM’s artistic co-directors, Andrew Waggoner and Caroline Stinson.

Juilliard American Songmakers Interview Project

I was interviewed by soprano Liv Redpath as part of a project for a class she took with pianist J. J. Penna at Juilliard earlier this year. The result is posted here. Do look around the site for more interviews, I was honored to be part of a project involving some very fine composers and performers.

Liv is wonderfully gifted, check out her performance at a Renée Fleming master class here.