Kristina Bachrach sings “Every Day is a God”

This Saturday, Dec. 1, at 7 pm, Kristina Bachrach will sing one of the songs that makes up my cycle Holy the Firm as part of a program celebrating the launch of New Music Shelf’s anthology of songs for soprano and piano. My contribution to the anthology of 20 songs by as many composers is “Every Day is a God”, which sets a text by Annie Dillard, an excerpt from the book whose title I borrowed for my cycle. Daniel Schlosberg will be the pianist. It’s a weird coincidence, but Daniel played two other songs from the cycle with soprano Jamie Jordan at the Sacramento State Festival of New American Music earlier this month. Jamie will also be performing on Friday’s concert. New Music Shelf’s website is being worked on at the moment, it appears; I will come back to this post with a link when it is functional. However, you can reserve tickets by writing to:  newmusicshelf@gmail.com.

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.