Miller Theatre Welcomes New York Polyphony in WONDROUS BIRTH Tonight
Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts continues the 2013-14 season of its Early Music series with WONDROUS BIRTH, a holiday program featuring NEW YORK POLYPHONY tonight, December 14, 2013, 8:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Chapel, Columbia University (enter the campus at 2960 Broadway at 116th Street). Tickets: $30-$40 • Students with valid ID: $18-$24.
From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey:
"Not only is New York Polyphony one of the most respected vocal chamber ensembles performing today, they are also fellow New Yorkers. I'm thrilled to be collaborating with them again, and especially to be premiering a brand new work we've commissioned for them."
Miller Theatre's "essential" (The New Yorker) Early Music series has been lauded as a leader in New York's burgeoning historical performance scene. This year Miller once again plays host to some of the world's leading early music ensembles and young upstarts alike. Miller favorites Le Poème Harmonique and Stile Antico return, along with locals New York Polyphony. The Orlando Consort celebrates a 25th anniversary of their own at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin. The series will also feature world premiere performances of two new commissions, from composers Andrew Smith and Michael Nyman-a first for the series. Nyman's work, written for The Tallis Scholars, celebrates both Miller's milestone anniversary and The Tallis Scholars' 40th year.
New York Polyphony returns with a diverse holiday program that offers an intimate and meditative take on the Christmas season. The imaginative repertoire spans nine centuries and ranges from popular early fare, including Victoria's O magnum misterium and ancient carols, to newer repertoire, including a piece by New York Polyphony's own countertenor Geoffrey Williams and the world premiere of a Miller Theatre commission from composer Andrew Smith.
Andrew Smith (b. 1970): Veni Redemptor Gentium
Thomas Tallis: Audivi vocem de caelo
Geoffrey Williams (b. 1976): Adam lay ybounden
Andrew Smith: Veni Emmanuel
Philippe Verdelot: Gabriel Archangelus
Andrew Smith: Ave maris stella
arr. Alexander Craig (b. 1971): Gabriel's Message
Trinity Roll MS: There is no Rose
John Scott (b. 1956): There is no Rose
Ritson MS: Lully, lullow: I saw a swete semly syght
Selden MS: Nowel: Out of your sleep
Andrew Smith: Nowel: Arise and Wake
- world premiere, Miller Theatre commission
T. L. da Victoria: O magnum mysterium
Richard Pygott: Quid petis, o fili
Anonymous: The Coventry Carol Pageant of the Shearmen and the Tailors
arr. Alexander Craig: The darkest midnight in December
New York Polyphony
Geoffrey Williams, countertenor
Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor
Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone
Craig Phillips, bass
New York Polyphony: Audivi vocem de caelo by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
Recorded live May 2013 at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin
New York Polyphony: New York Polyphony are fast-rising stars on the classical music scene. Praised for a "rich, natural sound that's larger and more complex than the sum of its parts" (National Public Radio), "Early music's Fab Four" (Brattleboro Reformer) are recognized as one of the finest vocal ensembles active today. The all-male quartet apply not only refined musicianship and interpretative detail but also a refreshingly modern touch to repertoire that ranges from austere medieval melodies to cutting-edge contemporary works. Dedication to innovative programming, as well as a focus on rare and rediscovered early music, have earned New York Polyphony critical accolades and a devoted following.
In early 2012, New York Polyphony released endBeginning, their third album and first on acclaimed label BIS Records. Containing rare and never-before recorded works from the Franco-Flemish Renaissance, it has amassed substantial critical acclaim. endBeginning has been featured on NPR's Deceptive Cadence, selected as 'CD of the Week' by Alex Ross (The Rest Is Noise), and rated 10-out-of-10 by Classics Today. It also received high marks from international publications including Klassik Heute (Germany), Diapason (France), and
Hailed as a "stunning tour through chant, polyphony and renaissance harmonies" (Minnesota Public Radio), their second album Tudor City spent three weeks in the Top 10 of Billboard's classical album chart. It has been featured on Danish Public Radio, American Public Radio, and NPR's All Things Considered.
New York Polyphony's debut album I sing the birth was released in 2007. The disc-an intimate meditation on the Christmas season-garnered unanimous praise. Gramophonenamed it "one of the season's best," BBC Music Magazine selected it as Editor's Christmas Choice 2007, and Classic FM Magazine deemed it "a disc for all seasons."
Since their founding in 2006, New York Polyphony have maintained an active performance schedule. They have participated in major concert series and festivals throughout North America and Europe, including Miller Theatre at Columbia University; Dallas Chamber Music Series; Ireland's Ardee Baroque Festival; Denmark's Vendsyssel Festival; Festival de Música de Morelia, Mexico; and Choral at Cadogan Hall in London. They have been featured on "Footprints to Paradise: A Medieval Christmas" for Public Radio International, "Performance Today" for American Public Media, and "In Practice" for National Public Radio. In December 2011, New York Polyphony made their national television debut on The Martha Stewart Show.
Recent engagements include a residency at Dartmouth College, a broadcast holiday event for Minnesota Public Radio, and the premiere of the Missa Charles Darwin-a newly commissioned secular Mass setting based on texts of Charles Darwin by composer Gregory Brown-at a TEDx event in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.