Click for More Articles on NEW YORK CITY...

NYFOS to Present WARSAW SERENADE, 2/18 in NYC; 2/16 in Boston

NYFOS to Present WARSAW SERENADE, 2/18 in NYC; 2/16 in Boston

NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG (Steven Blier, Artistic Director • Michael Barrett, Associate Artistic Director) concludes its 2013-14 Mainstage series at Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufman Music Center with WARSAW SERENADE.

The haunting, ultra-romantic beauty of Polish song, with songs by Stanislaw Moniuszko, Edward Pallasz, Grazyna Bacewicz, Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Karol Szymanowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Featuring: Dina Kuznetsova, soprano; Joseph Kaiser, tenor; and Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, pianists.

The concert is set for Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 8 p.m. at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 West 67th Street, New York, NY. $40-$55 for Single Tickets; $10 for Student Tickets $20 for Real Deal Tickets: Advance Purchase, Limited Availability and Seating. Complementary wine reception with the artists following performance

The NYFOS troupe travels to Boston for a preview performance of WARSAW SERENADE on Sunday, February 16, 2014, 1:30 pm at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA. Tickets: $12-$27. More information online.

From NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier: "Working on this program I have been transported by the sheer vibrancy and range of Polish music. The opulent, sensual Karol Szymanowski was the inspiration for the evening, and we'll be featuring a selection of his songs that span his long career. Szymanowski will be surrounded by a colorful cast of characters: Weinberg, the voice of the Jewish shtetl, Bracewicz, the most refined of modernists, and a cadre of Poland's greatest tunesmiths--Moniuszko, Pallasz, Paderewski, and Karlewicz. The repertoire was a true discovery for me, and I am excited to share it with the New York and Boston audiences."

Warsaw's musical culture thrived in the mid-twentieth century, nurturing many gifted composers whose ultra-Romantic music was overlooked in the post-war years. This program celebrates the haunting beauty and unique tonal language of Polish giants Karol Szymanowski, Gra?yna Bacewicz, Mieczys?aw Weinberg, and others.

Giving voice to this thrilling program is a pair of international opera stars, who both carry a rich history with NYFOS. Soprano Dina Kuznetsova and tenor Joseph Kaiser, who participated in last season's NYFOS 25th Anniversary concert, make their much-anticipated return to NYFOS Mainstage.

The pair perform regularly to critical acclaim in some of the world's greatest houses. "Kuznetsova is glorious ... unleashing torrents of sound and emotion in ways that are breathtaking," writes The Guardian. Kaiser, "a singer of unnerving ability, blessed with a muscular but flexible sound," (San Francisco Chronicle) returns to the Houston Grand Opera this month for the American premiere of Mieczyslaw Weinberg's The Passenger.

The singers will be joined by NYFOS artistic director Steven Blier and associate artistic director Michael Barrett on piano.


Stanislaw Moniuszko:
Nakaz niech ozywcze slonko (from Verbum Nobile)

Edward Pallasz:

Grazyna Bacewicz:
Oto jest noc
Smuga cienia
Boli mnie glowa ("I've got a headache")

Mieczyslaw Karlowicz:
Mów do mnie jeszcze

Mieczyslaw Weinberg:
Children's songs
Der Jeger
Oifn grinen bergele
Der yesoymes brivele

Stanislaw Moniuszko:
Piesn wieczorna

Karol Szymanowski:
Czasem, gdy d?ugo, na pó? sennie marz?
Auf See
Excerpts from Slopiewnie, Op. 46
Odesz?a? w pustyni? zachodni?
Zarzje, kuniu

Ignacy Jan Paderewski:
Piesn dudarza

Ned Rorem Steven Blier and Michael Barrett have hosted New York Festival of Song's signature series since founding NYFOS in 1988. Blier is a National Treasure, adored for his boundless knowledge of song, smart and funny stage commentary, meticulously researched program notes, and gift for imparting his passion to the singers he coaches. Barrett-the perfect foil for Blier-is a sublime and suave musician, the mastermind of Caramoor (2003-2012) and the Moab Music Festival (1992-today). These two have pioneered and explored the art of the thematic song recital. Their programs draw from repertoire across musical genres and styles; they delight in unearthing rarely heard songs, and programming familiar works in surprising contexts. Audiences come away inspired, smiling, lighter on their feet.

Now in its 26th season, New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) is dedicated to creating intimate song concerts of great beauty and originality. Weaving music, poetry, history and humor into unforgettable evenings of compelling theater, NYFOS fosters community among artists and audiences. Each program entertains and educates in equal measure. Everyone has a primal need to be sung to; NYFOS was made to meet that need.

Founded by pianists Michael Barrett and Steven Blier in 1988, NYFOS continues to produce its series of thematic song programs, drawing together rarely-heard songs of all kinds, overriding traditional distinctions between high and low performance genres, exploring the character and language of other cultures, and the personal voices of song composers and lyricists.

Since its founding, NYFOS has particularly celebrated American song, featuring premieres and commissions of new American works. These include a double bill of one-act comic operas, Bastianello and Lucrezia, by John Musto and William Bolcom, both with libretti by Mark Campbell, commissioned and premiered by NYFOS in 2008 and recorded on Bridge Records. In addition to Bastianello and Lucrezia and the 2008 Bridge Records release of Spanish Love Songs with Joseph Kaiser and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, NYFOS has produced five recordings on the Koch label, including a Grammy Award-winning disc of Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Ned Rorem's Evidence of Things Not Seen (also a NYFOS commission) on New World Records. Soon to come: a CD of Spanish song-Basque, Catalan, Castilian, and Sephardic-on the GPR label, with soprano Corinne Winters accompanied by Steven Blier.

In November 2010, NYFOS began its latest programming venture with the debut of NYFOS Next, a mini-series for new songs, hosted by guest composers in intimate venues. For the 2013-2014 season, the series moves to Opera America's National Opera Center for all three concerts.

NYFOS also nurtures the artistry and careers of young singers in training residencies (current and past projects) with The Juilliard School's Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts (now in its 9th year), Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (its 6th year in March 2014), San Francisco Opera Center (over 15 years as of April 2013), Glimmerglass Opera (2008-2010), and its newest project, NYFOS@North Fork in Orient, NY, successfully completed in August 2013.

NYFOS's concert series, touring programs, radio broadcasts, recordings, and educational activities continue to spark new interest in the creative possibilities of the song program, and have inspired the creation of thematic vocal series around the world.

Related Articles

Comment & Share

About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts