Trinity Wall Street to Open 2013-14 Season with CELEBRATING BRITTEN Festival, Begin. 9/5
Trinity Wall Street will launch its 2013-14 season with "Celebrating Britten" - a September to January festival devoted to the music of Benjamin Brittenin honor of this year's centenary of the composer's birth. Much of the festival will be part of Concerts at One, Trinity Wall Street's long-running series of free concerts on Thursday afternoons. "Celebrating Britten" will explore the great British composer's orchestral, vocal and chamber works in performances by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Trinity Youth Chorus and NOVUS NY led by Grammy Award-nominated music director Julian Wachner, with guest artists including tenor Nicholas Phan, chamber ensemble Decoda and the piano duo of Grace Cho & Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, among others. Many of the concerts will present Britten's music alongside that of contemporaries such as Berg, Gershwin, Rachmaninoff and Poulenc. Star cellist Matt Haimovitz will perform two recitals as part of the festival, on October 17 and November 21, contextualizing two of Britten's suites for solo cello with solo works by later composers including Ligeti, John Tavener and Jennifer Higdon. In addition to "Celebrating Britten" events as part of Concerts at One, there will be special Britten festival concerts on November 18 (the Choir of Trinity Wall Street in Britten's Sacred and Profane and other choral works) and December 9 (cellistElinor Frey playing Bach and Britten, on both Baroque and modern cello). And holiday-themed works by Britten will be performed as part of Trinity's Twelfth Night Festival, including the ever-popular Ceremony of Carols (Dec 26) and St. Nicolas (Jan 5). See below for a complete list of "Celebrating Britten" concert dates and programs.
Benjamin Britten (1913-76) is not just the key British composer of the 20th century; he is perhaps England's most renowned composer since Henry Purcell, with his vocal, instrumental and stage works performed the world over. The September 5 concert that opens both the Trinity Wall Street season and the "Celebrating Britten" festival will span the length of the composer's career, beginning with the NOVUS NY ensemble under Wachner performing theSinfonietta, Britten's early orchestral piece. The program will also include two of the composer's most iconic vocal works, with tenor Nicholas Phan in the orchestral song cycle Nocturne (premiered by Britten's muse and life partner, Peter Pears) and mezzo-soprano Virginia Warnken in the cantata Phaedra, Britten's final composition (made famous by Janet Baker). Phan then returns to St. Paul's Chapel on September 21 for a special solo recital, where the tenor performs repertoire from his acclaimed album Still Falls the Rain, about which the New York Times proclaimed "Phan again proves himself an affecting interpreter of Britten's music."