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Five Boroughs Music Festival Announces 10th Anniversary Season

Five Boroughs Music Festival (5BMF) today announces programming for its tenth anniversary season, continuing its mission of bringing affordable, high-caliber performances of traditional and contemporary chamber music to all five boroughs of New York City.

As the centerpiece of its anniversary season, 5BMF launches the second volume of its Five Borough Songbook. The second iteration of the project features twenty new commissions of songs inspired by New York City places, themes and poetry, from twenty composers, and includes solo songs, duets and ensemble works scored for various combinations of voice, piano and cello.

The 2016-17 season celebrates 5BMF's first decade by welcoming back some of its favorite artists and ensembles from previous years, beginning with two performances by GRAMMY-nominated vocal quartet New York Polyphony on Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Christ Church Riverdale in the Bronx, and on Sunday, September 25 at 5:00 p.m. at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on Staten Island. The ensemble performs a mix of Renaissance and contemporary music, in a program entitled Passion, featuring works by Compere, Andrew Smith, de Penalosa and Kreek. The September 25th concert will feature Staten Island-based early music vocal ensemble Voyces, who will join the members of New York Polyphony for "Amid A Crowd of Stars" by Andrew Smith, an expanded version of his work Salme 55, originally written for New York Polyphony.

On Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall in Queens, dynamic and genre-defying string quartet Brooklyn Rider plays Beethoven's String Quartet No. 11 in F Minor, Op. 95, Janácek's String Quartet No. 1, and Philip Glass' String Quartet No. 3, "Mishima". Also on the program is Colin Jacobsen's BTT, which recently received its world premiere.

The Five Borough Songbook, Volume II kick-off concert on Saturday, February 11 at 8:00 p.m. at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music features the world premieres of the twenty new commissioned compositions by Matthew Aucoin, Lembit Beecher, Conrad Cummings, Jonathan Dawe, Evan Fein, Daniel Felsenfeld, Herschel Garfein, Whitney George, Marie Incontrera, Laura Kaminsky, Libby Larsen, Hannah Lash, Missy Mazzoli, Jessie Montgomery, Robert Paterson, Paola Prestini, Kevin Puts, Kamala Sankaram, Gregory Spears and Bora Yoon performed by soprano Marnie Breckenridge, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, tenor William Ferguson, baritone Sidney Outlaw, and pianists Jocelyn Dueck and Erika Switzer. The second volume builds on the success of the initial Five Borough Songbook, which was developed during 2011-12, 5BMF's fifth anniversary season, and also comprised twenty commissions from twenty different composers, that were presented in concerts in all five boroughs, and preserved as a two-disc recording that topped the Billboard classical charts.
In addition to the world premiere in Manhattan, the Five Borough Songbook, Volume II will be performed in each borough over the course of 2017, beginning the following day, Sunday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m. at Flushing Town Hall in Queens with additional performances in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island during fall 2017 to be announced. The concerts on February 11th and 12th will be preceded by a one hour Composer Chat with some of the Songbook creators.

On Thursday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Congregation Beth Elohim in Park Slope, Brooklyn, adventurous world music band East of the River, dedicated to exploring the traditional repertoires of the Balkans, Armenia, and the Middle East, presents its new program SULTANA: Music of the Sephardic Diaspora. Led by renowned recorder players Nina Stern and Daphna Mor, SULTANA is a musical journey through the bazaars, kitchens, dance circles, prayer houses, and public squares of Morocco, Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire, and The Balkans.

Concluding 5BMF's 2016-17 season are two performances by early music chamber music ensemble Quicksilver on Friday, May 12 at 6:30 p.m. at King Manor Museum in Jamaica, Queens, and on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The program, entitled OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: Chamber Works from Moravia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Poland and beyond, celebrates the outskirts of Europe where the exotic inventions of folk music influenced the creation of early modern chamber music, through rarely heard works by van Wichel, Mielczewski, Schmeltzer, Kempis, and Fux, among others.

"Our goal at Five Boroughs Music Festival has always been to celebrate the people, places, diversity and artistry that make up New York, by bringing world-class chamber music to every corner of the city," said Jesse Blumberg, Artistic Director of 5BMF. "To celebrate our tenth anniversary, we're welcoming four fantastic ensembles whose performances were highlights of our first decade, while forging ahead into the future, commissioning and premiering 20 new works for the next installment of our Five Borough Songbook project."

Tickets for all Five Boroughs Music Festival concerts, ranging between $10 and $40, are available by visiting

2016-17 Concert Information:

Geoffrey Williams, countertenor
Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor
Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone
Craig Phillips, bass

Saturday, September 24, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Christ Church Riverdale
5030 Henry Hudson Parkway
Bronx, NY 10471

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church
309 St. Pauls Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10304

Johnny Gandelsman, violin
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Nicholas Cords, viola
Michael Nicolas, cello

Friday, December 2, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd.
Queens, NY 11354


Marnie Breckenridge, soprano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo?-?soprano
William Ferguson, tenor
Sidney Outlaw, baritone
Jocelyn Dueck, pianist
Erika Switzer, pianist

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
DiMenna Center for Classical Music
450 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018

Sunday February 12, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.
Flushing Town Hall
137-35 Northern Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11354

Nina Stern, recorders, chalumeau
Daphna Mor, recorders, ney
John Hadfield, percussion
Kane Mathis, oud
Jesse Kotansky, violin

Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Congregation Beth Elohim
274 Garfield Place
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Robert Mealy and Julie Andrijeski, violins
Dominic Teresi, dulcian
Avi Stein, harpsichord
Charles Weaver, theorbo / guitar

Friday, May 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m.
King Manor Museum
150-03 Jamaica Avenue
Queens, NY 11432

Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Churc?h?
85 South Oxford Stree?t?
Brooklyn, NY 11217

About the Artists:

About New York Polyphony
Praised for a "rich, natural sound that's larger and more complex than the sum of its parts," (National Public Radio), New York Polyphony is regarded as one of the finest vocal chamber ensembles in the world. The four men apply a modern touch to repertoire that ranges from austere medieval melodies to cutting-edge contemporary compositions. Their dedication to innovative programming, as well as a focus on rare and rediscovered Renaissance and medieval works, has not only earned New York Polyphony critical acclaim, but also helped to move early music into the classical mainstream.? ?Commissioning new works has been central to the mission of New York Polyphony since their founding in 2006. Both in performance and on recording, the ensemble has demonstrated a commitment to presenting contemporary compositions that explore the boundaries between ancient and modern music. The ensemble's growing discography includes two GRAMMY-nominated releases and albums that have topped the "best of" lists of The New Yorker, Gramophone, and BBC Music Magazine. The group has toured extensively, participating in major concert series and festivals around the world.

About Brooklyn Rider
Hailed as "the future of chamber music" (Strings), the game-changing string quartet Brooklyn Rider presents eclectic repertoire and gripping performances that continue to draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. Equally at home in clubs and concert halls, the quartet has played venues as varied as Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Le Poisson Rouge, Japan's Todai-ji, Lincoln Center, Brooklyn's Littlefield, the Library of Congress, the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and South by Southwest. The group recently celebrated its tenth anniversary with the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary project Brooklyn Rider Almanac, for which it recorded and toured fifteen specially commissioned works, each inspired by a different artistic muse. The group also continues to explore collaborations, including with singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane, and was recently the Ensemble-in-Residence at National Sawdust.

About East of the River
East of the River was founded by internationally renowned recorder players Nina Stern and Daphna Mor. The project explores haunting and virtuosic melodies from the traditional repertoires of the Balkans, Armenia and the Middle East, as well as gems of the Medieval European classical repertory. The music is arranged and interpreted by musicians whose musical backgrounds include classical, jazz and world music. East of the River has performed at venues as various as Bargemusic, Joe's Pub, Le Poisson Rouge, Hofstra University, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as festivals including the Chautauqua Institute, the Connecticut, Indianapolis, San Francisco, and Madison Early Music Festivals, Milwaukee's "Early Music Now" Festival, and the Academy of Early Music in Ann Arbor. The group released their first self-titled album in 2009, and their latest recording Levantera in spring 2013.

About Quicksilver
"Revered like rock stars within the early music scene" (The New York Times), Quicksilver brings together the top historically-informed performers in North America today. Described as "drop dead gorgeous with a wonderful interplay of timbres," (Early Music America), Quicksilver vibrantly explores the rich chamber music repertoire from the early modern period to the High Baroque. The ensemble has been featured at numerous music series and prestigious festivals, receiving critical acclaim, standing ovations and repeat invitations. The ensemble's debut recording, Stile Moderno, featuring new music from the seventeenth century was described as "Breakthrough of the Year...breathtaking" (Huffington Post) and Quicksilver's new recording, Fantasticus: Extravagant and Virtuosic Music from 17th Century Germany was named one of The New Yorker's Top Ten Recordings of 2014.

About Five Boroughs Music Festival
Five Boroughs Music Festival's mission is to enrich communities and cultivate new audiences by bringing world-class, affordable chamber music to all corners of New York City. 5BMF collaborates with local cultural institutions to present up-and-coming artists alongside the genre's most distinguished performers, and challenges the standard definition of 'chamber music' by presenting a broad range of musical styles, from early music to contemporary works, world music and other non-classical forms.

Since 2007, 5BMF has presented over 45 traditional and contemporary chamber music programs in nine complete cycles around NYC. Described as "imaginative" by The New York Times and "vital" by WQXR's Operavore blog, 5BMF's commitment to musical outreach and diverse programming has attracted positive attention from the NYC arts community from its earliest days. 5BMF's artist roster is comprised of diverse, talented emerging artists and distinguished musicians alike. Its venues are just as eclectic, and have included historic NYC landmarks such as Federal Hall, the University Church at Fordham University, Flushing Town Hall, King Manor Museum, Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, among others.

To mark its fifth season in 2011-2012, 5BMF commissioned 20 composers to create the Five Borough Songbook, a collection of 20 unique songs inspired by New York City places, themes and poetry. Throughout the course of the season, the Songbook premiered in every borough of NYC. The Five Borough Songbook album was recorded in 2011 by GPR Records and is available now via iTunes, and Roven Records.

5BMF's programming is rooted in familiar classical music traditions, but is inclusive of a broad range of styles; art song recitals, early music, new music and other non-classical forms are all represented. By employing a broad definition of chamber music and sustaining a commitment to artistic outreach by bringing world class programs to neighborhoods all over the city, 5BMF offers an affordable, intimate concert experience to a wide variety of New York City audiences.

Visit or email for more information.

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