Musica Viva NY to Open 40th Anniversary Season with THE WHEEL AND THE SPHERE
The performance features Carl Orff's joyful masterpiece, Carmina Burana-his most well-known work-featuring the Musica Viva NY choir, joined by the Allen-Stevenson School Chorus, Sandbox Percussion, sopranos Shabnam Abedi and Devony Smith, tenor Shawn Bartels, baritone Alex Lawrence, and pianists Margaret Kampmeier and Nelson Padgett. Also on the program is the New York premiere of Guillaume Connesson's Sphaera, based on a Latin poem by 17th century writer Richard Crashaw.
Tickets, priced at $40, are available by visiting musicaviva.org/tickets or can be purchased at the door.
Founded in 1977, Musica Viva NY, a chamber choir of thirty professionals and highly skilled volunteers, is driven by a desire to share the transcendent power of choral and instrumental music with audiences in New York City and beyond, through its annual four-concert series at All Souls Church on the Upper East Side. The choir's broad repertoire includes new compositions and classic masterworks, emphasizing artistic excellence and transformative interpretations.
Additional concerts in Musica Viva NY's 2017-18 season at All Souls Church include Voices in Motion: Exploring Sound and Space on February 25 featuring guest organist, conductor and Musica Viva NY founder Walter Klauss; Infinite Hope: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of MLK's Assassination on April 8 with guest conductor, composer, and writer Alice Parker; and Sunrise in the City: Musica Viva NY Celebrates 40 Years on May 20 featuring a new commission by Elena Ruehr. An additional benefit concert, Reintroducing Seymour, is held on January 21, featuring pianist, teacher and composer Seymour Bernstein, joined by Musica Viva NY soloists.
THE WHEEL AND THE SPHERE: ORFF'S CARMINA BURANA AND CONNESSON'S SPHAERA
Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.
At All Souls Church, 1157 Lexington Avenue (at 80th Street), New York, NY 10075
Musica Viva NY Choir
Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, Artistic Director
Shabnam Abedi, soprano
Devony Smith, soprano
Shawn Bartels, tenor
Alex Lawrence, baritone
Allen-Stevenson School Chorus
Margaret Kampmeier, piano
Nelson Padgett, piano
CARL ORFF Carmina Burana
GUILLAUME CONNESSON Sphaera
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Hailed by The Washington Post as a conductor "with the incisive clarity of someone born to the idiom," Dr. Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez is an acclaimed conductor and pianist. Since August 2015, Dr. Hernandez-Valdez has served as the Artistic Director of Musica Viva NY. Musica Viva NY is a choral ensemble founded in 1977 with a long tradition of top-caliber performances, innovative programing, and a strong dedication to the commissioning of new works. Hernandez-Valdez also serves as the Director of Music at the historic Unitarian Church of All Souls in Manhattan. Founded in 1819, the Unitarian Church of All Souls is the most influential Unitarian Universalist congregation in the United States. As Artistic Director, Co-Founder, and Conductor of the New Orchestra of Washington (NOW), Hernandez-Valdez has collaborated with many international artists and has premiered numerous new works. In September 2016, he began his tenure as Artistic Director of the Victoria Bach Festival, replacing Grammy Award-winning conductor and composer Craig Hella Johnson.
The Allen-Stevenson School Chorus, under the direction of Michelle Demko, have established themselves as first-rate choral ensembles since 1990, performing at the White House, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall, and for many organizations throughout New York City. Professional engagements have included performances of the St. Nicolas Cantata by Benjamin Britten and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, both with the Musica Viva NY Chorus of New York City. The two choruses include boys in the fourth through sixth grade and seventh through ninth grade, and stand alongside the Allen-Stevenson Orchestra as a testimony to the School's commitment to music and art.
Lauded by The Washington Post as "revitalizing the world of contemporary music" with "jaw- dropping virtuosity," Sandbox Percussion has established themselves as a leading proponent in this generation of contemporary percussion chamber music. Through compelling collaborations with composers and performers, Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum and Terry Sweeney seek to engage a wider audience for classical music. Recent performance highlights throughout the United States include the world premiere of Thomas Kotcheff's percussion quartet not only that one but that one & that too, an appearance at the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, California, and a collaboration with Ensemble HOWL featuring the world premiere of Amy Beth Kirsten's Quixote at Montclair State University's Peak Performances concert series. In addition to keeping a busy concert schedule, Sandbox has also participated in various masterclasses and coachings at schools such as the Peabody Conservatory, Curtis Institute, the University of Southern California, Kansas University, Cornell University, Furman University, and New York University.
Photo Credit: Richard Termine