Musica Viva NY to Present Bach-Focused HEROES AND DRAGONS This December
Musica Viva NY-a chamber choir of thirty professionals and highly skilled volunteers dedicated to creating imaginative programs that offer joy, solace, renewal and inspiration in a busy world-presents Heroes and Dragons: J.S. Bach and the Epic Cantata on Sunday, December 4 at 5:00 p.m. at All Souls Church.
Heroes and Dragons features Musica Viva NY in Bach's four "Michaelmas" cantatas, illustrating a great battle in heaven and joined by the Aeolus Quartet and some of their musical colleagues. The Cantata for the Feast of Saint Michael, Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg (One Sings with Joy Before the Battle), BWV 149, highlights Musica Viva NY soloists soprano Shabnam Abedi, mezzo-soprano Barbara Fusco, countertenor Andrew Troup, tenor Nathan Siler, and baritone Joseph Beutel. The other three cantatas on the program include Es erhub sich ein Streit (There Arose a War), BWV 19, Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (Now is Come Salvation and Strength), BWV 50, and Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir (Lord God, We All Praise You), BWV 19 with Musica Viva NY soloists soprano Devony Smith, alto Chloë Schaaf, tenor Nathan Silver, and bass-baritone Andrew Moore.
Also on the program is Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, performed by organist Renée Anne Louprette, and Knut Nystedt's "Immortal Bach"--his arrangement of Komm, Süßer Tod, BWV 478.
Founded in 1977, Musica Viva NY is driven by a desire to share the transcendent power of choral and instrumental music with audiences in New York City and beyond. With a broad repertoire that includes newly written works as well as beloved classics, Musica Viva NY emphasizes artistic excellence and meaningful interpretations in an effort to transform and ennoble the human spirit. Additional concerts in Musica Viva NY's 2016-17 season include Voices in Motion (Sunday, March 5 at 5:00 p.m.), and An Elegy for all Humanity: Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem (Sunday, May 7 at 5:00 p.m.) at All Souls Church. Additionally, two MUSICAnocturna concerts are held at new venue NY229 (a private townhouse in midtown Manhattan)-To Music: Great Lieder by Schubert and Schumann on Thursday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Forever Young: Great American Songs on Thursday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. An additional benefit concert, Take Five, is held at All Souls Church on Sunday, January 29 at 5:00 p.m.
Tickets, priced at $30, are available by visiting musicaviva.org/tickets or at the door on the evening of the concert. MUSICAnocturna concert tickets, priced at $100, are available online. The Take Five concert on January 29 is free and open to the public with a free-will donation at the door to benefit Musica Viva NY's current season.
Heroes and Dragons: J.S. Bach and the Epic Cantata
Sunday, December 4 at 5:00 p.m.
All Souls Church
1157 Lexington Avenue (at 80th Street)
New York, NY 10075
J.S. BACH Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg (One Sings with Joy Before the Battle), BWV 149
Shabnam Abedi, soprano
Barbara Fusco, mezzo-soprano
Andrew Troup, countertenor
Nathan Siler, tenor
Joseph Beutel, baritone
J.S. BACH Es erhub sich ein Streit (There Arose a War), BWV 19
Shabnam Abedi, soprano
Devony Smith, soprano
Shawn Bartels, tenor
Andrew Moore, baritone
J.S. BACH Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565
Renée Anne Louprette, Organ
KNUT NYSTEDT "Immortal Bach" (Komm, Süßer Tod, BWV 478)
J.S. BACH Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir (Lord God, We All Praise You), BWV 130
Devony Smith, soprano
Chloë Schaaf, alto
Nathan Silver, tenor
Andrew Moore, bass-baritone
J.S. BACH Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (Now is Come Salvation and Strength), BWV 50
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
About Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez
Praised by The Washington Post as a conductor "with the incisive clarity of someone born to the idiom," Dr. Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez is an acclaimed choral and orchestral conductor, solo and chamber pianist, composer, and arranger.
Since August 2015, Dr. Hernandez-Valdez has served as the Artistic Director of Musica Viva NY. He 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. Previously, Dr. Hernandez-Valdez served as Director of Music at Westmoreland Congregational, UCC in Bethesda, Maryland, where he led a dynamic and widely respected music program. Additionally as of September 2016, Dr. Hernandez-Valdez is the Artistic Director of the Victoria Bach Festival.
As Artistic Director, Co-Founder, and Conductor of the New Orchestra of Washington, he has collaborated with International Artists such as J. Reilly Lewis, Arturo Márquez, Dana Lyn, Rahel Rilling, Sara Rilling, Duo Alturas, Akemi Takayama, Ryo Yanagitani, Linda Mabbs, Soichi Muraji, Izumi Kamata, Tim Park and others, and has premiered works by Andrés Levell, Javier Farias, Joel Friedman, Dana Lyn, John Mackey, and Julian Wachner. In 2011, Choral Cantigas honored Dr. Hernandez-Valdez, with the first-ever "Award for Talent" in celebration of the ensemble's twentieth anniversary. To mark this occasion, the Mayor of Washington, D.C. proclaimed April 28th as "Latinos in the Arts Day".
As a pianist, harpsichordist, and organist, Dr. Hernandez-Valdez has played under the baton of conductors David Zinman, Sir Neville Mariner, John Williams, Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, Helmuth Rilling, the late Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Robert Spano, James Conlon, the late Julius Rudel, the late James DePriest, Jeffery Kahane, Michael Stern, Murray Sidlin, James Ross, Robert Shafer, J. Reilly Lewis, Simon Halsey, and the late Norman Scribner.
Dr. Hernandez-Valdez's profile has recently been included in a book by the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs entitled El mundo en las manos/Creadores mexicanos en el extranjero (The World in Their Hands/Creative Mexicans Abroad), which features successful Mexican nationals residing in diverse parts of the world who are leading figures in diverse artistic fields, including music. In April, Dr. Hernandez-Valdez was presented with the Shenandoah Conservatory Alumni of Excellence Award for 2016, which is bestowed to alumni who have made exceptional contributions to their profession, attained a national level of prominence within their fields, and demonstrated exceptional integrity.
About Renée Anne Louprette
Hailed by The New York Times as "splendid," and "one of New York's finest organists," Renée Anne Louprette has established an international career as an organ recitalist, accompanist, conductor, and teacher. She is university organist and coordinator of the organ department at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, and a former member of the organ faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, and the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.
In 2015, Ms. Louprette was appointed Associate Director of Music and Organist of the Unitarian Church of All Souls. She previously served as Director of Music at the Church of Notre Dame, Organist and Associate Director of Music and the Arts at Trinity Wall Street, and Associate Director of Music at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.
An active freelance keyboardist, Ms. Louprette has performed with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Voices of Ascension, Clarion Music Society, American Symphony Orchestra, The Dessoff Choirs, and the Los Angeles Dance Project. She has appeared at musical festivals throughout Europe in Magadino, Switzerland; In Tempore Organi, Italy; Ghent and Hasselt, Belgium; Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark; and Toulouse Les Orgues, France. She appeared as organ soloist with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia in a performance of Saint-Saëns' Organ Symphony broadcast live on ABC radio. She has also performed throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland, and her debut recording of the "Great Eighteen Chorales" of J. S. Bach on the Metzler Organ in the chapel of Trinity College, in Cambridge, England, was named a 2014 classical music Critics' Choice by The New York Times.