New York Festival Of Song Presents ALL TOGETHER NOW At Merkin Hall, February 21

A collaboration with young concert artists with music by Mozart, Chabrier, Libby Larsen, the Bobs, and many others.

By: Jan. 17, 2024
New York Festival Of Song Presents ALL TOGETHER NOW At Merkin Hall, February 21
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New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), led by Artistic Director Steven Blier, collaborates with Young Concert Artists (YCA) in All Together Now on Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. at the Kaufman Music Center's Merkin Hall.

The program features five brilliant vocalists from the YCA roster including soprano/pianist Chelsea Guo (this season: Reno Chamber Orchestra, Long Symphony, Gorzow Philharmonic, Orchestra LUMOS, Krannert Center), mezzo-sopranos Megan Moore (this season: Seattle Opera, San Diego Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Santa Fe Opera) and Erin Wagner (recent debut at Houston Grand Opera), tenor Daniel McGrew (recent NYC recital debut at Merkin Hall and Washington D.C. recital debut at the Kennedy Center), and bass-baritone Joseph Parrish (recent highlights: Festival Napa Valley, City Lyric Opera) with Steven Blier and Francesco Barfoed at the piano.

The program travels through six centuries of vocal ensembles, from the Renaissance to the present day with music by Mozart, Chabrier, Libby Larsen, the Bobs, and many others. 

A complimentary reception with the artists will follow the concert in the upper lobby. 

"All Together Now is the result of a perfect storm: a group of singers I adored as students all joined the prestigious roster of Young Concert Artists around the same time,” said NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier. “It seemed like the right moment for the first-ever collaboration between YCA and NYFOS.The result is a program of vocal ensembles spanning nearly six centuries, from Paris in 1529, ‘Les cris de Paris' by Jannequin, to San Francisco in 2023, ‘Let Beauty Awake', by Matt Boehler. Along the way there's music by Mozart, Schubert, Shostakovich, The Beach Boys, and lots of others. Some of the program is a cappella, some is accompanied, all of it is vibrant, intense, and a barrel of fun.” 

YCA President Daniel Kellogg said “We have long admired Steven's work through NYFOS, and are thrilled to have our fabulous vocalists collaborate with an organization that thrives in celebrating song in all its eclectic and wonderful styles.”

All NYFOS programming is funded, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

The NYFOS Mainstage and the NYFOS Next series are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Concert Information
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 at 8:00 p.m.
Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center | 129 W 67th St | New York, NY 10023
Tickets: $20-$70

Jannequin - Les cris de Paris 

Mozart - Più non si trovano 
Mozart - Mi lagnerò tacendo
Schubert - Ständchen 

Beethoven - He promised me at parting 
Beethoven - They bid me slight my Dermot dear 
Brahms - Die Meere 
Saint-Säens - Pastorale 
Fauré - Pleurs d'or 

Shostakovich - From Jewish Folk Poetry (excerpts) 
            “The Thoughtful Mother and Aunt”

Libby Larson - Jack's Valentine
Matt Boehler - Let Beauty Awake 

Beach Boys/Wilson - In My Room 
The Bobs - Trash

Chelsea Guo, soprano/pianist
Megan Moore, mezzo-soprano
Erin Wagner, mezzo-soprano
Daniel McGrew, tenor
Joseph Parrish, baritone
Steven Blier, pianist
Francesco Barfoed, pianist

About Chelsea Guo
Winner of the 2022 YCA Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, where she was awarded The Friends of Music Concerts Performance Award, The Harriman-Jewell Series Prize, and the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Prize, Chelsea Guo is one of the rare talents equally formidable as both a vocalist and a pianist. Chelsea was included in “Classic FM's Rising Stars: 30 Brilliant Musicians We're Celebrating in 2022”. Her dual artistry is featured in her 2021 debut recording on Orchid Classics, “Chelsea Guo: Chopin in My Voice”, which includes solo repertoire and repertoire in which she accompanies herself. Gramophone Magazine included the recording in their Essential New Albums and Classic FM featured Chelsea as a “Young Classical Star”.

Chelsea has appeared as both pianist and soprano soloist with the Moritzburg Festival, the Stamford Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, Sociedad Filarmonica La Coruña, New Haven Symphony, Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and Oregon Mozart Players. Winner of the National Chopin Piano Competition, Chelsea has performed for the Chopin Foundation of the United States, the Grand Piano Series, and the Miami International Piano Festival. She has appeared as piano soloists at Carnegie Hall, London's Wigmore Hall, and venues throughout the United States, England, Austria, France, Poland, Italy, Spain, China, Japan, and Canada. A guest artist of the Leeds Piano Festival, she was presented by the Mozarteum Summer Series in Salzburg, and on tour in China under the auspices of the Shenzhen Piano Music Festival.

During the 23-24 season Chelsea will make appearances with the Reno Chamber Orchestra, Longwood Symphony (Boston), Gorzow Philharmonic (Poland), and Orchestra LUMOS (formerly Stamford Symphony). She will appear in recital at the Krannert Center and will also participate in the inaugural chamber music ensemble of YCA on Tour in performances throughout Florida. 

Chelsea graduated with honors from Juilliard Pre-College as a double major in piano and classical voice, studying with Hung-Kuan Chen, Tema Blackstone, and Lorraine Nubar. She is currently pursuing a BM in piano at Juilliard under the tutelage of Hung-Kuan Chen and continuing her vocal studies with Jason Ferrante. She has been mentored by soprano Barbara Bonney over the past five years.

About Daniel McGrew
Praised for his “lovely, nuanced tenor” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), First Prize winner in the 2021 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, Daniel McGrew is an active performer of a broad range of repertoires spanning opera, musical theatre, early, and new music. Deeply committed to the Art of Song, he has appeared in concert with Brooklyn Art Song Society, New York Festival of Song, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the University Musical Society, where he joined Martin Katz and three other singers for two recitals comprising the complete Mörike Songs of Hugo Wolf. 

Recent highlights include both his NYC recital debut at Merkin Hall and his Washington, DC recital debut at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theatre. He has appeared at Tanglewood music institute in George Benjamin's Lessons in Love and Violence and in the role of François in Bernstein's A Quiet Place and participated in their annual Festival of Contemporary Music with a performance of Kurtág's “Three Ancient Inscriptions” that The Boston Globe, called “viciously beautiful”.

Daniel has recently performed the tenor solo in Handel's Messiah in performances with the ProMusic Chamber Orchestra (Columbus, OH) and Music Worcester (Worcester, MA) and in Mozart's Requiem with the American Chamber Orchestra.  An early music specialist, Daniel has performed Bach with conductors including Matthew Halls, John Harbison, David Hill, and Masaaki Suzuki and Anthony Newman. Beyond the classical repertory, he has participated in concerts including the symphonic premier of James Lapine's Sondheim on Sondheim with the Boston Pops Orchestra and David Loud's Sondheim revue, A Good Thing Going.

Daniel holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Yale University; he recently completed his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan.

About Megan Moore
Lyric coloratura mezzo-soprano Megan Moore is quickly garnering attention as an artist of versatility and depth in the repertoire of Rossini, Handel, and Mozart. The Observer noted, "Megan Moore as Dorabella poured out rich, buttery mezzo tone, a genuinely beautiful voice" for her performances in Così fan tutte.

During the 2023-24 season, mezzo-soprano Megan Moore makes her Seattle Opera debut singing Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia led by Valentina Peleggi; reprises her portrayal of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, with Yves Abel on the podium, in a return to San Diego Opera; and returns to Opera Theater of Saint Louis debuting the role of Sesto in Handel's Julius Caesar led by Daniela Candillari and Elkhanah Pulitzer. Additional highlights include joining the Santa Fe Opera for an evening at the Guggenheim Museum for "Works & Process" presenting excerpts from Gregory Spears' The Righteous, and touring with Les Musiciens du Louvre in France and Spain in performances of Die Fledermaus singing the role of Ida and covering the role of Orlofsky with conductor Marc Minkowski. Concert appearances include joining conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni and The Orchestra Now to perform the Berlioz song cycle Les Nuits d'été at the Fisher Center at Bard; singing excerpts from Rossini's La Cenerentola with tenor David Portillo and the Reno Chamber Orchestra; as well as an evening with Steven Blier and the New York Festival of Song at Merkin Hall. She will make recital appearances with pianist Francesco Barfoed in Virginia and New York; as well as with Brian Zeger in an evening of song celebrating Rachmaninoff's 150th birthday with the Clarion Music Society in New York City.

While completing her Artist Diploma at Juilliard, Megan sang Dorabella in Così fan tutte and Medea in Teseo. She created the role of Ino in The Lord of Cries while a young artist at Santa Fe Opera. Megan has earned first prize at George London Foundation Competition, Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, and the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. She has also taken home top honors from the Naumburg Foundation International Vocal Competition in Concert Repertoire, the Gerda Lissner Lieder & Song Competition, and the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition. 

About Joseph Parrish
Winner of the 2022 YCA Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, Joseph Parrish is a Baltimore native and holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School. Recent operatic credits include Spinelloccio in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with Festival Napa Valley, Le Baron de Pictordu in the City Lyric Opera's production of Viardot's Cendrillon. In addition to opera, Mr. Parrish enjoys a robust concert career performing with orchestra and in recitals at such prestigious venues as The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Alice Tully Hall, St. Boniface Church in Brooklyn, and both Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.

As a current artist diploma candidate in opera studies at The Juilliard School, Mr. Parrish is passionate about giving back to the various communities that have nurtured him. He has served as a Music Advancement Program chorus teaching fellow, Gluck Community Service Fellow, and Morse Teaching Artist. Mr. Parrish is also a member of the inaugural cohort of Shared Voices, an initiative designed to address diversity, equity, and inclusion through collaboration between Historically Black Colleges and Universities, top conservatories, and schools of music in the United States with the Denyce Graves Foundation. 

About Erin Wagner
American mezzo-soprano, Erin Wagner was named a Winner of the 2022 YCA Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, where she was awarded the The University of Florida Performing Arts Prize. Erin was also named winner of the 2021 Naumburg Foundation Vocal Award and recently joined the esteemed Houston Grand Opera Studio where she made her debut as Jack in Dame Ethyl Smyth's The Wreckers and will perform in Le Nozze di Figaro (Barbarina) and Salome (Page) in addition to recital work and scenes from Pélleas et Mélisande (Mélisande) and Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Frau Reich). 

Erin is passionate about making our art form and the spaces in which we share our art accessible to all. She commissioned Shawn Chang to compose Marty's Letter utilizing text from her father's childhood depicting his life with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (a very rare and debilitating bone disorder) and partnered with David Clay Mettens to create The Sustaining Air, a song cycle set to text by Larry Eigner, a poet of the Beat Generation who lived with cerebral palsy and whose output was largely impacted by his physical point of view from his wheelchair. 

Erin holds a Bachelor's Degree from The Manhattan School of Music, and a Master's Degree from The Juilliard School. She has previously studied at (2019), SongFest as a Colburn Fellow (2018), and Matthew Rose's Scuola di Bel Canto (2018). She currently studies with Dr. Stephen King and has previously studied with Darrell Babidge and Joan Patenaude-Yarnell.

About Young Concert Artists
YCA's artists are the leaders of the future – stars who combine world-class talent with creative vision to bring new reach and relevance to the art form. For more than 60 years YCA has invested in extraordinary young musicians, providing them with the support, clarity, and confidence to tell their stories, as well as with the tools, opportunities, and infrastructure to take their careers to the highest level.

With a legacy of artistic excellence recognized around the world, YCA alumni include such luminaries as Emanuel Ax, Julia Bullock, Jeremy Denk, Ray Chen, Anne-Marie McDermott, Fazıl Say, Andrew Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Mason Bates, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Kevin Puts, Pinchas Zukerman, and many more.

YCA's rigorous audition process ensures that only the most extraordinary musicians are chosen to join the YCA Artist Fellowship Program. This transformative three-year program takes artists to new levels of creative growth, offering them a holistic combination of digital tools, mentorship, project development, performance opportunities, and training in education and community engagement.

Presenting artists across multiple stages that include debut concerts in New York City and Washington, DC, YCA also procures performances at top venues around the globe. We help artists develop innovative programs ranging from core works to contemporary commissions, which are performed for industry leaders and media, opening doors and fostering key relationships that fundamentally change the trajectory of their careers.

YCA realizes that modern artists need to be more than simply gifted, highly-trained musicians – they must also be cultural ambassadors who share musical experiences that reflect the beauty and diversity of the world around them.

About New York Festival of Song
Now in its 36th 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 evenings of compelling theater, NYFOS fosters community among artists and audiences. Each program entertains and educates in equal measure. 

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 musical 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. Among the many highlights is the 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. In 2014, Canción Amorosa, a CD of Spanish song—Basque, Catalan, Castilian, and Sephardic—was released on the GPR label, with soprano Corinne Winters accompanied by Steven Blier.

Their latest endeavor is NYFOS Records, which released its first album (From Rags to Riches, with Stephanie Blythe and William Burden) in January of 2022. Three more CDs have followed: Picnic Cantata (by Paul Bowles and James Schuyler); Black and Blue (with tenor Joshua Blue); and Mi país: Songs of Argentina (with bass-baritone Federico De Michelis). They also frequently issue singles, with archival performances by artists such as Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Bernarda Fink, and newly recorded songs by Joshua Blue and Sasha Cooke. NYFOS Records has reached rapidly growing audiences in over 100 countries, with over a million streams in the past twelve months. 

In November 2010, NYFOS debuted NYFOS Next, a mini-series for new songs, hosted by guest composers in intimate venues, including OPERA America's National Opera Center, National Sawdust, the DiMenna Center for Classical Music, the Ann Goodman Recital Hall at Kaufman Music Center, and now the Rubin Museum in Chelsea.

NYFOS is passionate about nurturing the artistry and careers of young singers, and has developed training residencies around the country, including with The Juilliard School's Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts (now in its 18th year); Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (its 16th year in March 2024); San Francisco Opera Center (over 20 years); Glimmerglass Opera (2008–2010); and its newest project, NYFOS@North Fork in Orient, NY.

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.

About Steven Blier
Steven Blier is the Artistic Director of the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which he co-founded in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival's inception, he has programmed, performed, translated and annotated more than 150 vocal recitals with repertoire spanning the entire range of American song, art song from Schubert to Szymanowski, and popular song from early vaudeville to Lennon-McCartney. NYFOS has also made in-depth explorations of music from Spain, Latin America, Scandinavia and Russia. New York Magazine gave NYFOS its award for Best Classical Programming, while Opera News proclaimed Blier “the coolest dude in town” and in December 2014, Musical America included him as one of 30 top industry professionals in their feature article, “Profiles in Courage.”

Mr. Blier enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. His recital partners have included Michael Spyres, Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Susan Graham, Jessye Norman, and José van Dam, in venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to La Scala. He is also on the faculty of The Juilliard School and has been active in encouraging young recitalists at summer programs, including the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, Santa Fe Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Center. Many of his former students, including  Julia Bullock, Stephanie Blythe, Sasha Cooke, Paul Appleby, Dina Kuznetsova, Corinne Winters, and Kate Lindsey, have gone on to be valued recital colleagues and sought-after stars on the opera and concert stage. In keeping the traditions of American music alive, he has brought back to the stage many of the rarely heard songs of George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kurt Weill and Cole Porter. He has also played ragtime, blues and stride piano evenings with John Musto. A champion of American art song, he has premiered works of John Corigliano, Paul Moravec, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, Mark Adamo, John Musto, Richard Danielpour, Tobias Picker, Robert Beaser, Lowell Liebermann, Harold Meltzer, and Lee Hoiby, many of which were commissioned by NYFOS.

Mr. Blier's extensive discography includes the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein's Arias and Barcarolles (Koch International), which won a Grammy Award; Spanish Love Songs (Bridge Records), recorded live at the Caramoor International Music Festival with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Joseph Kaiser, and Michael Barrett; the world premiere recording of Bastianello (John Musto) and Lucrezia (William Bolcom), a double bill of one-act comic operas set to librettos by Mark Campbell; Quiet Please, an album of jazz standards with vocalist Darius de Haas, and Canción amorosa, a CD of Spanish songs with soprano Corinne Winters. His latest release is Mi País: Songs of Argentina with baritone Federico De Michelis, on NYFOS Records. His writings on opera have been featured in Opera News and the Yale Review. A native New Yorker, he received a Bachelor's Degree with Honors in English Literature at Yale University, where he studied piano with Alexander Farkas. He completed his musical studies in New York with Martin Isepp and Paul Jacobs. Mr. Blier is a Yamaha Artist.