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Shereen Pimentel & More to Join New York Festival Of Song Annual Gala STILL IN LOVE

The evening will feature performances by Pimentel and Justin Austin, with hosts Denyce Graves and Steven Blier.

Shereen Pimentel & More to Join New York Festival Of Song Annual Gala STILL IN LOVE

New York Festival of Song will hold its annual Gala-this year titled Still in Love-on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 6:30pm at the Racquet and Tennis Club, celebrating the musical contributions of Duke Ellington and his collaborator Billy Strayhorn.

The evening includes cocktails and dinner, plus a special performance by Justin Austin (recent appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Lincoln Center Theater) and Shereen Pimental (Maria in West Side Story in most recent revival on Broadway) in songs including "Sophisticated Lady," "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing," "Day Dream", and more. Still in Love is hosted by acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves together with NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier.

A pay what you can ticket option is available (suggested $100+) which provides access to a virtual Gala option viewable throughout the month of June. Instructions to view the video will be sent via email following the event.

Proceeds from the NYFOS Gala directly underwrite artistic programming for the season at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, in addition to supporting young artist residencies, online programming, and recording initiatives.

Event Information

Still in Love: NYFOS Celebrates Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 6:30pm
Racquet and Tennis Club
370 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Ticket Link:

With performances by:
Justin Austin
Shereen Pimentel

Hosted by:
Steven Blier
Denyce Graves

About New York Festival of Song

Now in its 34th 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, NYFOS has a rich discography including a Grammy Award-winning disc of Leonard 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 order to bring more of its music - captured both in live performance and in the studio - to audiences worldwide, NYFOS launched its in-house label, NYFOS Records, in 2021. Its first album, From Rags to Riches, featuring Stephanie Blythe, William Burden, and Steven Blier, was released in January 2022.

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, and now the Ann Goodman Recital Hall at Kaufman Music Center.

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 16th year); Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (its 14th year in March 2022); San Francisco Opera Center (over 20 years as of February 2018); 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 140 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 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 Stephanie Blythe, Joseph Kaiser, Sasha Cooke, Paul Appleby, Dina Kuznetsova, Corinne Winters, Julia Bullock, 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; and Quiet Please, an album of jazz standards with vocalist Darius de Haas. His latest release, on the recently-founded label NYFOS Records, is From Rags to Riches, a journey through the 20th century in American song, featuring Stephanie Blythe and William Burden. 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.

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