New York Festival of Song Announces 2014-15 Season - ART SONG ON THE COUCH, HARLEM RENAISSANCE and More

New York Festival of Song announces 2014-15 season. Four Great Series Return Classic: NYFOS MAINSTAGE at Merkin Concert Hall (4 concerts) Future: NYFOS NEXT at Opera America's National Opera Center (3 concerts) Cabaret: NYFOS AFTER HOURS at Henry's Restaurant (3 concerts) Mentoring: NYFOS EMERGING ARTISTS at North Fork, Juilliard, Caramoor (3 concerts)

Album Release

Corinne Winters and Steven Blier collaborate on
Canción amorosa: Songs of Spain


The original thematic song party
Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, pianists

Tuesday, November 11, 8:00 pm
The psychological & musical complexity of German Lieder
Songs by Wolf, Mahler, Schoenberg, Strauss, Zemlinsky, Schreker
With Janai Brugger, soprano; John Brancy, baritone

Tuesday, December 9, 8:00 pm
One of NYFOS's most popular programs returns after a decade
Songs by Eubie Blake, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Billy Strayhorn,
W. C. Handy, J. Rosamond Johnson, William Grant Still, Florence Price
Readings of Langston Hughes and Paul Laurence Dunbar
With Julia Bullock, soprano; Darius de Haas, tenor; James Martin, baritone

Tuesday, March 17, 8:00 pm
Italian song paired with songs by Italian-Americans
Music by Verdi, Leoncavallo, Pizzetti, Busoni,
Catalani, Musto, Corigliano, Argento, and many others
With Caramoor's 2015 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars
Tuesday, April 28, 8:00 pm
Inspiration from the poetry of Spain
Songs by Shostakovich, Taneyev, Wolf, Schumann, Bolcom,
Montsalvage, Granados, and many others
With Corinne Winters, soprano; Theo Lebow, tenor; Alexey Lavrov, baritone


The 3-part mini-series becomes a February festival
Tuesdays at 7:00pm
At OPERA America's National Opera Center
Each salon is curated and hosted by a living composer
February 3: TBA
February 10: Paul Moravec & Friends
February 17: Bright Sheng & Friends


Unplugged cabaret featuring Blier & the gang
Monday nights at HENRY's Restaurant on Broadway & 105th
$10 Cover, 10:00pm Start Time
October 3: Crystal Anniversary Cabaret for HENRY's
December 15: A Goyishe Christmas to You!
May 4: Great American Songwriting Teams


With three residencies, NYFOS deepens its commitment to
mentoring and showcasing the next generation of young artists
August 24: NYFOS@North Fork
Gabriel Kahane's Craigslistlieder and Other Love Songs
Poquatuck Hall in Orient, NY
January 14: NYFOS@Juilliard
Great American Songwriting Teams
Peter Jay Sharp Theater in NYC
March 15: NYFOS@Caramoor
Bel Canto/Can Belto
Caramoor Center in Katonah, NY


NYFOS hits the road with shows in Boston at the Gardner Museum, Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center, and Reston, Virginia.
November 9: Art Song on the Couch
(Gardner Museum, Boston, MA)
December 5: Harlem Renaissance
(Reston Community Center, Reston, VA)
April 30: Letters from Spain
(Vocal Arts DC, Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.)

Artistic Director Steven Blier talks about the new season:
"Anticipating the 27th season of NYFOS reminds me of how I used to feel as a kid when I was promised an excursion to F.A.O. Schwartz, New York's legendary toy store. I think first of the composers: Shostakovich and Strauss-Fats Waller andRichard Rodgers-Gabriel Kahane and Paul Moravec-an orgy of musical delight. And then, the singers. NYFOS takes special pride in bringing to the MainStage some of the superb talents we first nurtured as Emerging Artists: Corinne Winters, John Brancy, Theo Lebow and Julia Bullock, all of whom have become sought-after stars on the international scene. We're also welcoming Darius de Haas and James Martin back home, and introducing our audiences to Janai Brugger and Alexey Lavrov, two of today's most eloquent performers and charismatic voices.

In the meantime, our training programs on Long Island, atJuilliard, and at Caramoor are in full, radiant flower; our cabaret series delights sold-out crowds at Henry's Restaurant; and our NYFOS Next offers evenings with three prize-winning contemporary composers. We are in full flight: NYFOS is still the hippest way to hear songs in the concert hall; NYFOS is New Music; NYFOS nurtures the finest young singers in America; NYFOS kicks back and offers popular song in a relaxed environment."

T H E ' 1 4 / 1 5 S E A S O N


Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 West 67th Street
All three concerts begin at 8:00PM
Steven Blier & Michael Barrett, pianos
$140-$200 Subscriptions for Entire Series
$40-$55 for Single Tickets; $10 for Student Tickets
$20 for Real Deal Tickets: Advance Purchase, Limited Availability and Seating
Purchase tickets online at
or by calling (212) 501 3330.

Steven Blier and Michael Barrett have hosted New York Festival of Song's signature series since founding NYFOS in 1988. Blier is a national treasure, adored for his boundless knowledge of song, smart and funny stage commentary, meticulously researched program notes, and gift for imparting his passion to the singers he coaches. Barrett-the perfect foil for Blier-is a sublime and suave musician, the mastermind of Caramoor (2003-2012) and the Moab Music Festival (1992-today). These two have pioneered and explored the art of the thematic song recital. Their programs draw from repertoire across musical genres and styles; they delight in unearthing rarely heard songs, and programming familiar works in surprising contexts. Audiences come away inspired, smiling, lighter on their feet. "An evening of transporting theatre-with music." (The New York Times)


Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 8:00pm

Janai Brugger / John Brancy

In the early years of the 20th century German Lieder took on new psychological and musical complexity: Gustav Mahler had a life-changing encounter with Sigmund Freud; Richard Strauss's Ophelia-Lieder brought Shakespeare's heroine into the analyst's office; and German art song entered a new Golden Age fueled by dreams and hidden desires. Drawing on the evolving musical language of the era, the piano becomes the singer's unconscious mind in the music of Hugo Wolf, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, Richard Strauss, Alexander von Zemlinsky,Franz Schreker, and others.

American soprano Janai Brugger, winner of both Placido Domingo's Operalia competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, makes her NYFOS debut. Opera News has described Brugger as "Gifted with a supple, beautifully shaded lyric soprano...who knows the value of economy and clarity," and Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times hailed her as "a rapturous Pamina ready for prime time." The rising star John Brancy, an artist nurtured by NYFOS, is also featured on the program. Brancy is the 2013 Winner of the Marilyn Horne Song Competition and has been hailed by The New York Times as "a vibrant, resonant presence" and a "dashing, strong voiced baritone."


Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 8:00pm

Julia Bullock / James Martin / Darius de Haas

Fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, NYFOS brings back one of its most beloved shows-a program that celebrates the explosion of African-American music and literature between the two World Wars. Awakening the world to the creative power of black America, Eubie Blake, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller,Billy Strayhorn, and W. C. Handy led the way in jazz clubs and on Broadway, while J. Rosamond Johnson, William Grant Still, and Florence Pricecreated a haunting repertoire for the recital stage. The program also features readings from the era's iconic poets and novelists, including Langston Hughesand Paul Laurence Dunbar.

NYFOS first presented this critically acclaimed program in the 2001-02 season. "NYFOS may be the most reliably excellent musical organization in New York. What orchestra, ensemble or opera company can make every show so special or count on such meticulous research, such infallible humor and such a sure sense of style?" wrote critic Justin Davidson in Newsday. The production went on to tour the U.S., with stops in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, and DC (Library of Congress).

The "ravishingly visceral" soprano Julia Bullock (The New York Times), a fast-rising star who won the 2014 Naumburg International Vocal Competition and the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, is the new addition to the cast, joined by original cast members tenor Darius de Haas and baritone James Martin. De Haas and Martin, both longtime NYFOS friends and collaborators, were praised in the original production, de Haas for his "impeccable charisma and technique," and Martin, "who croons with the best of them and does a mean soft-shoe besides, veered from the solemn to the silly without breaking a sweat"(Newsday).


Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 8:00pm
featuring Caramoor's Terrance W. Schwab Vocal Rising Stars
An exploration of Italian song from the Romantic era to the beginnings of Neo-Realism, paired with songs by Italian-Americans. Music by Giuseppe Verdi,Pietro Mascagni, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Ferruccio Busoni, Alfredo Catalani, John Musto, John Corigliano, Dominick Argento, Harry Warren.

This performance marks the seventh annual residency of NYFOS at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts and features members of Caramoor's Terrance W. Schwab Vocal Rising Stars. Past graduates of this program-including Joélle Harvey, Paul Appleby, John Brancy, Julia Bullock, Tobias Greenhalgh, Theo Lebow, Carlton Ford, Andrew Owens, Corinne Winters, and Sarah Larsen-are now enjoying busy international careers.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 8:00pm

Corinne Winters / Theo Lebow / Alexey Lavrov

The poetry of Spain has inspired composers around the world, eliciting some of their most colorful and rhythmically alluring songs. Touring through Russia, Germany, France, and America before flying home to Spain, this new program samples the music of her greatest songwriters. Music from Dmitri Shostakovich's Spanish Songs, Robert Schumann's Spanisches Liederspiel, William Bolcom'sCanciones de Lorca, and works by Sergei Taneyev, Hugo Wolf, Peter Lieberson, Xavier Montsalvage, Enrique Granados, and many others.

Soprano Corinne Winters, acclaimed by Opera News for her "passionate lyricism and deep burgundy coloring," is set to make debuts over the coming seasons with Covent Garden, Washington National Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opernhaus Zürich, Vlaamse Opera Antwerp, and others. She joins NYFOS once again, following the release of her new album with Steven Blier, Corinne Winters: Canción Amorosa/Songs of Spain (See full details for the release below).

Joining Winters is a pair of dynamic young men. Tenor Theo Lebow returns to NYFOS following the 2012-13 season performance of Songs of the Midnight Sun,part of NYFOS's residency at Caramoor, while baritone Alexey Lavrov makes his NYFOS debut. Lavrov is a recent graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and returns to the Met this upcoming season as Schaunard in La Bohème and as Silvio in the new production of Pagliacci. Mr. Lavrov appears courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.

the series for new song

OPERA America's National Opera Center
330 Seventh Avenue (at 29th Street), New York, NY
All concerts begin at 7:00PM
Extremely Limited Seating
Tickets: $15 per show or subscribe to see all three for $30
Available for purchase at or at the door (cash only)
Complimentary beverages will be served

"a series that makes a passionate case for the art song as a can't-live-without item
on any civilized traveler's packing list." - THE NEW YORK TIMES

"a breath of fresh air on the scene of serious vocal music." - Q ON STAGE

The "invaluable contemporary-music series" (The New Yorker) NYFOS Next enters its fifth season and shifts to a new format-a three-concert mini-festival during the month of February. The location is the intimate state-of-the-art recital hall at OPERA America's National Opera Center, and plans are underway to stream all three concerts live online.

With an emphasis on spontaneity, novelty, and collaboration, NYFOS Next looks to the future, offering today's song composers a forum for their work. Audiences get an intimate look inside the creative process, as freshly?minted songs are offered-some for the first time-in an informal setting. Curator/hosts for past NYFOSNexts include Gabriel Kahane, Joseph Thalken, Phil Kline, Carla Kilhstedt, Mohammed Fairouz, Kevin Puts, Russell Platt, Mark Adamo, John Musto and Harold Meltzer. NYFOS artistic directors Steven Blier and Michael Barrett look to NYFOS Next as an ideal way to preview new compositions and talent for NYFOS's Mainstage series.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 7:00pm
Composer/Program TBA


Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 7:00pm

Paul Moravec, winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Music, has composed over one hundred orchestral, chamber, choral, lyric, film, and electro-acoustic compositions. His music has been described as "tuneful, ebullient and wonderfully energetic" (San Francisco Chronicle), "riveting and fascinating" (NPR), and "assured, virtuosic" (Wall Street Journal). The New York Times recently praised his quartet, Vince & Jan: 1945, with "This masterly miniature conveyed warm nostalgia, buoyant swing and wartime unease." NYFOS has premiered works by Moravec over the years, including commissioning the song cycle Parables in 2006, and is pleased to welcome a longtime friend to NYFOS Next.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 7:00pm

The "exquisite blend of the musical East and West" of Bright Sheng (The New York Times) closes out three weeks of contemporary song and the 2014-15 NYFOS Nextseries. The Chinese-American composer and MacArthur Fellow's music ranges from dramatic to lyrical and is strongly influenced by the folk and classical music tradition from eastern and central Asia. Sheng's diverse background, including maintaining an active career as a conductor and concert pianist, and his time as a percussionist in a folk music troupe in China during the Cultural Revolution, informs an approach that Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times writes, "has won critical respect and appreciative audiences for works that deftly synthesize wildly varied musical influences." The Telegraph (UK) called Sheng's opera Madam Mao, which debuted at Santa Fe Opera in 2003, "...extraordinary music and a riveting evening in the theater." Sheng is currently working on a new opera with co-librettist David Henry Hwang, The Dream of Red Chamber, commissioned by the San Francisco Opera, to premiere in fall 2016.

the next generation

NYFOS continues its tradition of cultivating emerging talent. Marking its 10th annual concert in collaboration with The Juilliard School Vocal Department, NYFOS presents Great American Songwriting Teams. Emerging Artists also returns for its 7th residency with Caramoor's Terrance W. Schwab Vocal Rising Stars program in the spring, with a show called Bel Canto/Can Belto, which NYFOS then brings to itsMainstage series on March 17. In addition, NYFOS is thrilled to return for its second program in the North Fork of Long Island in late summer.

NYFOS Emerging Artists trains young vocalists in programming and translation, presentation and production, research and musical style. In deep artistic collaboration with NYFOS's artistic directors Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, the singers are encouraged to engage audiences with directness, subtlety, and passion.


Craigslistlieder and Other Love Songs
Sunday, August 24, 2014, 5:00pm
Songs by Granados, Grieg, Frank Bridge, Sondheim, Stenhammar, Gabriel Kahane
With Chelsea Morris, soprano; Lauren Eberwein, mezzo-soprano;
William Goforth, tenor; Theo Hoffman, baritone; Steven Blier, piano
Poquatuck Hall in Orient, NY
Preview performance: Saturday, August 23 at 5:00pm
Christ Episcopal Church, 64 South Country Rd in Bellport, NY


Great American Songwriting Teams
Wednesday, January 14, 2015, 8:00pm
Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Lincoln Center


Bel Canto/Can Belto
The Terrance W. Schwab Vocal Rising Stars program
Sunday, March 15, 2015, 4:00pm
Caramoor Center, Katonah, NY

at HENRY's Restaurant

2745 Broadway, New York, NY (at 105th Street)
$10 Cover; Reservations Required: 212-866-0600
Walk-ins are always welcome at the bar.

Steven Blier and Henry Rinehart / Lauren Worsham

"One doesn't get this quality in the typical cabaret show!" - VOCE DI MECHE

In February 2010 at HENRY's Restaurant on the Upper West Side, an informal world-class cabaret series began, springing out of a personal friendship between NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier and restaurant owner Henry Rinehart. Eventually dubbed NYFOS After Hours, these highly popular late-night-and unamplified-concerts entertain diners with superlative voices in a mix of freshly created shows and revivals of past programs. The cream of New York's rising talent joins some of the city's most illustrious singers and actors, accompanied by Blier at the piano.

NYFOS After Hours is presented as part of the restaurant's ongoing series, Sing for Your Supper @ HENRY's. Henry Rinehart says: "All of us at HENRY's are thrilled to host this series with Steven Blier and NYFOS. NYFOS is one of New York's great cultural institutions and Steven is a dear friend. Together we will continue to present Broadway's most intimate night of song to packed houses."


Monday, October 20, 2014, 10:00pm
Program details and performers TBA


Monday, December 15, 2014, 10:00pm
An instant classic, this popular NYFOS program has become an annual tradition.
It features holiday favorites-and some lesser-known gems-written by Jewish songwriters. Performers include host Steven Blier on piano with clarinetist Alan Kay and Cantor Joshua Breitzer, and many others TBA.


Monday, May 4, 2015, 10:00pm
Program details and performers TBA

in MA, VA, and D.C.

In the 2014-15 Season, NYFOS hits the road presenting three of its Mainstageperformances across the country at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston, MA), Vocal Arts DC at the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), and the Reston Community Center's CenterStage series (Reston, VA).


Sunday, November 9, 2014, 1:30 p.m.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA
(Preview Performance, See NYFOS Mainstage)


Friday, December 5, 2014, 8:00 p.m.
Reston Community Center, Reston, VA
(Preview Performance, See NYFOS Mainstage)


Thursday, April 30, 2015, 7:30 p.m.
Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.
(Encore Performance, See NYFOS Mainstage)

Corinne Winters:
Cancio?n Amorosa/Songs of Spain
with Steven Blier, piano

NYFOS Artistic Director and pianist Steven Blier teams up with soprano Corinne Winters in this exploration of Spanish music, celebrating the astounding array of cultures and styles of Iberian song. The album celebrates the glories of Catalan, Basque, Sephardic and Castilian music, an often-neglected repertoire. Corinne Winters, whose Violetta in La traviata took London-and all of Europe-by storm in 2013, is quickly earning a place among the top sopranos of her generation.

The album is scheduled for worldwide digital release July 3, 2014 and available in hard copy July 23, 2014 on the GPR Records label, distributed by Naxos.

Blier and Winters first collaborated in the NYFOS recital Spanish Gold in March 2011. "Those concerts were revelatory-the music was a perfect fit for my romantic sensibilities, but it helped me find a new palette of colors," says Winters. Following the performance, the pair immediately began talking about recording the unique repertoire.

"This CD is a tribute to Spain's astonishing-and ravishing-musical diversity," says Blier. "Gentle impressionism, fiery dance rhythms, soaring, romantic melody, and rough peasant ballad-Spanish song embraces them all. The musical riches of this nation are among the things I hold dearest in my heart."

"My work with Steven Blier has opened my eyes to a new world of fine brush-stroke detail," says Winters. "He appreciates my Italianate operatic sound, but also encourages me to experiment with a more intimate approach based around poetry, looking for the individual voice of each composer."


"People have a primal need to be sung to and communicated with through song.The essential core of truth in each song-that part where you feel 'that's me, I've been there'-that's what we're always looking for." - Steven Blier

Now in its 27th 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 high and low performance 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 ofSpanish 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. Soon to come: a CD of Spanish song-Basque, Catalan, Castilian, and Sephardic-on the GPR label, with soprano Corinne Winters accompanied by Steven Blier.

In November 2010, NYFOS debuted NYFOS Next, a mini-series for new songs, hosted by guest composers in intimate venues. Starting in 2013-2014, the series moved to Opera America's National Opera 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 9th year); Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (its 6th year in March 2014); San Francisco Opera Center (over 15 years as of April 2013); 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.

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