Simon Rattle to Conduct St. Thomas Choir of Men & Boys in Concert, 9/18
New York, NY - Sir Simon Rattle will conduct The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys and Orchestra of St. Luke's in a special benefit concert to include Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughn Williams and Edward Elgar's Serenade for Strings on Sunday, September 18 at 7:00pm. The concert will be the last in a yearlong series of performances that have been offered at St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in honor of Maestro John Scott who served as Organist and Director of Music for eleven years, and who died unexpectedly in August 2015. Proceeds from the concert will be used to create a Saint Thomas Choir School scholarship to assist choristers in need which will be established in John Scott's memory.
Message from The Reverend Canon Carl F. Turner, Rector
"I am thrilled that the world's leading orchestral conductor is going to direct our world famous choir in memory of his friend, John Scott. Sir Simon is also delighted to help us welcome our new Director of Music, Daniel Hyde, who will have just arrived from England, where he has served as Master of the Choristers of Magdalen College, Oxford. Thus, in one concert, we honor the memory of a great musician and begin a new chapter in the history of music at Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue. Daniel will also be featured on the program playing the great Loening-Hancock baroque organ."
SIR SIMON RATTLE
Sir Simon Rattle was born in Liverpool and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. From 1980 to 1998, Rattle was Principal Conductor and Artistic Adviser of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Music Director in 1990. In 2002 he took up his current position of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker where he will remain until 2018. From the 2017/18 season he will become Music Director of the London Symphony Orchestra.
Rattle has made over 70 recordings for EMI record label (now Warner Classics), and has received numerous prestigious international awards for his recordings on various labels. Releases on EMI include Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms (which received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance) Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and in August 2013 Warner Classics released Rachmaninov's The Bells and Symphonic Dances, all recorded with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Rattle's most recent releases (the Sibelius Symphonies, Bach Passions and Schumann Symphonies) have been for Berliner Philharmoniker Recordings - the orchestra's new in-house label, established in early 2014.
As well as fulfilling a taxing concert schedule in Berlin, Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker regularly tour within Europe, North America and Asia. The partnership has also broken new ground with the education programme Zukunft@Bphil, earning the Comenius Prize in 2004, the Schiller Special Prize from the city of Mannheim in May 2005, the Golden Camera and the Urania Medal in Spring 2007. He and the Berliner Philharmoniker were also appointed International UNICEF Ambassadors in the same year - the first time this honour has been conferred on an artistic ensemble.
In 2013 Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker took up a residency at the Baden-Baden Osterfestspiele performing Die Zauberflöte and a series of concerts. Past seasons have included Puccini's Manon Lescaut and Peter Sellars's ritualization of Bach's St. John Passion, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and Berlioz's La damnation de Faust. For the Salzburg Osterfestspiele Rattle conducted staged productions of Fidelio, Cosi fan tutte, Peter Grimes, Pelléas et Mélisande, Salome and Carmen, a concert performance of Idomeneo and many contrasting concert programmes, all with the Berliner Philharmoniker. He also conducted Wagner's complete Ring Cycle with the Berliner Philharmoniker for the Aix-en-Provence Festival and Salzburg Osterfestspiele and most recently at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin and the Wiener Staatsoper. Other recent productions include Pelléas et Mélisande and Les Dialogues des Carmelites for the Royal Opera House; L'Étoile, Aus einem Totenhaus and Ká?a Kabanová for the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin; and Pelléas et Mélisande at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Simon Rattle has strong longstanding relationships with the leading orchestras in London, Europe and the USA; initially working closely with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestras, and more recently with The Philadelphia Orchestra. He regularly conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker, with which he has recorded the complete Beethoven symphonies and piano concertos (with Alfred Brendel) and is also a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Founding Patron of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
Early in the 15/16 season Rattle toured the Beethoven Cycle with the Berliner Philharmoniker, with concerts in Europe and Carnegie Hall, New York. Engagements later in the season include staged performances of Pelleas et Melisande with the London Symphony Orchestra (building on the success of the performances with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Berlin) and a production of Tristan and Isolde at Baden Baden. Future plans will see Rattle return to the Bayerische Rundfunk, The Metropolitan Opera and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Simon Rattle was knighted in 1994 and in the New Year's Honours of 2014 he received the Order of Merit from Her Majesty the Queen. He will be a Carnegie Hall 'Perspectives' artist through the 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons.
THE SAINT THOMAS CHOIR & CHOIR SCHOOL The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys is considered by many to be the leading ensemble in the Anglican choral tradition in the United States. The choir performs regularly with the period instrument ensemble, Concert Royal, or with Orchestra of St. Luke's as part of its own concert series. Its primary raison d'être, however, is to provide music for five choral services each week. Live webcasts of all choral services and further information including recordings of the choir may be found at www.SaintThomasChurch.org
Supplementing its choral services and concert series over the past three decades, the choir has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe with performances at Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Kings College, Cambridge, Windsor, Edinburgh, St. Albans and the Aldeburgh Festival. In 2004, the choir toured Italy, and performed for a Papal Mass at the Vatican. During 2007, the choir performed Bach's Saint Matthew Passion for the opening concert of the Mexico Festival in Mexico City as well as at Saint Thomas Church. In February 2012, the Boys of the choir traveled to Dresden to give the premiere of Lera Auerbach's Dresden Requiem with the Dresden Staatskapelle in the Frauenkirche and Semper Oper. Later in 2012, the choir was invited to perform in the Thomaskirche at the Leipzig BachFest, a highlight of their June 2012 tour to Germany and Copenhagen.
In addition to the annual performances of Handel's Messiah, concerts at Saint Thomas have included Requiems by Fauré, Brahms, Mozart, Duruflé and Howells; Bach's Passions and Mass in B Minor; the Monteverdi Vespers of 1610; a Henry Purcell anniversary concert; Rachmaninoff Vespers; the U.S. premiere of John Tavener's Mass; a concert of American composers featuring works by Bernstein and Copland and a composition by Saint Thomas chorister, Daniel Castellanos; the world premiere of Scott Eyerly's Spires and a concert of music by Benjamin Britten.
The Men of the Saint Thomas Choir are professional singers; the Boy choristers attend Saint Thomas Choir School. Founded in 1919, it is the only church related boarding choir school in the United States, and one of only a few choir schools remaining in the world. The Choir School offers a challenging pre-preparatory curriculum, interscholastic sports, and musical training for boys in grades three through eight. The Choir School is committed to training and educating talented musicians without regard to religious, economic, or social background. Choristers are sought from all regions of the country. Details of admissions procedures and audition requirements are available at www.ChoirSchool.org
ORCHESTRA OF ST. LUKE'S
Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) is one of America's most versatile and distinguished orchestras, collaborating with the world's greatest artists and performing approximately 80 concerts each year-including its Carnegie Hall Orchestra Series, Chamber Music Series at The Morgan Library & Museum and Brooklyn Museum, and summer residency at Caramoor Music Festival. In its 41-year history, OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works, has given more than 175 world, U.S., and New York City premieres; and has appeared on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke's Collection. Pablo Heras-Casado is OSL's principal conductor.
OSL grew out of a chamber ensemble that began giving concerts at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village in 1974. Today, the 21 virtuoso artists of St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble make up OSL's artistic core.
OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City's premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors, including more than 400 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, James Taylor, and Sting. OSL hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and school children at its home each year for free community events.
Through its Education & Community programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs; offers free interactive music programs at The DiMenna Center; provides chamber music coaching for adult amateurs; and engages 10,000 public school students each year through its Free School Concerts. In 2013, OSL launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke's (YOSL), an intensive in- and after-school instrumental instruction program emphasizing musical excellence and social development, in partnership with community organizations and public schools in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood.