Salon/Sanctuary Concerts Presents LA SERENISSIMA, 1/29

 Salon/Sanctuary Concerts Presents LA SERENISSIMA, 1/29
Critically acclaimed soprano Jessica Gould, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra members harpsichordist Bradley Brookshire and lutenist Daniel Swenberg are joined by The Rose of the Compass Ensemble (Nina Stern, recorders, Ara Dinkjian, oud & Glen Velez, percussion) for a unique performance of the music of West and East in the Venetian Empire.

The Most Serene Republic maintained an extraordinary level of civil peace throughout its long reign as the dominant power of the Mediterranean.  With an economy fueled by diversity, an Arabic School, an Armenian Church, and Dalmatian colonies provided just a few of the non-western voices of the Venetian seicento.  Works of Strozzi, Rigatti, and Monteverdi performed in alternation with music of the Turkish, Armenian, and Dalmatian communities offer a window onto the Venetian mosaic.

The Chapel of St. Bart’s Church
325 Park Ave. & 51st St.

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

$25/$15 students & seniors
(212) 866-0468

Praised by Allan Kozinn of the New York Times for "a dramatic intensity that honored the texts", soprano Jessica Gould has also been noted for “astonishing ornaments and passaggi, executed to perfection” (Lute News, UK), “crystalline sounds” and for having “reached the heart of an enrapturEd English audience'” (Traditional Music Maker, UK). With actor Roger Rees and the Paul Dresher Ensemble she can be heard on the New World Records release of composer Eve Beglarian's CD Tell the Birds, which has been broadcast on WQXR and other stations across the country.  Soloist engagements include The Clarion Society, Sinfonia New York, The Four Nations Ensemble, The Virginia Arts Festival, Orlando Opera, the Guggenheim Works & Process Series with The Cassatt Quartet, at the Beinecke Library at Yale University, Palazzo Ducale (Modena), Hammerwood Park and The Landmark Arts Centre (UK) among others.  With the Florentine presenter Musica Ricercata, she has been heard in a recital of Danish and Polish Romantic songs in their original languages, presented by the Festival Martedi in Arte at the Palazzo Davanzati, recently discovered motets of André Campra at the Museo di Arte Sacra of the Chiesa di San Andrea a San Donino in Tuscany this past September, and Purcell symphony songs at the Library of the Museo di San Marco of Florence in 2009. Ms. Gould will create the role of anarchist Emma Goldman in the world premiere of an opera based on the assassination of William McKinley by composer Persis Vehar, to be presented by Nickel City Opera in 2013, while upcoming engagements abroad include Latin-American baroque music to be performed as part of the quincentennial Amerigo Vespucci celebrations in Florence.  As Founder and Artistic Director of Salon/Sanctuary Concerts, Jessica creates many programs featuring repertoire from the 8th to 18th centuries, and serves the series as writer, music researcher, and Italian translator.  Her original program From Ghetto to Palazzo: Vocal Music of Salamone Rossi Hebreo, performed by the Clarion Music Society under the direction of Steven Fox, was selected by the New York Times as a Critics’ Pick this past November.

Harpsichordist Bradley Brookshire's distinctive approach to Bach has led to sustained critical acclaim by the New York Times (his interpretation of Bach’s French Suites was named a New York Times “Critic’s Choice” Recording of year 2001), Goldberg magazine (who awarded his 2007 recording of The Art of the Fugue their top rating of five stars, along with a limited distribution contract)Stereophile magazine, and the American Record Guide, among others. He is an Assistant Conductor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and is currently performing as harpsichordist in the Metropolitan Opera production, The Enchanted Island.  He has served as musical assistant to legendary choreographer Trisha Brown, and as repetiteur for Les Arts Florissants/Paris.  Brookshire has recorded for Sony Classical, BBC Records, Vox Classics, Opus 111 (Paris), and Music and Arts, and has just completed recording the Flute Sonatas of Bach with Tara Helen O’Connor. For the past three years, Brookshire has been developing an interactive counterpoint-teaching program that attempts to reconstruct J.S. Bach’s own instructional method, The Art of the Fugue serving as its primary source of musical exemplars. He is currently a Candidate for the Ph.D. in Musicology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he is also pursuing a diploma in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. A member of the Purchase College (SUNY) faculty since 1998, Brookshire holds the position of Director of Graduate Studies in the Conservatory of Music, where he leads the Purchase College Camerata and teaches courses in music history and counterpoint. SUNY awarded him Chancellor’s Award in 2004. In 1998-99, he was a part-time visiting professor at Yale University, where he led the Yale Collegium Musicum.  

Lutenist Daniel Swenberg concentrates on Renaissance and baroque performance practices--with special devotion to the role of basso-continuo playing and the instruments central to its practice: the theorbo/chitaronne, renaissance and baroque lutes, early guitars, and the gallizona/callichon.  He works regularly with ensembles: ARTEK, REBEL, Visceral Reaction, The New York Collegium, The Metropolitan Opera, the Canadian Opera Company, Staatstheater Stuttgart, New York City Opera, the Mark Morris Dance Group, Stadtstheater Klagenfurt,Tafelmusik, Opera Atelier, Les Violons du Roy, Piffaro, Spiritus Collective, Les Voix Baroques, Musica Pacifica, the Sejong Soloists, Les Voix Baroques, and Apollo's Fire.  Recently, he has accompanied Renée Fleming at the MET, Carnegie Hall, and on Live from Lincoln Center, with the Mostly Mozart Festival, and was on staff at the inauguration of the Aspen Music Festival's baroque mini-festival.  He has received awards from the Belgian American Educational Foundation (2000) for a study of 18th-century chamber music for the lute, and a Fulbright Scholarship (1997) to study in Bremen, Germany with Stephen Stubbs and Andrew Lawrence King, at the Hochschule für Künste.  He studied previously with Pat O'Brien at Mannes College of Music (New York City), receiving a Masters Degree in Historical Performance-Lute. Prior to his concentration on lutes, he studied Musicology at Washington University (St. Louis) and received a B.M. in classical guitar from the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Nina Stern, recorder is one of North America’s leading performers of the recorder and classical clarinet. In recent years she is also hailed as an innovator in teaching school-age children to be fine young musicians. A native New Yorker, Ms. Stern studied with Jeanette van Wingerden and Hans-Rudolf Stalder at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel, Switzerland, where she received a Soloist’s Degree. From Basel, she moved to Milan, Italy where she was offered a teaching position at the Civica Scuola di Musica. Ms. Stern performs regularly as soloist or principal player with prestigious ensembles such as The New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, The New York Collegium, Concert Royal, Philharmonia Baroque, Sinfonia NY, American Classical Orchestra and Apollo's Fire, She has also appeared as principal player with Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, L’Orchestra della Scala (Milan), I Solisti Veneti, Hesperion XX and Tafelmusik. Her numerous festival and concert series appearances have included performances under leading conductors such as Loren Maazel, Kurt Masur, Christopher Hogwood, Trevor Pinnock, Claudio Scimone, Jane Glover, Bruno Weil, Ton Koopman, Andrew Parrot and Jordi Savall. She has recorded for Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Sony Classics, Newport Classics, Wildboar, Telarc and Smithsonian labels. Nina Stern’s latest projects include performances of traditional music of Eastern Europe, Armenia and The Middle East as a soloist and with the ensemble “East of the River”, which she co-directs with Daphna Mor.

Ara Dinkjian, oud is best known as the founder of the highly influential and groundbreaking instrumental group, NIGHT ARK, which recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and PolyGram/Universal. His compositions have been recorded in thirteen different languages by top singers and musicians throughout the world (including Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Sezen Aksu), proving that music is indeed the international language. His hit “Homecoming” (“Dinata Dinata”) was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Ara Dinkjian is also considered one of the top oud players in the world. He was chosen to represent the Armenians in the international oud festivals of Jerusalem and Thessaloniki.

Percussionist Glen Velez has been praised by the New York Times for "A galaxy of timbres and inflections ... remarkable rhythmic fireworks." Five-time GRAMMY Award winner, Glen Velez is the founding Father of the modern Frame Drum movement and is regarded as a legendary figure among musicians and audiences world-wide. Velez maintains an International touring schedule as a soloist and continues to collaborate with prominent artists in many styles. He is also an experienced collaborator in Early Music, including a renown recording with the Ensemble for Early Music entitled Istampita. Velez has recorded on hundreds of albums on ECM, CBS, RCA, GRP, Warner Brothers, Deutsche Gramophone, Geffen, Nonesuch, Capital, CMP, Music of the World, Sounds True, Interworld, Ellipsis Arts. Daftof Records and Sony.  Velez's virtuosic combinations of hand movements, finger techniques, along with his original compositional style, which incorporates stepping, drum language and Central Asian Overtone singing (split-tone singing), has undoubtedly opened new possibilities for musicians around the globe, resulting in a shift in modern percussion. Velez is the first percussionist to gain international recognition as a successful solo artist using frame drums. John Cage composed a piece especially for him, titled 'Improvisation for One-Sided Drum with or without Jingles.' Collaborators include Steve Reich, the Paul Winter Consort, Suzanne Vega, Maya Beiser, Tan Dun and Pat Metheny, Israel Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonia, Opera Orchestra of New York, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Zakir Hussain, Sonny Fortune, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, David Darling, Howard Levy, Eugene Friesen and Coleman Barks. Live performances also include radio concerts and interviews broadcasted on Spanish National Radio 4, German Public Radio, Italian National Radio 3, Radio Freistadt (Austria) and National Public Radio. Velez maintains an International touring schedule as a soloist and National Public Radio. 

MusicWeb International has praised Salon/Sanctuary Concerts programming: “It is a rare occurrence at any concert or opera when every possible aspect of the performance experience succeeds completely.  I am not simply referring to the musicians, concert hall or instruments but to the gestalt: the unified whole that makes the sum greater than all of its parts.” Founded by Artistic Director Jessica Gould in 2009, Salon/Sanctuary offers an alternative to the conventional concert hall, presenting internationally recognized artists and ensembles performing pre-Romantic music in the kinds of spaces for which the repertoire was intended.  Sacred music is presented in appropriate sanctuaries, while salon repertoire is heard in the AbiGail Adams Smith Auditorium at the 1799 Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden, where Salon/Sanctuary is the concert series in residence.  Salon/Sanctuary takes pride in presenting special interdisciplinary projects featuring luminaries from the worlds of opera, theater, and dance, and many projects feature innovative programming that offers the opportunity to view history and various historical issues through the prism of music.  Recent projects in this mold include the December 2010 production of I WERE, featuring the work of Metropolitan Opera countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo and renowned choreographer Karole Armitage, and the December 2011 performance of More Between Heaven and Earth, which starred internationally acclaimed film actor Matthew Modine with TONY-Award nominees Melissa Errico and Kathleen Chalfant.