Von Stade Hosts New Season Of NY Festival Of Song's Radio Series

The WFMT Radio Network in Chicago, producer of radio programs for the New York Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wigmore Hall and other major national and international organizations, will produce a new 13-hour series, "No Song Is Safe From Us," highlighting the unique and renowned musical programs of New York Festival Of Song (NYFOS, www.nyfos.org). NYFOS was cofounded in 1988 by Artistic Director Steven Blier ("A National Treasure when it comes to the art of song" - New York Times) and Associate Artistic Director Michael Barrett, (also cofounder with Leslie Tomkins of the Moab Music Festival in Moab Utah, and General Director of Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, New York). World-renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade will host the series, for which material will be drawn from the NYFOS recorded archives as well as its acclaimed published recordings. All 13 programs will be distributed by the WFMT Radio Network to stations throughout the United States and the world starting in January 2011.

NYFOS's 22 seasons of concerts have encompassed a wealth of song in all musical genres, national styles and ethnic traditions and much of this material is being broadcast for the first time on this radio series. Among the programs proposed for broadcast are Lost Tribes Of Vaudeville (Jewish and African-American vaudeville numbers), the jazz-oriented Fats and Fields (featuring music of Fats Waller and lyrics by Dorothy Fields); Latin Lovers (a celebration of art song and theater music from Argentina, Brazil and Cuba), Kurt Weill's Berlin (including cabaret songs from Berlin in the 1920s), Poets Without Heros (settings and readings of poetry by Soviet poet Anna Akhmatova and her circle) and Fugitives (music by composers fleeing Nazi Europe in the 1930's and 1940's). Vocalists will include Stephanie Blythe, Joseph Kaiser, Judy Kaye, Dina Kuznetsova, and William Burden.

Among the programs which have been made into published recordings are: the NYFOS-commissioned double bill of one-act comic operas, Bastianello/Lucrezia, by John Musto and William Bolcom with libretti by Marc Campbell, which will be released by Bridge Records in June; the Grammy-winning Arias and Barcarolles, Leonard Bernstein's last work, given to the company to premiere; and Spanish Love Songs, with the late mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and tenor Joseph Kaiser.

Reviews for New York Festival Of Song have included "Reinvented the song recital with daring and dramatic programming" - The New Yorker; "What we all want concerts to be, but too rarely are" - New York Daily News; "The best classical music programming in New York" - New York Magazine; "A-list artistry" - TimeOut New York; and "Illuminating and entertaining, profoundly moving" - New York Times.

Frederica von Stade - Beginning with her 1970 Metropolitan Opera debut, the widely-beloved mezzo-soprano has performed a wide range of roles in opera at major houses around the world, as well as musical theater from Show Boat to A Little Night Music. She has been featured on numerous PBS specials, notably A Carnegie Hall Christmas Concert in 1991. She is also an important recital artist, in music ranging from Mozart and Ives to Mahler and Broadway songs.

Steven Blier. Artistic director Steven Blier co-founded the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS) in 1988 with Michael Barrett. Since the Festival's inception he has programmed, performed, translated and annotated over 120 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. Mr. Blier also enjoys an eminent career as an accompanist and vocal coach. His recitals with Renée Fleming, Cecilia Bartoli, Samuel Ramey, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, and Jessye Norman have taken him to the stages of Carnegie Hall, La Scala, and London's Wigmore Hall. He has premiered works of John Corigliano, Ned Rorem, William Bolcom, John Musto, Paul Moravec, Tobias Picker, Robert Beaser, and Lee Hoiby, many of which were commissioned by NYFOS. Mr. Blier's discography includes the upcoming June, 2010 release of Bastianello/Lucrezia on Bridge Records, two NYFOS-commissioned comic operas by William Bolcom, John Musto and Mark Campbell (libretti); four volumes of songs by Charles Ives with baritone William Sharp (Albany Records), a Grammy-nominated CD of American songs with Mr. Sharp (New World Records), and first recordings of music by Busoni and Borodin with cellist Dorothy Lawson (Koch International). His two most recent releases are The Land Where the Good Songs Go with Sylvia McNair and Hal Cazalet, and Spanish Love Songs with Joseph Kaiser and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Bridge Records). Mr. Blier is on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and has been active in encouraging young recitalists at summer programs, including the Wolf Trap Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, and the San Francisco Opera Center.

Michael Barrett. NYFOS co-founder and Associate Artistic Director Michael Barrett also serves as Chief Executive and General Director of the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts. In 1992, he co-founded the Moab Music Festival with his wife, violist Leslie Tomkins. From 1994 to 1997, he was the Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y in New York. A protégé of Leonard Bernstein, Mr. Barrett began his long association with the renowned conductor and composer as a student in 1982. He is currently the Artistic Advisor for the estate of Leonard Bernstein. Mr. Barrett has been a guest conductor with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France, among others. He also has served variously as conductor, producer, and music director of numerous special projects, including the world premiere of Volpone by John Musto. Mr. Barrett's discography includes: the upcoming May 2010 release of Bastianello/Lucrezia on Bridge Records, two NYFOS-commissioned comic operas by William Bolcom, John Musto and Mark Campbell (libretti); Spanish Love Songs, recorded live at Caramoor with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Steven Blier, and Joseph Kaiser; Live from the Moab Music Festival; the Grammy-nominated Evidence of Things Not Seen (New World Records); Aaron Jay Kernis: 100 Greatest Dance Hits (New Albion); On the Town (Deutsche Grammophon); Kaballah (Koch Classics) by StewArt Wallace and Michael Korie; Schumann Lieder with Lorraine Hunt and Kurt Ollman (Koch); and Arias and Barcarolles (Koch) by Leonard Bernstein (Grammy Award).

New York Festival of Song was founded in 1988 by Steven Blier and Michael Barrett. NYFOS is dedicated to creating intimate song concerts of great beauty, humor and originality, combining music, poetry, and history to entertain, educate and create community among audiences and performers. With a far-ranging repertoire of art songs, concert works and theater pieces, its thematic recitals have included programs from Brahms to the Beatles, from the nineteenth-century salons of Paris to Tin Pan Alley, from Russian art song to Argentine tangos, from sixteenth-century lute songs to new music. NYFOS particularly celebrates American song literature and culture, and specializes in premiering and commissioning new American works.

New York Festival of Song's programs are funded, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, by the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. The 2011 Season of "No Song Is Safe From Us" on the WFMT Radio Network is funded, in part, by the Richard and Lynne Kaiser Family Foundation, Paul and Elizabeth DeRosa, Martha J. Fleischman, and The Julian Autrey Foundation.

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