Folger Consort Presents A NEW WORLD CHRISTMAS: European, African, and Native American Currents

Available for on-demand streaming December 16 - January 5 with vocal ensemble The Western Wind.

By: Nov. 08, 2022
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Folger Consort Presents A NEW WORLD CHRISTMAS: European, African, and Native American Currents

Folger Consort, the early music ensemble-in-residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, will continue its beloved holiday tradition, hosting four festive concerts of A New World Christmas from Friday, December 9 through Sunday, December 11.

A video-recording of the concert will also be made available for purchase for on-demand streaming via the Folger website, with streaming available from Friday, December 16 through Thursday, January 5. Performances will take place in the spacious and atmospheric St. Mark's Church on Capitol Hill, where Folger Consort saw its successful return to in-person performances in December 2021 and continues to perform during its 2022/23 season.

A New World Christmas shares music composed in the Spanish colonies of Central and South America from the late 16th century to the 18th century. Interspersed among instrumental selections performed by a Baroque ensemble are vocal pieces sung in Latin and Spanish celebrating the story of Christmas. Written by such composers working in the New World as Gaspar Fernandes, Juan de Araujo, and Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, this is music that would have likely been performed in cathedrals of the major colonial cities of Cuzco, Lima, Mexico City, and Puebla. In addition to work by known composers, the program includes anonymous selections found in the remarkable manuscript compiled in the 18th century in Trujillo, Peru by the Bishop, Baltazar Jaime Martínez Compañón. Known as the Trujillo Codex, its pages include twenty pieces of music and over 1,400 watercolors depicting life - including musical life - in colonial Peru.

Stylistically, the music performed at A New World Christmas evinces the cross-pollination of European compositional practices with Native American and African influences. Among other characteristics, this includes lively dance rhythms, call-and-response vocals, and contemporary-sounding chord progressions. In addition to a Baroque ensemble with the distinctly Latin American continuo configuration of harp and guitar or lute, joining the Folger Consort is special guest vocal ensemble, the New York-based sextet, The Western Wind, who last performed with the Consort in 2014.

More information online at: www.folger.edu/events/a-new-world-christmas

Concert attendees will be expected to wear a facemask while inside the concert venue, but will not be required to show proof of vaccination. More information about COVID-19 safety protocols can be found at: www.folger.edu/covid-19-safety-protocols.


Individual tickets can be purchased with the Folger box office at (202) 544-7077 or online at www.folger.edu/consort. Prices for in-person performances are $60. Discounts are available for Folger members and for subscribers to the Folger Theatre and O.B. Hardison Poetry series.

Tickets for the concert recording are available at price tiers ranging from $20 to $50 and may be purchased with the Folger box office at (202) 544-7077 or online at www.folger.edu/events/a-new-world-christmas. Once purchased, the video will be available for streaming via the Folger Shakespeare Library website starting December 16, 2022 through January 5, 2023.

ARTISTS:

The Western Wind

Christina Kay, soprano

Linda Lee Jones, soprano

Eric S. Brenner, countertenor

David Vanderwal, tenor

Wilson Nichols, tenor

Paul Greene-Dennis, bass

Folger Consort - Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall, Artistic Directors

Elizabeth Hardy, winds

Dan Meyers, winds, percussion

Paula Fagerberg, harp

Hideki Yamaya, lute

Risa Browder, violin

Robert Eisenstein, violin

Mary Springfels, viola da gamba

THE WESTERN WIND, vocal ensemble

Since 1969, the internationally acclaimed vocal sextet The Western Wind has devoted itself to the special beauty and variety of a cappella music. The Ensemble's repertoire reveals its diverse background - from Renaissance motets to Fifties rock 'n' roll, from medieval carols to Duke Ellington, from complex works by avant-garde composers to the simplest folk melodies. In addition to maintaining a demanding performance schedule, which has included such venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, ArtPark, The Ordway Theater, The Metropolitan Museum, The Frick Museum, The Jewish Museum, Folger Shakespeare Library, Library of Congress, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Western Wind regularly conducts Workshops in Ensemble Singing. The workshops, attended by vocalists ranging from novice to professional, address the particular challenges of singing in small, largely un-conducted ensembles.

Folger Consort Artistic Directors:

Robert Eisenstein is a founding member of the Folger Consort and its current program director. In addition to his work with the Consort, he is the director of the Five College Early Music Program in western Massachusetts, where he teaches music history; performs regularly on viola da gamba, violin, and medieval fiddle; and coordinates and directs student performances of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music.

Christopher Kendall is a founding member of the Folger Consort. From 2005 to 2015, he served as Dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He was Director of the School of Music at the University of Maryland from 1996 to 2005, a period of significant institutional growth related to the building of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Kendall is also Artistic Director, founder, and conductor of the 21st Century Consort.

Currently in its 45th season as the early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Folger Consort has delighted audiences with a stunning array of early music spanning roughly 800 years of repertoire. With a variety of world-class guest artists, from virtuoso soloists to large choirs and orchestras, Folger Consort has performed masterpieces of the most renowned composers and hidden treasures from those who might otherwise be lost to history. With season concerts in the intimate setting of the Folger's Elizabethan Theatre, as well as such grand spaces as Washington National Cathedral and the Kennedy Center, Folger Consort has also toured nationally and internationally to Shakespeare's Globe and other prestigious venues.

Among other awards and critical acclaim for its performances and recordings, Folger Consort has received several awards for Best Classical Chamber Ensemble from the Washington Area Music Awards. Karen Ann Daniels serves as Director of Programming, and David Mozur is the Folger Music Program Manager. For more on Folger Consort, please visit www.folger.edu/folger-consort.




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