2013-2014 St. Luke’s Concert Series
5 Thursday nights at 8 PM--pre-concert lectures at 7 PM (no lecture on January 23)
Tickets (except January 23): $35 general admission; $25 students/seniors
Tickets (January 23): $20 general admission; $15 students/seniors
Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 8 PM
William Byrd - The Great Service
William Byrd’s monumental Great Service is often described as the “crown jewel” of Anglican sacred music. It is one of his most magnificent creations, awesome in scale and hugely demanding, with intricate and complex ten-part polyphony. The program will also include psalms, anthems and organ works by Byrd.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
Lecturer: Sarah Davies
Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 8 PM
A Baroque Christmas in Rome
Music that might have been heard on Christmas Eve in Rome in the early 18th century. The concert will feature Alessandro Scarlatti’s Messa per il Santissimo Natale, a Christmas mass composed in the Roman polychoral style for two choirs and strings. The music captures the essence of the Christmas narrative, from the joyously dancing violin ritornellos to the reverence of the Nativity scene. In addition, the program will include festive motets by Scarlatti and Giacomo Carissimi and organ works by Bernardo Pasquini.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
with an ensemble of period instruments
Lecturer: Raymond Erickson
Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 8 PM
When Bach met Buxtehude
In the autumn of 1705, the young Sebastian Bach, on a four week leave from his church in Arnstadt, traveled on foot 280 miles to Lübeck to learn from the famous Dietrich Buxtehude. Much to the consternation of the church elders, Bach returned four months later, and his organ playing had changed dramatically. This concert will include music of both composers, demonstrating Buxtehude’s profound influence on Bach.
David Shuler, organist
Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 8 PM
Prince of Music - Choral Works by G.P. da Palestrina
Today, Palestrina is perhaps the best known composer of the Renaissance period. Likewise, during his lifetime he was the one of the most famous musicians of the day. After his death, Palestrina was laid to rest in one of the side chapels of St. Peter's, the plaque on his coffin bearing the inscription, “Prince of Music.” The program will explore the various facets of his genius and will include his Missa Laudate Dominum, a brilliant work sumptuously scored for eight voice double choir.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
Lecturer: Antoni Pizà
Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 8 PM
This concert of music for the Easter season will feature Dieterich Buxtehude’s most expansive work, Membra Jesu Nostri, a cycle of seven cantatas forming a meditation on the Passion. The work, dating from 1680, is a tour de force assimilating all of Buxtehude’s vocal compositional styles including concerto-motets, chorale settings, varied strophic arias, as well as vocal concertos employing all the textural and tonal developments of the late seventeenth century. The Seven Last Words by Heinrich Schütz and other seventeenth-century masterpieces will complete the program.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
with Sonnabula Viol Consort and an ensemble of period instruments
Lecturer: David Schulenberg
These programs are made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
David Shuler – Musical Director, was educated at the Eastman School of Music, Columbia University, and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. He studied organ with David Craighead and Leonard Raver, and composition with Joseph Schwantner, Samuel Adler and Gunther Schuller. He has received numerous awards, including a BMI-SC award for composition and First Prize in the Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter American Guild of Organists Organ Playing Competition.
Mr. Shuler has been Director of Music and Organist at the Church of Saint Luke in the Fields in New York City since 1988. Prior to the appointment at St. Luke’s, Mr. Shuler was the Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Stamford, Connecticut. He has also held positions as Organist and Choirmaster at the Church of the Holy Trinity in New York City and Assistant Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. In addition, Mr. Shuler is the Music Director of the DaltonChorale in Manhattan.
In addition to a wide array of historically informed concerts of early music, Mr. Shuler has been particularly active as a champion of contemporary music. He has premiered organ works of Charles Wuorinen, William Albright, Ralph Shapey, Gunther Schuller, and Frank Retzel, among others. Mr. Shuler received a National Endowment for the Arts Consortium Commissioning Grant to commission works from Ralph Shapey, Charles Wuorinen, and Gunther Schuller as well as a grant from the Washington, D.C. American Guild of Organists Foundation for the promotion of contemporary music. In addition, he has recorded the choral music of Frank Wigglesworth with the Choir of the Church of St. Luke in the Fields for CRI. In 1998, Mr. Shuler received a grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Trust to record Responsoria by Richard Toensing with the Choir at St. Luke’s for the North/South Consonance label.
Mr. Shuler has been featured as an organ soloist on both the East and West coasts in productions of the ballet Voluntaries, Glen Tetley’s choreography of Francis Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani by the American Ballet Theatre and the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Mr. Shuler is a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and was awarded the certificate at the age of 22, one of the youngest organists to achieve this distinction. He has served on numerous AGO committees, both at the national and local levels, and was for seven years the Director of the National Examination Committee of the A.G.O. He is currently the President of the Association of Anglican Musicians.
Phillip Cheah – baritone, is the Music Director of the Central City Chorus and Guildsingers, the staff accompanist at The Brearley School, and a member of the Bach Choir at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.
Hailed by the New York Times for the “warm tone and carefully calibrated blend” elicited from his choirs, he has conducted Amuse, Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, Houston Chamber Choir, Handel Society of Dartmouth, Indiana University Opera Theatre Chorus, The Amato Opera, and C4 Choral Composer/Conductor Collective, of which he was a founding member.
His singing has been praised for its “potent contribution” (New York Times) and “warm tone and stately presence” (paterre box). He has sung under the batons of Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur and Esa-Pekka Salonen, and regularly collaborates with pianist Trudy Chan in recitals featuring his three-and-a-half octave vocal range that “defies the laws of nature” (Time Out New York).
A former guest lecturer at Barnard College, he has held teaching appointments at Manhattan School of Music, The Putney School, and Cathedral High School where he was the Director of Music. He has been the personal assistant to the composer/satirist Peter Schickele, and worked at Oxford University Press as Manager for Concert and Choral Promotion. He holds both B.S. and M.M. degrees from Indiana University where he studied piano, conducting, and opera coaching.
Kit Emory, mezzo-soprano, is accomplished in a wide range of musical genres, from jazz to opera. She has been a featured soloist with the Handel & Haydn Society, New York Virtuoso Singers, Collegiate Chorale of NY, and numerous other fine ensembles in both New York and Boston. She also sings regularly with the critically-acclaimed ensemble, Boston Baroque.
Kit played a truckstop waitress at Carnegie Hall in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath, singing in a close harmony trio with Broadway’s Christine Ebersole. She also shared that same stage with Dawn Upshaw in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, and has performed Bach cantatas with the Orpheus Ensemble at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. World premieres include Thea Musgrave’s Voices of Power and Protest at the United Nations and the Little Match Girl Passion by David Lang, along with works by Harbison, Corigliano, Adamo, Babbit, and others. Internationally, she has sung with the Handel & Haydn Society at the Proms Festival in London with Sir Roger Norrington and in the Edinburgh Festival as part of Mark Morris’s production of Orféo. Other festival appearances include Tanglewood, Bard Summerscape, and several of the Boston Early Music Festivals.
U.S. tours have included engagements with New York City Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Opera New England. She has performed leading operatic roles in La Cenerentola, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Hänsel and Gretel, and Mahagonny Songspiel with such companies as Virginia Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Kit Emory is an honors graduate of Harvard University.
Noted by The New York Times for her “delirious abandon” onstage, versatile soprano/vocalist Melissa Fogarty has performed with New York City Opera in King Arthur, The Magic Flute has been featured their VOX series, NYCO’s annual showcase of new American operas. A favorite of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Del Tredici, she has premiered works of his at Symphony Space. With Seattle Baroque Orchestra, she was Serpina in La Serva Padrona, and Ismaele in Agar e Ismaele in Esiliati (recorded on the Centaur label). Last summer, Melissa gave a centennial tribute concert of Samuel Barber songs at Bargemusic with pianist Marc Peloquin, and received outstanding reviews from The New York Times and The Financial Times. In January, they recorded a full-length CD of Barber’s songs at Drew University in Madison, NJ to be released later this year. Recently, she made her debut with Center for Contemporary Opera in Enemies: A Love Story. No stranger to cross-over, Melissa sings with Metropolitan Klezmer & Isle of Klezbos and frequently performs with them down the block from Saint Luke’s at City Winery on the Klezmer Brunch Series, right after services! She also performs with the renaissance ensemble Pomerium. For more information, please visit melissafogarty.com.
Todd Frizzell has been a member of the St Luke's Choir for 11 years. He performs regularly with the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, Early Music New York, The Nashir Chorale and is a cantorial soloist at Temple Emanuel in Great Neck, New York. He has performed annually in recital for the LGBT Charities of St Luke's, including June 2011 with "Music for Queens", a tribute to all the gaiety and hardship of history's most beloved and notorious queens. He has also worked professionally as an entertainer on American Hawaii Cruises, with the San Francisco Opera Chorus, Opera Colorado, and regionally in music theater.
Tenor David Root is equally at home on opera and concert stages. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has called his voice “fresh” & “mellifluous”. He has performed leading roles with Nevada Opera, The NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Lyric Opera Cleveland, One World Symphony, The Vertical Repertory Theater, Hudson Opera Theater and Cleveland Concert Opera. On the concert stage Mr. Root has been heard throughout NY, NJ, OH & CT in works ranging from Bach’s Magnificat & various Cantatas to Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. David is also a member of the Phoenix Quartet, which is comprised of four classically trained singers dedicated to the exploration of the medium of vocal chamber music. The quartet is especially focused on the composition of new music written for vocal quartet. Recent premieres include Richard Pearson Thomas’ Ascension and the haunting Songs of War & Peace of Paul Stephan. Mr. Root sings the part of the angel Gabriel in the world premiere recording of Randall Thompson’s The Nativity According to St. Luke (Koch Classics International).
Alexandra Sweeton, mezzo soprano, studied jazz and classical singing at the Manhattan School of Music and has since developed a career which embraces her three loves: new classical music, jazz, and singer-songwriter pop/rock music. In the classical realm, Ms. Sweeton performs regularly as soloist with Dogs of Desire, the new music ensemble of the Albany Symphony Orchestra. Opera performances include lead roles in Chaos, by Michael Gordon at New York’s “Kitchen”, and Reflections on the Watermoon, by Patricia Burgess at Merkin Hall. She premiered Between My Mouth and Your Ear, a song cycle by Todd Levin at Merkin Hall, sang with the Michael Gordon Band at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and toured Europe and Canada, performing the music of David Lang and Lou Reed with La La La Human Steps, a French-Canadian ballet company. She has also been featured at Carnegie Hall as soloist with Alarm Will Sound, as well as with the Philip Glass Ensemble in a concert performance of Einstein on the Beach. As a singer-‘songwriter, Ms. Sweeton performs her original songs in New York City and throughout the U.S. Her recent album, Perfectly Broken, garnered stellar reviews from regional press. Her music and performance calendar are available at http://www.alexsweeton.com/
Bass-baritone Peter Walker (from Hyde Park, New York) recently completed a MMus in Opera at McGill University, studying with Sanford Sylvan. He previously completed a B.A. in Music with a minor in Medieval Studies at Vassar College, where he studied with Drew Minter. This past season he sang Leporello in Don Giovanni and Seneca in L’incoronazione di Poppea, both with Opera McGill, in addition to performing and recording in the fall of 2011 with Blue Heron Renaissance Choir, as part of their ongoing project focusing on the music of the Peterhouse Partbooks. Other recent performances of note include Socrates in Telemann’s Der geduldige Socrates with Amherst Early Music, Pilatus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, and bass soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass with King’s College Halifax. This summer he attended Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, Queens College Institute for Seventeenth Century Music, and Amherst Early Music Baroque Academy. This fall he joined the Choir of St. Luke in the Fields, and continues to appear regularly with The Broken Consort as a singer, bagpiper, and percussionist. Upcoming engagements include singing the title role in Telemann’s Pimpinone with Helios Opera, and revisiting the roles of Balthasar and Habbakuk in Gotham Early Music’s new production of the 12th century liturgical drama Ludus Danielis (The Play of Daniel), at the Cloisters Museum in Manhattan. Peter’s past performance experience includes singing with the Early Music America Young Performers Project at the Boston Early Music Festival in June 2011, the role of Argenio in Opera McGill’s production of Handel’s Imeneo in March 2011, the role of Colline in Opera McGill’s January 2011 production of La Boheme, Vancouver Early Music Festival’s Medieval Program, San Francisco Early Music Society’s Medieval and Renaissance Workshop Theatre Project, and the New York Continuo Collective.
Marcia Young was cited by the Washington Post for her “elegant, dark-hued soprano voice” and “winning mixture of formal restraint and emotional intensity.” She is a founding member of My Lord Chamberlain’s Consort and the medieval trio Trefoil. She also performs regularly with lutenists Andy Rutherford and Christopher Morrongiello. In recent seasons Young has appeared with the Folger Consort, Parthenia, Piffaro, and the Newberry Consort; at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Cloisters; Bargemusic; the Yale Center for British Art; the Center for Jewish History; the CityMusic Series in Columbus; the Yale University Collection of Musical Instruments; Amherst, Washington, and Connecticut Early Music Festivals; the Ars Antiqua series in Chappaqua; the Distinguished Artists Series in Syosset; the Marco Festival in Knoxville; the HotShops gallery space in Omaha; and the Lute Society of America Conference and Seminar in Cleveland. Young has taught vocal and instrumental classes at the San Francisco Early Music Society’s summer workshop. During the academic year she serves as Director of Performance Studies for the Department of Music at Stern College, Yeshiva University.
Leah Gale Nelson - violin and baroque violin, specializes in historical performance practice of the 17th and 18th centuries. A semi-coastal musician based in New York, she has performed as a chamber musician and soloist throughout North America and in Europe, and is in demand as concertmaster throughout the United States for her interpretations of baroque and classical music. In Minneapolis, she is Concertmaster and Artistic Advisor for Ensemble Sebastian and in 2004 was appointed String Artist in Residence at the Basilica of St. Mary. She has been concertmaster with Chicago Opera Theater for productions in Chicago and New York; a guest director for Lyra Baroque Orchestra in Minneapolis; has led Handel's Messiah throughout the country; concertmaster for some of the finest choirs in New York City in repertoire from Monteverdi to Mozart; and guest lecturer at Columbia University, Vassar College, the College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, and the Schubert Club in St. Paul. She has performed and recorded with leading early music ensembles throughout the United States, including Concert Royal, the Boston Camerata, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, and the American Classical Orchestra. Born in Texas and raised in Minnesota, Leah holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Chicago Musical College and a Master of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music in New York.