2014-2015 St. Luke’s Concert Series
5 Thursday nights at 8 PM--pre-concert lectures at 7 PM (no lecture on January 29)
Tickets (except January 29): $35 general admission; $25 students/seniors
Tickets (January 29): $20 general admission; $15 students/seniors
Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 8 PM
Thomas Tomkins: The Great Service
A pupil of William Byrd, Thomas Tomkins’ technique as a contra-puntalist was second to none, as can be heard in his magnificent Great Service for 10 independent voices. The concert will also include masterpieces of English Renaissance choral music by Orlando Gibbons and Thomas Weelkes
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
Lecturer: Dr. Sarah Davies
Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 8 PM
Praetorius: In dulci jubilo
Michael Praetorius single-handedly produced much of the Lutheran church music heard in northern Germany in the early 17th century. The concert will present music that might have been heard at a Christmas Day mass in 1620 by Praetorius, Samuel Scheidt and Johann Hermann Schein, including mass movements, chorales and organ works.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
with ensemble of period instruments
Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 8 PM
Bach: One of a Kind
Johann Sebastian Bach composed over 200 cantatas but only one Passacaglia for the organ. The concert will present organ works that are unique in Bach’s output, including the Pièce d’Orgue and the St. Anne fugue.
David Shuler, organist
Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 8 PM
Handel’s Esther has long enjoyed the cachet for being the first English Oratorio, Though this is Handel's first oratorio, it already demonstrates Handel's ability to create an enormous variety of orchestral color and to bring to life compelling drama in music. Recounting the story of Esther and Haman from the Hebrew Scriptures, the work incorporates elements of masque, pastoral and opera.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
with an ensemble of period instruments
Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 8 PM
Orlande de Lassus: Easter Mass
Orlande de Lassus is regarded as the chief representative of the mature polyphonic style of the Franco-Flemish school, and was one of the three most famous and influential musicians in Europe at the end of the 16th century, along with Palestrina and Victoria. The concert will feature his Missa Congratulamini mihi and other works for the Easter season.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
These programs are made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by 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 has served as President of the Association of Anglican Musicians and is currently President of the Anglican Musicians Foundation.
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.
Mezzo-soprano Catherine Hedberg has been acclaimed for her “soulful singing” and “lovely mezzo” by The Boston Globe. She is a member of the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston, with whom she appeared as a soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass and Magnificat. She was previously a member of Boston’s Cantata Singers and appeared frequently as a soloist, including in performances of Bach’s B Minor Mass and Cantatas BWV 11 and 34, Nicholas Maw’s One Foot in Eden Still I Stand, Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust, and Handel’s Belshazzar. She performed the role of Dameta in Caldara's Amarilli Vezzosa with the Musicians of the Old Post Road and in the same group’s holiday program of Spanish villancicos, which was recorded and released on the Meridian Records label. She toured the US with the period ensemble Boston Camerata in their production, A Symphony of Psalms, and has also appeared as soloist with Newport Baroque Orchestra, Handel Society at Dartmouth College, Exsultemus Period Ensemble, Berkshire Choral Society, Nashua Symphony Choral Society, Assabet Valley Mastersingers, Symphony Pro Musica. On the recital stage, Catherine’s favorite works include song repertoire from Spain and the Americas, which she has performed in New York, Boston, and Spain.
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).
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.
Violinist Leah Gale Nelson specializes in the historical performance practices of the 17th and 18th centuries. Based in New York City, she has performed throughout North America and in Europe, and is known for her refined and artistic interpretations of baroque and classical music. She has led landmark performances of landmark literature in New York, including U.S. premieres of passions by Telemann (Luke, 1748; Matthew, 1746) and C.P.E. Bach (Matthew, 1769) here at St. Luke in the Fields. She has served as concertmaster for Gotham Chamber Opera, Aspen Festival Opera Theater and Chicago Opera Theater, as guest director for Lyra Baroque Orchestra in Minneapolis, and has been concertmaster and guest soloist for the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in New York City since 1999 where she is Artist in Residence. Her recording, Biber: The Sacred Mysteries (Lyrichord LEMS8079), was released to critical acclaim in 2011, with the Oxford Journal Early Music hailing it "an elegant and beautiful recording." She has performed as principal player, chamber musician, and soloist throughout the United States with Concert Royal, Clarion Music Society, the American Classical Orchestra, Boston Camerata, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Dublin's Opera Theatre Company (at the Brooklyn Academy of Music), Dallas Bach Society, Musica Angelica (L.A.), The Schubert Club (St. Paul, MN), and for the Scarlatti Festival in Palermo, Sicily. Ms. Nelson frequently collaborates with dancers, filmmakers, stage and choral directors, joining early music and historical practice with modern performance, including projects with the New York Baroque Dance Company, BALAM Dance Theatre, Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre, and Isabel Gotzkowsky and Friends. Ms. Nelson holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Chicago Musical College, where she studied the core orchestral repertoire with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, notably under Michael Morgan, Daniel Barneboim, John Corigliano, Leonard Slatkin, Christopher Hogwood, and Sir Georg Solti, and a Master of Music degree from Mannes College of Music in New York, where she studied violin with David Nadien. www.leahgalenelson.com