2017-2018 St. Luke’s Concert Series
5 Thursday nights at 8 PM--pre-concert lectures at 7 PM
Tickets : $35 general admission; $25 students/seniors
Season subscription: $145
FIRST CONCERT OF THE NEW SEASON
Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 8 PM
Song of Songs: Music of Palestrina, Gombert, Lassus, and Victoria
The beautiful and erotic texts of the Song of Songs, a love-poem traditionally attributed to King Solomon, inspired the great composers of the Continental Renaissance to some of their most ardent music. This rich selection traces an emotional arc from the intensity of the Flemish masters to the most vivid, madrigalian motets by Vivanco and Victoria.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
Lecturer: Dr. Sarah Davies
Thursday, December 7, 2017 at 8 PM
A Bach Christmas
A recreation of Bach's first Christmas at Leipzig (Vespers in the Nikolaikirche, 25 December 1723) including the Magnificat in E Flat Major, BWV 243a and Cantata 63, Christen, atzet diesen Tag.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
with Baroque in the Fields, an orchestra of period instruments
Thurday, January 25, 2018 at 8 PM
The Keys to Heaven: Music of G.P. da Palestrina
'Palestrina’s historical reputation resembles that of no other composer in the history of music.’ So thunders Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians and that is an accurate portrayal. The concert will feature Palestrina’s mighty Missa Tu es Petrus along with motets, hymns and canticles.
This concert, and a recording that will be made of it, are being supported by a gift in memory of Susan ("Susie") Gale.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 8 PM
The Birth of the Oratorio
Seventeenth-century Italy witnessed the birth of a new dramatic music genre, the oratorio. Giacomo Carissimi was the most significant composer of oratorios at the time, and the influence of his works rapidly spread throughout Europe. A student of Carissimi, Marc-Antoine Charpentier brought the sacred music drama to Paris. The concert will include Carissimi’s best-known oratorio, Jepthe, along with two of his most arresting works, Balthazar and Jonas. Charpentier’s Filius prodigus (‘The Prodigal Son’) will complete the program.
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
with Baroque in the Fields, an ensemble of period instruments
Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 8 PM
The Glorious Mysteries: Music of Biber and Lassus
Heinrich Ignaz Franz van Biber (1664-1704), the preeminent violin virtuoso of the 17th-century and Kapellmeister of Salzburg’s beautiful baroque cathedral, left a body of extraordinary works for the violin, most notably his Mystery Sonatas (also called the Rosary Sonatas). These sonatas enjoy pride of place in solo instrumental repertoire, not only for their virtuosic and often pyrotechnic composition but each sonata also requires a re-tuning of the instrument, called scordatura, providing each of the sonatas its own distinctive character and sonority. St. Luke's resident baroque violinist Leah Nelson will present the set representing the “Glorious Mysteries”
Leah Gale Nelson, violin
Choir of St. Luke in the Fields
These programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
These program are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City 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.
Praised by the Washington Post for her “gorgeous singing” in her Kennedy Center debut, “silken-voiced” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) soprano Madeline Apple Healey is a soloist and chamber musician based in Brooklyn, NY. Recent and upcoming engagements include Hébé in Rameau's Les Indes Galantes with the American Classical Orchestra, the Russian premiere of Steinberg’s Passion Week with The Clarion Choir, Bach's Mass in B Minor and Bernstein’s MASS with Choral Arts Society of Washington, Schütz’s Musikalishe Exequien at the Amherst Early Music Festival, Ticheli's Songs of Love and Life with the Baldwin Wallace Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and the U.S. premiere of “Here All Night” with Gare St. Lazare Ireland at The White Light Festival at Lincoln Center.
In the fall of 2014, Madeline founded AMPERSAND, a virtuosic project-based ensemble, with longtime friend and colleague Anna Lenti. This season she can also be heard with Apollo’s Fire, Amor Artis, Academy of Sacred Drama, Bricolage, The Clarion Choir, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields, The Thirteen, and TENET.
Madeline holds degrees in voice from Westminster Choir College and Baldwin Wallace University, and has recorded on the NAXOS, KOCH, Pro Organo, and AVIE labels.
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.
Hailed by the New York Times for his "fine" singing, tenor David Root’s voice has been called "fresh" and "mellifluous" by The Cleveland Plain Dealer. David has been a member of The Choir of St. Luke in the Fields since 2010. Mr. Root performs regularly with many of New York City's finest ensembles including Voices of Ascension, Musica Sacra, Early Music New York, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, Gallileo's Daughters, and The Marble Choir. He was also a member of the Associate Chorus of New York City Opera.
He has been a member of The Phoenix Quartet since 2003. The quartet is dedicated to the exploration of the medium of vocal chamber music, especially focused on the composition of new music written for vocal quartet. Between 2010 and 2014 the quartet released three CDs: A Clear Midnight, Snowflakes & Sugarplums, and Fairy Tales & Lullabies. All three discs include arrangements written by Mr. Root. Other releases include the world premiere recording of Randall Thompson’s The Nativity According to St. Luke (Koch Classics International), in which he sings the part of the angel Gabriel. David is also quite proud to be a part of Bobby McFerrin's groundbreaking recording VOCAbuLarieS (Wrasse Records), which is described as "Bobby McFerrin music for the 21st century."
With a “mystical harp and a beautiful voice” temor Christopher Preston Thompson has “enchanted” audiences (The Epoch Times) in New York City and beyond. Described by Opera News as a “versatile, funny, game and attractive…obviously well-trained singer” and by Parterre Box as a performer "of special note," Christopher is a New York City based singer, actor, and historic harpist focused on Early music and New music. He has performed as soloist in venues throughout the United States, including NYC's Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall. He is the Executive Director of The Broken Consort and the founding Artistic Director of Medieval ensemble, Concordian Dawn. Credits include performances with Gotham Early Music Scene, Toby Twining Music, Pomerium, Grand Harmonie, Tucson Desert Song Festival, Encompass New Opera Theater, Heartbeat Opera, On Site Opera, Underworld Production Opera, among others. Roles performed include Jaquino in Beethoven's Fidelio, the title role in Rameau's Pygmalion, Sorceress/Sailor in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Flaminio in Scarlatti's Il trionfo dell'Onore, Madwoman in Britten's Curlew River, Dr. Cajus in Verdi's Falstaff, the title role in Britten's Prodigal Son, El Remendado in Bizet's Carmen, and Basilio in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. Christopher is a candidate for PhD in Performance Informed Musicology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. www.christopherprestonthompson.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.
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