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Chanticleer

Chanticleer

Called “the world’s reigning male chorus” by the New Yorker, the San Francisco based GRAMMY® award-winning ensemble Chanticleer will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2018. The group’s founder, Louis A. Botto, was born in Texas and educated in San Antonio: he attended St. Anthony Academy and was a graduate of Incarnate Word College (now UIW).  So it is doubly fitting that Chanticleer is here to help us celebrate our city’s Tricentennial. During its 2017-18 Season, Chanticleer will perform 51 concerts in 21 of the United States, 27 in the San Francisco Bay Area, and 8 in Poland, Germany, France and Spain.   Praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “tonal luxuriance and crisply etched clarity,” Chanticleer is known around the world as “an orchestra of voices” for its seamless blend of twelve male voices ranging from soprano to bass and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz and popular genres, as well as contemporary composition.

Chanticleer’s 2017-18 Season is the third under the direction of Music Director William Fred Scott. The Season will begin with Heart of a Soldier, featuring new compositions by Mason Bates and John Musto in a program about the art of soldiering, the pageant of war, the absurdity of battle, the loves left behind and the hope of peace.  Included are new arrangements by ensemble members Brian Hinman and Adam Ward.  Chanticleer’s popular A Chanticleer Christmas will be heard this year in Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois and Indiana before coming home for 13 performances in the Bay Area and Southern California. A Chanticleer Christmas is broadcast annually on over 300 affiliated public radio stations nationwide. Looking back to its roots in early music and its 40 years of performing music written for the Missions of New Spain, Chanticleer offers Saints Alive in March and April in the Missions Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Jose and Sonoma.  In June, Then and There, Here and Now will take a panoramic look back at Chanticleer’s favorite composers and repertoires, along with a world premiere by Matthew Aucoin. A post-season concert on June 27, 2018, will commemorate the 40th Anniversary or the first San Francisco performance of Chanticleer in the Old Mission Dolores.

With the help of individual contributions, government, foundation and corporate support, Chanticleer’s education programs engage over 5,000 young people annually. The Louis A. Botto (LAB) Choir—an after-school honors program for high school and college students—is now in its eighth year, adding to the ongoing program of in-school clinics and workshops; Youth Choral Festivals™ in the Bay Area and around the country; Skills/LAB–an intensive summer workshop for 50 high school students; and master classes for university students nationwide.  Chanticleer’s education program was recognized with the 2010 Chorus America Education Outreach Award.

Since Chanticleer began releasing recordings in 1981, the group has sold well over a million albums and won two GRAMMY® awards. Chanticleer’s recordings are distributed by Chanticleer Records, Naxos, ArkivMusic, Amazon, and iTunes among others, and are available on Chanticleer’s website.

In 2014 Chorus America conferred the inaugural Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award on Chanticleer’s Music Director Emeritus Joseph H. Jennings to acknowledge his contribution to the African-American choral tradition during his 25-year (1983-2009) tenure as a singer and music director with Chanticleer. The hundred plus arrangements of African-American gospel, spirituals and jazz made by Jennings for Chanticleer have been given thousands of performances worldwide—live and on broadcast—and have been recorded by Chanticleer for Warner Classics and Chanticleer Records.

Chanticleer’s long-standing commitment to commissioning and performing new works was honored in 2008 by the inaugural Dale Warland/Chorus America Commissioning Award and the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming. Chanticleer has commissioned over eighty composers in their history.

Named for the “clear-singing” rooster in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, Chanticleer was founded in 1978 by tenor Louis A. Botto, who sang in the Ensemble until 1989 and served as Artistic Director until his death in 1997. Chanticleer became known first for its interpretations of Renaissance music, and was later a pioneer in the revival of the South American baroque, recording several award winning titles in that repertoire. Chanticleer was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America in 2008, and inducted in the American Classical Music Hall of Fame the same year. William Fred Scott was named Music Director in 2014. A native of Georgia, Scott is the former Assistant Conductor to Robert Shaw at the Atlanta Symphony, former Artistic Director of the Atlanta Opera, an organist and choir director.

“the world’s reigning male chorus”

The New Yorker

“The singing of Chanticleer is breathtaking in its accuracy of intonation, purity of blend, variety of color and swagger of style.”

The Boston Globe

Members:

Eric Alatorre (bass)
Zachary Burgess (bass-baritone)
Brian Hinman (tenor)
Tim Keeler (countertenor)
Matthew Knickman (baritone)
Matthew Mazzola (tenor)
Cortez Mitchell (countertenor)
Gerrod Pagenkopf (countertenor)
Alan Reinhardt (countertenor)
Logan S. Shields (countertenor)
Andrew Van Allsburg (tenor)
Adam Ward (alto)

Program

Heart of a Soldier: 

This program will resonate with special poignancy in San Antonio, “Military City USA”. The hearts of soldiers burst with every emotion. Expressed in music from the Renaissance to the present day, these sentiments ranging from extreme pain to extreme joy are universal.  “Heart of a Soldier” will feature early music of war and peace from Byrd, Tomkins, Jannequin and Dufay.  Stirring martial music from Russia includes works by Glinka and traditional songs sung by ordinary soldiers.  New works for Chanticleer are contributed by Mason Bates and John Musto, joining celebrated choruses from Jennifer Higdon’s “Cold Mountain” and lighthearted music from the home front.

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

The Kings and I

I was enjoying myself in France the other day and while in the Loire Valley happened on some of the most gorgeous chateaus in all the world.  They had been the property, in the XIV Century, of two remarkable regents, their queens, their favorite ladies and an assortment of friends, progeny and others to whom was owed vast sums of money. The chateaus are filled with crystal chandeliers, tapestries and precious furnishings – and cold.  Really, it’s no wonder that progeny were so numerous:  everyone was just trying to stay warm!

In France, you could start in the 13th Century with Louis IX and work your way slowly (and painfully) through all the Phillipes, the Charles, the Louises and the Henris, but it is très confusing!  So for clarity’s sake, let’s begin with François1ierAn imposing person, he stood a smidge over six feet tall – and remember, s’il vous plait, this was the Fifteenth Century, when you were considered “tall” if you measured about five feet six.  How do I know this?  Well, about the fourth time I banged my head on a castle lintel, I figured it out:  either people walked around all bent over or very bruised; in fact, one of the French kings smacked himself on a lintel and died of brain injury.

 

Anyway, back to Francis I.  He was born two years after Columbus touched the shores of what would become the New World.  He married Claude of Brittany, his cousin, when he was 20 and upon the death of his uncle,  Louis XII, her father, became King of France.  Now ponder this:  here’s a very young man with very limited knowledge of his world and his times, not even raised to be a ruler, and suddenly, he’s one of the most powerful people in Europe and, arguably, much of the rest of the known world.  Furthermore, he may have been one of the first true “Renaissance Men.”  As he matured – and fathered seven children – his interests ranged across a wide spectrum:  art, architecture, poetry, foreign relations, philosophy and letters.

His dearest friend was none other than Leonardo da Vinci who accepted Francis’ invitation to come to Amboise, bringing with him a few paintings he had dashed off:   the Mona Lisa, Saint John the Baptist and The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.

His dearest friend was none other than Leonardo da Vinci who accepted Francis’ invitation to come to Amboise, bringing with him a few paintings he had dashed off:   the Mona Lisa, Saint John the Baptist and The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne.  Leonardo received 1,000 gold crowns each year, but his true worth during those years at Blois was the counsel and friendship he provided to Francis.  Leonardo may have been the mastermind behind one of Francis’ most extravagant projects, the magnificent Chateau de Chambord. He died at Amboise in 1519, leaving us to wonder what other marvels were percolating in his fruitful brain.

Francis died at the age of 52, and again one can only wonder what this most interesting man could have accomplished had he been given a few more years.

But on  (or, a continuer, as we say in France) with my new friends, the Kings of France.  Francis’ son, Henri II, succeeded Francis in 1547 – and here was another most interesting person.  As a child, Henri and his older brother were held hostage in Spain for four years in exchange for their father who had had the misfortune to lose a battle to Charles V.  His older brother, the Dauphin, purportedly died after a game of tennis (I’d love to know who he was playing, wouldn’t you?) and so Henri was crowned in 1547.  He was already married to Catherine of Medici – yes, one of those Medicis.  He spent a great deal of his reign in wars, intrigues and your basic 15th Century turmoil, but still found time to initiate a patent law to protect inventions, produce 10 children with Catherine plus three children with three mistresses.  But his long-time and most famous favorite was the beautiful (if a touch greedy) Diane de Poitiers, 15 years his senior, to whom he gave the Castle at Chenonceau, among other properties.  He also raised the future Mary Queen of Scots at his court:  at 15, she was married to Henri’s son, Francis Duke of Anjou.  So, you see how all of these fabulous people lived intertwined lives and politics and wars, marriages and liaisons make our own era seem a little anemic?

But I digress.  Excusez- moi.  Henri II also experienced an interesting leave-taking from this earth.  He was to joust with a Scottish knight and, in a show of disrespect for the Grim Reaper, he decided to do so without using the armor that covered his face.  Score one for the Reaper:  the knight’s lance went into his eye and a few days later, Henri II was no more.  And furthermore, Catherine de Medici extracted her revenge on Diane de Poitiers, turning her out of Chenonceau, but “awarding” her Chaumont, an estate heavily in debt.

Walking through these fairy-tale castles in the Loire Valley, I thought I caught a whiff of very old wood smoke every now and then.  It was probably my imagination, but there was also a very faint sound of viola de gamba and footsteps on the stairs.  As the chandeliers glistened and danced in an unfelt breeze, it occurred to me that these great homes are haunted – I certainly hope so!

On January 21st, as I enjoy the ethereal sound of Chanticleer, I am going to think of my kings and their lavish homes, their incredible lives that have resounded through the centuries and enriched imaginations for 500 years.  I think Chanticleer’s voices echoing through the Temple will fit right in, don’t you?

– E Doyle

Rebel Baroque Outreach Event

Rebel Baroque with Matthias Maute at Judson Montessori School on November 13, 2017

On Monday morning November 13 the students at Judson Montessori School had a delightful treat when the spirited Rebel Baroque group played an informal concert for them.  The younger students sat up close on the floor of the gymnasium, while the older students sat in chairs behind them.  The students at Judson are very lucky to have as their music teacher, the talented harpsichord builder Gerald Self who generously loaned one of his harpsichords to SACMS for these performances.  Many of the students are taught how to play recorder by Mr. Self, and five of them were invited up on the stage to perform a piece by Anthony Holbourne.

The Rebel musicians played several works from their Sunday program and interspersed their performances with time out for Q&A.  It was also wonderful to hear the individual players play solos on their instruments. Harpsichordist Dongsuk Shin played a beautiful Bach Prelude that wowed the audience, and Matthias Maute played a spry unaccompanied work on recorder.

Submitted by Allyson Dawkins

Rebel Baroque with Matthias Maute

Rebel Baroque with Matthias Maute

Hailed by the New York Times as “Sophisticated and Beguiling” and praised by the Los Angeles Times for their “astonishingly vital music-making,” the award-winning, New York-based ensemble, REBEL (pronounced “Re-BEL”) is one of North America’s top-tier ensembles specializing in 17th- & 18th-century repertoire performed on period instruments. Named after the innovative French Baroque composer Jean-Féry Rebel (1666-1747), REBEL was formed in The Netherlands in 1991; that same year the ensemble took first prize in the International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht, succeeded by their sensational début on the world stage at the Holland Festival Oude Muziek and their critically-acclaimed American début in New York City in 1992. Since then the ensemble has garnered an impressive international reputation, enchanting diverse audiences with their unique style and their virtuosic, highly expressive and provocative approach to baroque and classical repertoire. The core formation of two violins, recorder/traverso, cello/viola da gamba and harpsichord/organ/fortepiano expands in a variety of formations with additional strings, winds, brass, theorbo and vocalists, as needed.

REBEL, through its long-term residency from 1997-2009 at historic Trinity Church, Wall Street in New York City, achieved high acclaim for its collaborations with Trinity Choir in performance, radio broadcasts, webcasts and recordings with works ranging from the cantatas of Bach to large scale works by Monteverdi, Handel, Bach, Purcell, Mozart and Haydn. An 8-CD set of the complete masses of Haydn was released in 2009 on the Naxos label. The REBEL Baroque Orchestra first gained worldwide recognition for its acclaimed performance of Mozart’s Requiem with Trinity Choir under the direction of Dr. Owen Burdick, broadcast nationally over National Public Radio in September 2001, and for its subsequent annual performances of Handel’s Messiah and the choral works of Haydn, which were broadcast live over WQXR-FM in New York City and internationally over the internet. Currently the RBO enjoys collaborations with various choirs including the Westchester Oratorio Society and the Central City Chorus in New York City.

REBEL has performed at prestigious festivals and venues in Europe, including the Holland Festival Oude Muziek, Tage Alter Musik Berlin, the Konzerthaus (Vienna), La Chapelle Royale (Versailles), Internationale Festtage für Alte Musik Stuttgart, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Les Luminères Festival (Helsinki), the Händel Festspiele Halle and the Göttingen- Handel Festival in Germany, amongst others. In the U.S., REBEL has been presented in thirty-eight states at distinguished venues including the Da Camera Society (Los Angeles), the Schubert Club (St. Paul), Friends of Music (Kansas City), Spivey Hall (Atlanta), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (College Park, MD), Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.), Caramoor (Katonah, NY) Chautauqua Institution, Stanford Lively Arts, University of Chicago Presents, Market Square Concerts (Harrisburg, PA), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), the Cleveland Museum of Art, the early music festivals of Boston and Berkeley and Music Before 1800 in New York City.

REBEL has collaborated with renowned vocalists Max von Egmond, Derek Lee Ragin, Suzie Le Blanc, Daniel Taylor, Marta Almajano, Peter Kooy, Barbara Schlick, Yulia Van Doren and Rufus Müller; in 2005 REBEL gave its Carnegie Hall début with Renée Fleming at Carnegie Hall to high acclaim. The ensemble has recorded for all the major European national radio networks and has been showcased in performance and interview on BBC’s Radio 3. Arguably the most aired American baroque ensemble in the U.S. today, REBEL is regularly featured on the nationally syndicated shows Performance Today and Sunday Baroque, and has appeared several times on Minnesota Public Radio’s St. Paul Sunday. REBEL remains the only period instrument ensemble ever to have been awarded an artists residency at National Public Radio. REBEL has recorded over twenty discs and can be heard on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Naxos, ATMA, Hänssler Classic, Dorian, Sono Luminus and Bridge Records.

Since 2013 the ensemble has been in residence at the venerable Downtown Music at Grace series in White Plains, N.Y. and maintains a self-produced concert series in Bedford, NY, now entering its eighteenth season. Their latest CD, ‘Johann Gottlieb Goldberg: Beyond the Variations’ was released on Bridge Records in November 2016.

“Sophisticated and Beguiling” The New York Times

“Fiery, alive and beautifully controlled” The Washington Post

Members:

Jörg-Michael Schwarz (violin)
Karen Marie Marmer (violin)
Matthias Maute (recorder & traverso)
John Moran (cello)
Dongsok Shin (harpsichord)

Program

CHAPEL, COURT & COUNTRY
Treasures of the 17th & 18th-Centuries

VIVALDI
Concerto in  a minor RV 108

CORELLI
Sonata Op.4 No.8 in d minor (1694)

FASCH
Sonata in B-Flat Major

TELEMANN
Sonata in G Major TWV 42: G 11

BLAVET
Concerto à 4 parties  in  a minor

-Intermission-

SCARLATTI
Sonata Nona  in  a minor (1725)

FUX
Partita à 3  in d minor K 326 (1701)

TELEMANN
Quartet/Concerto  in a minor TWV 43: a 3 (ca1730)

Venue

Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Pacifica Quartet/Sharon Isbin Outreach Events

Pacifica Quartet Outreach at Alamo Heights High School on October 16, 2017

On the Monday after their performance with Sharon Isbin, the Pacifica String Quartet gave an amazing workshop for about 140 string students at Alamo Heights High School. The program was about string quartet repertoire and how players prepare to perform. The players performed several sections from the Sunday concert. They showed the relationship between the Haydn quartet and works by J.S. Bach and popular dance movements like the minuet. Next, they played a movement of a Russian quartet by Beethoven to demonstrate a fugue, which requires that the players ‘converse’ musically with one another.  During a very interesting question and answer session, the students asked quite insightful questions about the musicians’ instruments and their history.

The quartet continued with some Shostakovich, since they had heard from the orchestra teacher that the advanced students were working on the composer’s 8th string quartet. They concluded with some of the Puccini quartet from the Sunday performance.

Submitted by Paul Giolma and Jan Van den Hende

Sharon Isbin Outreach at KIPP on October 16, 2017

The San Antonio Chamber Music Society had an embarrassment of riches when we had both the Pacifica String Quartet and world-renowned guitarist, Sharon Isbin in town to do Outreach Events for us.  Following their beautiful performance on our Sunday series, both the quartet members and Ms. Isbin shared their talents with some lucky students.  Sharon went to the KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) public charter school of San Antonio.  The school was having a teachers’ work day, but students were invited to attend school anyway to hear a guitar concert.   One boy who studies guitar, walked four miles to get to the concert.  He said he didn’t have a ride or money for the bus, but he wasn’t going to miss it.  Sharon sat in the modest classroom amid hundreds of musical instruments lined up neatly in cases to be used for teaching.  The classroom was obviously cared for meticulously by music teacher, Elena Magallanes.  Sharon entertained us all with stories about her White House and Ground Zero performances among many others.  She played Asturias by Albéniz and Recuerdos De La Alhambra by Tárrega, two of the most beloved guitar works while we sat entranced and enthralled to watch and hear her intensely beautiful and moving playing up close.

Near the end of the event, the teacher asked the student, Enrique Villarreal, if he would like to play for Sharon and he responded enthusiastically.  Ms. Magallanes opened one of the guitar cases and handed him an instrument. He played a few scales and had a “private lesson” with the maestra!

Submitted by Allyson Dawkins

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