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VOCES8

VOCES8

March 1, 2020

“The singing of VOCES8 is impeccable in its quality of tone and balance. They bring a new dimension to the word ‘ensemble’ with meticulous timing and tuning.” Gramophone

The British vocal ensemble VOCES8 is proud to inspire people through music and share the joy of singing. Touring globally, the group performs an extensive repertory both in its a cappella concerts and in collaborations with leading orchestras, conductors and soloists. Versatility and a celebration of diverse musical expression are central to the ensemble’s performance and education ethos.

VOCES8 has performed at many notable venues including Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Elbphilharmonie, Cité de la Musique, Vienna Konzerthaus, Tokyo Opera City, NCPA Beijing, Sydney Opera House, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, Victoria Concert Hall Singapore, Palacio de Bellas Artes Mexico City and many others. As the group celebrates its 15th season they will perform in fourteen countries in the UK and across Europe, in Russia, in the USA and Japan, as well as make its debut visit to New Zealand. Keen musical collaborators, this season will see concerts with the Academy of Ancient Music, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and with baroque violinist Rachel Podger, with whom the critically acclaimed ‘Guardian Angel’ project will continue.

With an on-going programme of recordings, videos and live broadcasts, VOCES8 is heard regularly on albums, international television and radio, as well as maintaining a vibrant web performance presence. The ensemble is a Decca Classics artist and has released acclaimed recordings that have all reached the top of the classical charts. Their latest release is ‘Enchanted Isle’, released in January 2019. This season sees planned releases with Decca Classics as well as the group’s own label.

VOCES8 is passionate about music education and is the flagship ensemble of the music charity the VOCES8 Foundation. Engaging in a broad range of outreach work that reaches up to 40,000 people a year, the group runs an annual programme of workshops and masterclasses at the Foundation’s home in London, the VOCES8 Centre at St Anne & St Agnes Church. Dedicated to supporting promising young singers, the group awards eight annual choral scholarships through the VOCES8 Scholars initiative. These scholarships are linked to the annual Milton Abbey Summer School at which amateur singers of all ages are invited to work and perform with VOCES8. Through the separate VOCES8 USA Foundation there is another set of 8 talented Scholars. The ensemble is proud to be the Associate Ensemble for Cambridge University and delivers a Masters programme in choral studies.

VOCES8 has premiered commissions from Jonathan Dove, Roxanna Panufnik, Alexander Levine, Alec Roth, Ben Parry, Ola Gjeilo, Philip Stopford, Graham Lack, Thomas Hewitt Jones and Owain Park. 2019/20 will see Roxanna Panufnik as the group’s Composer-in-Residence, and Jim Clements as Arranger-in-Residence. As ambassadors for Edition Peters the ensemble publishes educational material including the ‘VOCES8 Method’. Developed by Paul Smith, co-founder of VOCES8, this renowned and unique teaching tool is available in four languages and adopts music to enhance development in numeracy, literacy and linguistics. Also available are two anthologies of its arrangements, and an ever-expanding ‘VOCES8 Singles’ range.

Program

BYRD
Sing Joyfully

TALLIS
O Nata Lux

SIBELIUS
Be Still My Soul (Finlandia)

RUNESTAD
Let My Love be Heard

PANUFNIK
Love Endureth

GIBBONS
Drop, Drop, Slow Tears

PÄRT
The Deer’s Cry

ELGAR
Lux Aeterna

-Intermission-

BRITTEN
Hymn to St Cecilia

WEELKES
As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending

DI LASSO
Dessus le Marché D’Arras

TRADITIONAL
Danny Boy

RUSBY
Underneath the Stars

MacLEAN
Caledonia

MORRISON
Moondance

Members

Andrea Haines, soprano
Eleonore Cockerham, soprano
Katie Jeffries-Harris, alto
Barnaby Smith, countertenor
Blake Morgan, tenor
Euan Williamson, tenor
Chris Moore, baritone
Jonathan Pacey, bass

Venue

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

“The slickest of the lot… fans of a cappella ought to hear this.”
- CD Review

BBC Radio 3

“Eight beautifully integrated solo voices… Every number here has something particularly arresting within it, all supported by persuasive and committed singing.”
- BBC Music Magazine Choral and Song Choice

A Purcell Collection

Akropolis Reed Quintet

Akropolis Reed Quintet

January 26, 2020

“…infallible musicality and huge vitality…”

The Akropolis Reed Quintet is an internationally acclaimed music ensemble of five musicians performing on wind instruments. Celebrating their 10th anniversary and hailed by Fanfare Magazine for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality,” the Akropolis Reed Quintet was founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan and has won seven national chamber music prizes including the Fischoff Gold Medal and Fischoff Educator Award. The San Francisco Chronicle dubbed Akropolis’ recent third album release, The Space Between Us, “pure gold.”

A nonprofit organization supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous foundations and individuals nationwide, Akropolis delivers more than 120 annual performances and workshops. Akropolis has given collaborative concerts with David Shifrin, Jennifer Frautschi, the Dover Quartet, BodyVox Dance, YAK, New Music Detroit, HarperCollins-published author and scientist Vic Strecher, Arabic language poets Abdulrahman Alhumairy and Saeed AlMehrzi, and others.

A maverick of new wind music, Akropolis is committed to showcasing the vast possibilities of the reed quintet through their adventurous repertoire spanning over 400 years of musical history. Having premiered over 50 works for the unique combination of oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet, and bassoon, Akropolis is devoted to expanding the existing reed quintet repertoire with imaginative arrangements and the continued development of new works by emerging and established composers. From the dozens of professional reed quintets actively performing around the world, to the hundreds of student ensembles forming at universities around the United States alone,  this collection of their ever-growing repertoire continues to help inspire reed quintet growth around the globe.

In the 2019-20 season, Akropolis will premiere 10 commissions including Storm Warning, the first concerto for reed quintet and wind band by Roshanne Etezady; CANE, by Jenni Brandon with guest bassoonist Monica Ellis of Imani Winds; Homage to Paradise Valley by Jeff Scott with support from the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Fund, celebrating the history of Detroit’s displaced Black Bottom neighborhood; and Sprocket, for reed quintet and rideable percussion bicycle by Steven Snowden.

Akropolis has premiered more than 70 new works and was selected to adjudicate and premiere the 2018 Barlow Prize funded by the Barlow Endowment, the first time the prize was given for a reed quintet work. Akropolis’ members are the first of any reed quintet to judge major chamber music competitions including the Fischoff Junior (2018) and Chamber Music Yellow Springs (2019) competitions.

 Each June in Detroit, Akropolis presents its own 16-event festival Together We Sound, featuring multidisciplinary collaborators, a workplace concert series, and educational outreach. Akropolis reaches more than 5,000 K-12 students annually, including a school year-long residency with students at three Detroit high schools.

Program

MARC MELLITS
Splinter

STACY GARROP
Rites for the Afterlife

NINA SIMONE
For All We Know

-Intermission-

STEVEN SNOWDEN
Sprocket

JEFF SCOTT
Homage to Paradise Valley

Members

Kari Landry, clarinet
Andrew Koeppe, bass 
Ryan Reynolds, bassoon
Matt Landry, saxophone
Tim Gocklin, oboe

Venue

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

“Pure gold, shot through with tenderness and grace.”

- Joshua Kosman

San Francisco Chronicle

“This group of super talented musicians takes listeners on an amazing, interactive musical adventure. The Reed Quintet is innovative, youthful, and full of enthusiasm. Given the young, energetic musicians, the interactive quality of the concert, and the quintet’s amazing musical ability, this was one of the best concerts I’ve ever attended.”

- Pamela Steinik

Maryland Theatre Guide

Ariel String Quartet with Ilya Shterenberg

Ariel String Quartet with
Ilya Shterenberg

November 10, 2019

“…impassioned, fiery performances…”

Distinguished by its virtuosity, probing musical insight, and impassioned, fiery performances, the Ariel Quartet has garnered critical praise worldwide over the span of nearly two decades.  Formed in Israel as teenagers at the Jerusalem Academy Middle School of Music and Dance, the Ariel was named recipient of the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, granted by Chamber Music America in recognition of artistic achievement and career support. The ensemble serves as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where they direct the chamber-music program and present a concert series, in addition to maintaining a busy touring schedule in the United States and abroad. 

 Joining them in concert is our own San Antonio Symphony Principal Clarinet  Ilya Shterenberg who is also Principal clarinetist of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (Columbus, OH).  Ilya Shterenberg balances a busy career as an orchestral musician, chamber music performer, and a soloist. Hailed by the press: “He possesses that miraculous gift of an innate musical sense…music seemed to flow toward the infinite, as if divinely ordained”, Mr. Shterenberg’s performances have been heard on National Public Radio stations throughout the country as well as Chicago’s WFMT nationwide classical music network.

Program

SHOSTAKOVICH
Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110

MOZART
Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581

VON WEBER
Clarinet Quintet in B-Flat Major, Op. 4
Rondo: Allegro giojoso

-Intermission-

SCHUBERT
Quartet in D minor, D. 810,
“Death and the Maiden”

Members

Alexandra Kazovsky, violin
Gershon Gerchikov, violin
Jan Grüning, viola
Amit Even-Tov, cello
Ilya Shterenberg, clarinet

Venue

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

“…A blazing, larger-than-life performance…”
- The Washington Post

“…a consummate ensemble gifted with utter musicality and remarkable interpretive power…”
- American Record Guide

Apollo’s Fire

Apollo’s Fire

October 6th, 2019

“…reviving the baroque ideal…”

“Apollo’s Fire has forged a vibrant, life-affirming approach to the re-making of early music…
European ears have begun to appreciate the blend of intellect and artistry concocted by harpsichordist Sorrell and her colleagues. Their seductive vision of musical authenticity is guided by a shared commitment to honest emotional expression, rooted in period style yet never its slave.” BBC Music Magazine

“Apollo’s Fire, the lauded group from Cleveland, brings joyous spontaneity to its performances.”  The New Yorker 

“Never again even think that ‘classical music’ is boring. Never – if it’s done as well as Apollo’s Fire does it.” COOLCLEVELAND.COM

Named for the classical god of music, healing and the sun, Apollo’s Fire is a GRAMMY®-winning ensemble. The period-instrument orchestra was founded by award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell, and is dedicated to the baroque ideal that music should evoke the various Affekts or passions in the listeners. Apollo’s Fire is a collection of creative artists who share Sorrell’s passion for drama and rhetoric.

Hailed as “one of the pre-eminent period-instrument ensembles” (The Independent, London), Apollo’s Fire has performed five European tours, with sold-out concerts at the BBC Proms in London (with live broadcast across Europe), the Aldeburgh Festival (UK), Madrid’s Royal Theatre, Bordeaux’s Grand Théàtre de l’Opéra, and major venues in Lisbon, Metz (France), and Bregenz (Austria); as well as concerts at the Irish National Concert Hall (Dublin), the Irish National Opera House (Wexford), the Birmingham International Series (UK), the Tuscan Landscapes Festival (Italy), and Belfast Castle with a live broadcast carried by the Associated Press of Europe.

AF’s London 2014 concert was praised as “an evening of superlative music-making… the group combines European stylishness with American entrepreneurialism” (THE TELEGRAPH, UK). This concert was chosen by the TELEGRAPH as one of the “Best 5 Classical Concerts of 2014.”

North American tour engagements include sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall (2018), the Tanglewood Festival (2015 and 2017), the Ravinia Festival (2017 and 2018), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY (2013, 2014, and 2015), the Boston Early Music Festival series, and the Library of Congress, as well as concerts at the Aspen Music Festival, Caramoor Festival, and major venues in Toronto, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The ensemble has performed two major U.S. tours of the Monteverdi Vespers (2010 and 2014) and a 9-concert tour of the Brandenburg Concertos in 2013.

At home in Cleveland, Apollo’s Fire frequently enjoys sold-out performances at its subscription series, which has drawn national attention for creative programming.

Program

VIVALDI: The Four Seasons – Rediscovered

Members

Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra

Venue

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

“First rate… rendered with consummate skill and artistry…”

- New York Times

“Electrified and sparkling. If this concert didn’t shake your rafters, then nothing will.”

- Sarasota Herald Tribune

Han-Setzer-Finckel Trio

Han-Setzer-Finckel Trio

April 28, 2019

David Finckel, Wu Han & Philip Setzer

In recent seasons, the dynamic husband-and-wife duo of David Finckel (cellist) and Wu Han (pianist) have teamed up with violinist Philip Setzer—David Finckel’s colleague in the legendary Emerson String Quartet for more than three decades—in performances of the piano trio literature. The Han-Setzer-Finckel Trio is a formidable triumvirate of three masterful musicians– what they can so individually, though, is surpassed by what they do together. As an ensemble, they present a systematic yet passionate approach that sets the bar for how chamber music should be played.

Violinist Philip Setzer, a founding member of the Emerson String Quartet, is a versatile musician with innovative vision and dedication to keep the art form of the string quartet alive and relevant. Mr. Setzer won second prize at the Marjorie Merriweather Post Competition in Washington, DC, and in 1976 received a Bronze Medal at the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels.

David Finckel and Wu Han are among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. Recipients of Musical America’s Musicians of the Year award, the energy, imagination, and integrity they bring to their concert performances and artistic projects go unmatched. San Antonio audiences can still remember the concert they played on our series in March, 2013. Finckel and Han are also co-Artistic-Directors of the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center, Music @Menlo in the San Francisco Bay area, and a Winter Festival in Korea.

Here is an excerpt of an interview of Wu Han conducted by TheaterJones last November:

 

TheaterJones: This is probably a question that you get a lot, but what’s it like to be able to play at such a high level with your husband?

Wu Han: Yes, I do get that question a lot! [Laughs] We started our relationship playing together before being romantically involved and somehow that intensity and chemistry started from the first time we played together. So even before we were involved, people would come up to us and ask, “Are you guys married?” And at the beginning, we just laughed and thought, “What are they talking about?” We are very fortunate, though. We have to make sure we keep things incredibly professional—not taking personal issues into rehearsal or our professional activities. That we make separate. It’s an unusual and treasured relationship, musically especially, so we take it really seriously. We still rehearse a lot and love working together. We just don’t think about who forgot to do dishes last night or didn’t put their clothes away at any of our rehearsals or performances, which I think is what it should be.

A lot of times when chamber groups perform, the members haven’t necessarily played with each other very much, nor do they know each other very well. What’s it like to play in a trio with your husband and then a violinist he’s worked with for decades? How does that inform your rehearsals and performances, that you know each other so well?

It’s fascinating—people assume that if you know each other well, you’ll play well, but that’s never the case—I know many good friends or couples who hardly make music together—they just can’t play together at all. So I think—with David and Phil [Setzer] there’s always been this basic chemistry, even when they first met 35 years ago.

When they first met, they played in a piano trio with Phil’s ex wife on piano, and then they were instrumental in the founding of the Emerson Quartet. But the advantage of playing together for a long time is that you do know each other’s strong points and weak points, so you do very consciously prepare things and make decisions around that. Still, rehearsals are equally intense with people you’ve known 35 years or you’ve known five minutes. There’s no difference in my experience. We’re just very, very lucky that we enjoy each other’s company and enjoy each other’s playing. That’s another unusual aspect of this trio. So far, knock on wood, David and I have been married 29 years, and playing-wise have never really had a major disagreement. Knock on wood, knock on wood! [Laughs]

What’s really great about the repertoire for piano trio? What’s your favorite repertoire for trio, and why?

I love Schubert—there’s just no other composer I love more. So it all started with Schubert! My next favorite composer is Beethoven. These two composers, thank God, both devoted energy to the trio genre. Beethoven wrote seven throughout his life, Schubert wrote 2 major trios before he died. Piano trio is very different from other chamber music genres—each individual has to be a very, very strong player. There cannot be a weak link, either technically or with chamber music skills or listening skills. You have to play piano trios as well as you play your solo repertoire. At the same time, you have to have all the chamber music chops, meaning you have to be able to respond spontaneously, you have to be able to control your instrument, be able to really make sure the balance is correct within the whole, complete group, not just your individual part. It’s a very demanding genre, and we certainly love it. I just think piano trio is the best! This will be our first time playing for the Dallas audience as a trio. Besides the Brahms and Mendelssohn C Minor, there’s a lot more repertoire to go! We just played a program of Shostakovich and Beethoven—it was heaven!

On Sunday, April 28, the stars are aligned when these three legendary musicians come together for a first-time performance in San Antonio. Be there to experience the alchemy of the Han-Setzer-Finckel Trio and witness the magic of three consummate artists expressing diverse musical ideas in one voice.

“It used to be the Beaux Arts Trio that other piano trios had to look up to and attempt to emulate. Now it’s the Han-Setzer-Finckel triumvirate that is the standard bearer.”

Reichel Recommends

Members:

David Finckel (cello) Wu Han (piano) Philip Setzer (violin)

Program

BEETHOVEN
Piano Trio in in E-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1

SHOSTAKOVICH
Piano Trio No. 2 in E minor, Op. 67

-Intermission-

MENDELSSOHN
Trio No. 2 in C minor, Op. 66

Venue

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

Eighth Blackbird Concert

Eighth Blackbird Concert

March 10, 2019

Eighth Blackbird

Eighth Blackbird, hailed as “one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet” (Chicago Tribune), began in 1996 as a group of six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory students and quickly became “a brand-name defined by adventure, vibrancy and quality” (Detroit Free Press). Over the course of more than two decades, Eighth Blackbird has continually pushed at the edges of what it means to be a contemporary chamber ensemble, presenting distinct programs in Chicago, nationally, and internationally, reaching audiences totaling tens of thousands. The sextet has commissioned and premiered hundreds of works by composers both established and emerging, and have perpetuated the creation of music with profound impact, such as Steve Reich’s Double Sextet, which went on to win the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. The ensemble’s extensive recording history, primarily with Chicago’s Cedille Records, has produced more than a dozen acclaimed albums and four Grammy Awards for Best Small Ensemble/Chamber Music Performance, most recently in 2016 for Filament. Longstanding collaborative relationships have led to performances with some of the most well-regarded classical artists of today from heralded performers like Dawn Upshaw and Jeremy Denk, to seminal composers like Philip Glass and Nico Muhly. In recent projects, Eighth Blackbird has joined forces with composers and performers who defy the persistent distinction between classical and non­classical music, including works by The National’s Bryce Dessner and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Perry, and performances with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, My Brightest Diamond frontwoman Shara Nova, Will Oldham aka Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Iarla Ó Lionáird of The Gloaming, among others.

Eighth Blackbird first gained wide recognition in 1998 as winners of the Concert Artists Guild Competition. Since 2000, the ensemble has called Chicago home, and has been committed to serving as both importer and exporter of world class artistic experiences to and from Chicago. A recent year-long pioneering residency at the Museum of Contemporary Art-Chicago, during which the ensemble served as a living installation with open rehearsals, performances, guest artists, and public talks, exemplified their stature as community influencers. Receiving the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, Chamber Music America’s inaugural Visionary Award, and being named Musical America’s 2017 Ensemble of the Year have supported Eighth Blackbird’s position as a catalyst for innovation in the new music ecosystem of Chicago and beyond.

Eighth Blackbird’s mission—moving music forward through innovative performance, advocating for new music by living composers, and creating a legacy of guiding an emerging generation of musicians —extends beyond recording and touring to curation and education. The ensemble served as Music Director of the 2009 Ojai Music Festival, has held residencies at the Curtis Institute of Music and at the University of Chicago, and holds an ongoing Ensemble-in-Residence position at the University of Richmond. In 2017, Eighth Blackbird launched its boldest initiative yet with the creation of Blackbird Creative Laboratory, an inclusive, two-week summer workshop and performance festival for performers and composers in Ojai, CA.

The members of Eighth Blackbird hail from the Great Lakes, Keystone, Golden, Empire and Bay states. The name “Eighth Blackbird” derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens’s evocative, imagistic poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird: “I know noble accents / And lucid, inescapable rhythms; / But I know, too, / That the blackbird is involved / In what I know.”

“One of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet.”

Chicago Tribune

“A brand-name defined by adventure, vibrancy and quality.”

Detroit Free Press

Members:

Nathalie Joachim (flutes)
Michael J. Maccaferri (clarinets)
Yvonne Lam (violin & viola)
Nick Photinos (cello)
Matthew Duvall (percussion)
Lisa Kaplan (piano)

Program

NINA SHEKHAR
ice ‘n’ SPICE

FJÓLA EVANS
Eroding 

ANGÉLICA NEGRÓN
Quimbombó 

HOLLY HARRISON
Lobster Tales and Turtle Soup

-Intermission-

NATHALIE JOACHIM
Madam Bellegarde

JONATHAN BAILEY HOLLAND
The Clarity of Cold Air

VIET CUONG
Electric Aroma 

JULIUS EASTMAN
Stay On It

Venue

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

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