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American Brass Quintet

The American Brass Quintet is internationally recognized as one of the premier chamber music ensembles of our time, celebrated for peerless leadership in the brass world. As 2013 recipient of Chamber Music America’s highest honor, the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award for significant and lasting contributions to the field, ABQ’s rich history includes performances in Asia, Australia, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and all fifty of the United States; a discography of nearly sixty recordings; and the premieres of over one hundred fifty contemporary brass works.

ABQ commissions by Robert Beaser, William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, Eric Ewazen, Anthony Plog, Huang Ruo, David Sampson, Gunther Schuller, William Schuman, Joan Tower, and Charles Whittenberg, among many others, are considered significant contributions to contemporary chamber music and the foundation of the modern brass quintet repertoire. The ABQ’s Emerging Composer Commissioning program has brought forth brass quintets by Gordon Beeferman, Jay Greenberg, Trevor Gureckis, and Shafer Mahoney. Among the quintet’s recordings are eleven CDs for Summit Records since 1992 including the ABQ’s 50th release State of the Art—The ABQ at 50 featuring recent works written for them.

Committed to the promotion of brass chamber music through education, the American Brass Quintet has been in residence at The Juilliard School since 1987 and the Aspen Music Festival since 1970. Since 2000 the ABQ has offered its expertise in chamber music performance and training with a program of mini-residencies as part of its regular touring. Designed to offer young groups and individuals an intense chamber music experience over several days, ABQ mini-residencies have been embraced by schools and communities throughout the United States and a dozen foreign countries.

The New York Times recently wrote that “among North American brass ensembles none is more venerable than the American Brass Quintet,” while Newsweek has hailed the ensemble as “the high priests of brass” and American Record Guide has called the ABQ “of all the brass quintets, the most distinguished.” Through its acclaimed performances, diverse programming, commissioning, extensive discography and educational mission, the American Brass Quintet has created a legacy unparalleled in the brass field.

To commemorate SA300 – the San Antonio Tricentennial, the San Antonio Chamber Music Society, as a SA300 Community Partner, has commissioned beloved San Antonio composer James Balentine to write a special work for the American Brass Quintet. Mr. Balentine puts it this way: ‘I was inspired by a poem by San Antonio’s first Poet Laureate, Carmen Tafolla – the poem is “This River Here“, and the title of the piece is “the river remembers“, a partial quote from the introduction to the poem, which Carmen graciously allowed me to use as the title for this piece. The poem is a wonderful reflection on the history and flavor of San Antonio.’ This special commission is a gift from the San Antonio Chamber Music Society to our city on its 300th birthday, and will be given it’s world premiere in San Antonio by the American Brass Quintet. We will also be honored by the presence of Ms. Tafolla, who will be reading her poem at this concert.

“The quintet’s clear sound and precise articulation let the music speak with big-time personality.”

Harvey Steiman, The Aspen Times

“The high priests of brass.”

Newsweek

Members:

Kevin Cobb (trumpet)
Louis Hanzlik (trumpet)
Eric Reed (horn)
Michael Powell (trombone)
John D. Rojak (bass trombone)

Program

Consort Music of Elizabethan and Jacobean England
(edited by Louis Hanzlik)

Suite from 19th Century Russia
(ed. Kevin Cobb)

LASSER
Common Heroes, Uncommon Land

-Intermission-

BALENTINE
the river remembers
Special Commission for the San Antonio Tricentennial
(World Premier)

Canons of the 16th Century
(ed. Ray Mase)

EWAZEN
Frost Fire

Venue

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

WOW10th!

What can I say that hasn’t already been said about the fabulous Chanticleer.  It is simply hard to believe that 12 men can produce the music, sounds, sheer entertainment that this group so ably can.  I sincerely hope you were at the San Antonio Chamber Music Society’s January 21st presentation of Chanticleer.  Only 500+ music lovers filled Temple Beth-El for this alternately moving, sentimental, humorous concert – and everyone left humming the encore presentation, “Bei mir bist du Schön.”

The true art of Chanticleer is the production of a musical fabric, in this case “Heart of a Soldier.”  The first songs dated from the 14th Century to the 20th, and covered battle-connected poetry and songs created through all those ages.  Chanticleer wove these into a fabric with voices blending and moving through scales of harmonies.  As I listened, I realized that what Chanticleer was weaving was a tapestry:  each thread with a voice, each voice with a color.  The whole cloth told stories of praise, of fear, of reliance on a greater power and of comradery.

Chanticleer was weaving was a tapestry:  each thread with a voice, each voice with a color.

Still keeping with their theme of soldiers’ hearts, the second half of the program moved into the 20th century with wartime popular music that (for some of us elders in the audience) brought back visions of the Andrews Sisters as well as of Peter, Paul and Mary.  Their rendition of “My Buddy” tugged at my own memories of military funerals, red poppies in lapels and the solemn white markers at Arlington.  “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” was a Vietnam-era song, so poignant in its simplicity and so meaningful to all the young men and young women who faced tragedy in those years.  Chanticleer made a hymn to peace out of Pete Seeger’s pop song.

As we all knew, this was a concert that would be special – and indeed it was.  It elicited a range of emotions just as the voices of these remarkable musicians created a range of harmonies.  The fact that they were also performing in several languages simply attests to their skill.  I hope you were there to enjoy this most remarkable vocal concert.

And don’t forget another concert that promises a wonderful afternoon of musical bliss:  the American Brass Quintet performs for our 75th season March 4th at Temple Beth-El.  Having experienced the magic of 12 incredible voices, you won’t want to miss the magic of these wizards of brass!  Remember, you can use any ticket from this season’s concerts or bonus tickets for either the American Brass or Orion String Quartet on April 15th at Laurel Heights United Methodist Church.  Hope to see you there!

– E Doyle

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

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

The Mystery Program

I know you were shuffling through your program notes at Sunday’s concert.  I saw you.  You had no idea what Pacifica String Quartet – let alone Sharon Isbin – would be performing next, and, like me, you feel insecure when you don’t know who the composer is, how many movements there will be, when it will be time to applaud (or get caught out as the only person in the room who is doing so).  I know.  But I will let you in on a little behind-the-scenes wizardry/witchery that went on about an hour before the doors opened at 3:00.

You know that Pacifica and Sharon Isbin are incredibly talented musicians, right?  They don’t give those Grammys away like marshmallows at a camp out.  So about an hour before the concert began, first violin Simin Ganatra told a few of the board members that Pacifica and Ms. Isbin would like to make some changes in the program.  They would rearrange the sequences and could throw in a few surprises, if that would be ok.  And I’m standing there thinking, “Good grief!  What kind of versatility does it take to change a whole program only an hour before a  performance?!  How can they have practiced and prepared a whole basket of music that they can just draw out at will and perform?!”

... about an hour before the concert began, first violin Simin Ganatra told a few of the board members that Pacifica and Ms. Isbin would like to make some changes in the program. They would rearrange the sequences and could throw in a few surprises...

So that’s how the program got shuffled.  Now you know.  And I’ll bet you know something else, as well.  Pacifica has earned its stellar reputation for precision, lyricism and, yes, pure enjoyment.  Theirs is an almost ethereal  joy in performance, and tell me you didn’t really feel the pathos of the third movement of the Haydn.  The composer himself would have cried.

And then there’s Sharon Isbin.  It’s difficult for me not to repeat what’s been written time and time again about her uncanny ability to elicit thoughts of a Spain that we all imagined:  white marble, the scent of oranges, the swirly of color in dancers’ skirts and the haunting loneliness of a midnight street in Barcelona.  All of these and more ran through my mind as I listened to the brilliant tones and the smoky echoes of her truly magical guitar.  Centuries of exquisite sounds and rhythms tumbled out.  It was pure magic, don’t you agree?

I’m so glad you were there to enjoy this extraordinary concert with me, and I hope you’ll come back for more.   The New York based ensemble, Rebel Baroque, will weave more magic with the help of flutist Matthias Maute November 12.  I promise enchantment.

– E Doyle

Pacifica Quartet with Sharon Isbin

Pacifica Quartet

Recognized for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has achieved international recognition as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today.

Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002 the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award and the appointment to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two, and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Also in 2006 the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of “five new quartets you should know about,” the only American quartet to make the list. And in 2009, the Quartet was named “Ensemble of the Year” by Musical America.

The Quartet’s 2017-18 season features performances with the guitar legend Sharon Isbin, the complete Beethoven cycle for the University at Buffalo’s renowned Slee Cycle, and multiple performances of the Mendelssohn octet with the Dover Quartet. Highlights of the 2016-17 season included a return performance at New York’s famed 92nd Street Y; the culmination of a two-season residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston; tours with Johannes Moser, Jörg Widmann, and Marc-André Hamelin; and the debut of a new cello quintet by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Julia Wolfe.

Sharon Isbin

Hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time”, Sharon Isbin,  as a woman in a male-dominated field,  has been a trailblazer in more ways than most classical musicians could ever dream. She has appeared as soloist with over 170 orchestras and has given sold-out performances in the world’s finest halls.

Born in Minneapolis, Sharon Isbin began her guitar studies at age nine in Italy, and later studied with Andrès Segovia and Oscar Ghiglia. Her teachers also included the legendary piano doyenne Rosalyn Tureck. She’s the first guitarist to record with the New York Philharmonic. What’s more, Sharon Isbin has had no difficulty straddling the worlds of classical music and pop culture; her playing is on the soundtrack of the Martin Scorsese Academy Award-winning film The Departed. She has won multiple Grammys and has commissioned an impressive number of works for guitar, from composers of vastly different styles including Leo Brouwer (Cuban) , John Duarte (British) and Tan Dun (Chinese). A frequent guest on NPR’s All Things Considered and Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, she has been profiled on television throughout the world. On September 11, 2002, Ms. Isbin performed at Ground Zero for the internationally televised memorial. Among other career highlights, she performed  at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama in November 2009, and was the only classical artist to perform in the 2010 GRAMMY Awards. She has been profiled in periodicals from People to Elle, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, as well as appearing on the covers of over 45 magazines. Her 2015 national television performances on PBS include the Billy Joel Gershwin Prize, Tavis Smiley, and American Public Television’s presentation of the acclaimed one-hour documentary on her life and work produced by Susan Dangel titled Sharon Isbin: Troubadour, seen by millions on nearly 200 PBS stations across the US, and the winner of the 2015 ASCAP Television Broadcast Award. The film was released with bonus performances on DVD/Blu-ray by Video Artists International. Watch the trailer at: www.sharonisbintroubadour.com

“The playing is nothing short of phenomenal.” Daily Telegraph, London

“Classical guitar’s reigning diva.” Dallas Morning News

Members:

Simin Ganatra (violin)
Austin Hartman (violin)
Guy Ben-Ziony (viola)
Brandon Vamos (cello)
Sharon Isbin (guitar)

Program

HAYDN
Quartet in G major, Op. 76, No. 1

CASTELNUOVO-TEDESCO
Guitar Quintet in F major, op. 143

VIVALDI
Concerto in D major for guitar and strings, RV 93

-Intermission-

PUCCINI
I Crisantemi

BOCCHERINI
Guitar Quintet No. 4 in D Major, G.448

Venue

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

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