[ Concerts ]
Yale in New York presents Songs from the Koch Collection Dec. 4, 7
The Yale School of Music continues its acclaimed Yale in New York series when singers of Yale Opera bring manuscripts to life in two upcoming concerts: Thursday, December 4 in New Haven and Sunday, December 7 in New York City.
The young singers will perform treasures from the Frederick R. Koch Collection housed at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. The program will show off the collection’s vocal holdings with art songs by Debussy, Duparc, Mahler, Schumann, Sibelius, and Wolf.
Frederick R. Koch — dubbed the “other” Koch brother by Vanity Fair — is a lifelong supporter of the arts and a graduate of the Yale School of Drama. The Koch Collection at the Beinecke contains 19th and 20th-century musical and literary manuscripts, correspondence, and other materials. Richard C. Levin, past president of Yale University, described it as “one of the greatest collections to come to Yale since the year of its founding.”
“The Debussy Songs are unusual because of the influence of Wagner after Debussy’s visit to Bayreuth,” explains Yale in New York artistic director David Shifrin. ”Songs of Mahler and Sibelius are rarely heard and this is a wonderful opportunity to remedy that.”
Three singers in the Yale Opera program will perform selections of European art songs. Soprano Nicole Percifield will sing Claude Debussy’s Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire, written while the composer was captivated by Wagner’s chromatic harmonies. Percifield is “blessed with a beautiful lyric soprano that reached high notes without apparent effort as well as possessing a full, rich low register” (Berkshire Fine Arts).
Mezzo-soprano Evanna Chiew, hailed by Scena musicale for her “beautiful and rich lyric mezzo,” will sing three songs each by Jean Sibelius and Gustav Mahler. The Sibelius songs are drawn from his Op. 37 and 38 collections, written around the turn of the twentieth century. “The magic and colour of Romanticism reach their peak in the Opus 37 song collection,” writes Sibelius song scholar Jukka Tiilikainen. The Mahler songs are taken from his Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit (Songs from the early days), written in the 1880s, when the composer was in his twenties.
Baritone Brian Vu has been noted for his “energy and personality” by Voce di meche and praised as “debonair” by the Washington Post. He will sing two sets of songs, one of German-language Lieder by Hugo Wolf and Robert Schumann. The other, in French, will feature three songs by Henri Duparc, the Parisian who stopped composing at the age of 37 and destroyed most of his works.
The trio of singers will be joined by pianists Miki Sawada and Yevgeny Yontov, both School of Music alumni.
The New Haven concert takes place Thursday, December 4 at 7:30 pm at Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street. Tickets at $10–$20, $5 with student ID, are available through the Yale School of Music box office, 203 432-4158 or online. TICKETS
The New York presentation takes place Sunday, December 7 at 7:30 pm in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $25 general admission, $15 with student ID. Tickets can be purchased at the Carnegie Hall box office (57th St and 7th Ave), online at carnegiehall.org, or CarnegieCharge: 212 247-7800. TICKETS
Yale in New York has garnered a reputation for its creative and diverse offerings, with frequent collaborations between Yale’s distinguished faculty and its exceptional network of current students and alumni.
The Beinecke Library is co-presenting the event. Doris Yarick Cross is the artistic director of Yale Opera.
Tickets are $25 general admission, $15 for students with current ID, and are available through the Carnegie Hall box office (57th Street & 7th Ave.), online at www.carnegiehall.org, or CarnegieCharge: 212 247-7800.