Marin Alsop to lead Yale Philharmonia in program of Bernstein, Beethoven

Marin Alsop. Photo by Adriane White

Yale Philharmonia Principal Conductor Peter Oundjian has described Marin Alsop as “one of the greatest conductors of her generation.” A 2005 MacArthur Fellowship (“Genius Grant”) recipient, Alsop has served since 2007 as the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She has also led the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and has appeared with many of the world’s most celebrated ensembles. Alsop was recently appointed chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the latest in a series of “firsts” as a woman conductor.

“I’m very honoured to be the first, but I’m also rather shocked that we can be in this year, in this century, and there can still be ‘firsts’ for women,” Alsop told The Guardian. She made similar comments, at greater length, at the final concert of the 2013 BBC Proms.

Eager to see others succeed as she has, Alsop established the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, which helps prepare women conductors for work on the podium and in offstage leadership areas, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program, which was “designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City neighborhoods,” according to the organization’s website.

Alsop has not been shy about using her position in the music world to point out inequities. Her social activism was inspired in part by her mentor, the late Leonard Bernstein, whose 100th birthday, which falls on August 25, the performing arts community has been celebrating.

“He was a very generous human being who believed in access and inclusion and equity for all people,” Alsop said of Bernstein, with whom she studied at Tanglewood. That legacy, she said, “inspires me to try to use the opportunities I have to create a more just landscape for people.”

On Friday, April 20, Alsop will lead the Yale Philharmonia, Yale Glee Club, and Yale Camerata in a performance of Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony, on a program that also includes Bernstein’s Opening Prayer and Chichester Psalms. Beethoven’s Ninth, she said, “was a critical piece for Bernstein,” one that represented possibility and hope. It’s a piece he famously conducted in Berlin, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in a performance that featured musicians from East and West Germany, Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States. It was the hope that Bernstein found in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony that Alsop is eager to celebrate, along with Bernstein’s birthday and his music.

In addition to Bernstein’s Opening Prayer, which was composed for the 1986 reopening of Carnegie Hall and eventually became part of his Concerto for Orchestra, the April 20 Yale Philharmonia program includes Chichester Psalms. Like Beethoven’s Ninth, Alsop said, Chichester Psalms is “a piece about hope and possibility.”

Having worked closely with Bernstein certainly informs Alsop’s performances of his music. “Knowing a composer as a human being gives us that added dimension, that added insight” into the motivation for writing a piece, she said. It is her responsibility, and the Philharmonia’s, to tell the music’s story. And that’s the same wherever she’s conducting. “I approach every orchestra as professional musicians whom I respect,” she said. While more might be expected of her, in terms of providing insight or direction, from a younger orchestra than from a veteran ensemble, “I don’t think about it any differently.”

On Wednesday, April 18, Alsop will join School of Music Dean Robert Blocker for a conversation about Leonard Bernstein’s legacy and music, the pursuit of diversity in our field, Beethoven’s revolutionary Ninth Symphony, and working with the next generation of orchestral musicians.

On Friday, April 20, guest conductor Marin Alsop will lead the Yale Philharmonia, Yale Glee Club, and Yale Camerata in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, on a program that also includes Bernstein’s Opening Prayer and Chichester Psalms.

A CONVERSATION WITH MARIN ALSOP
CONCERT DETAILS & TICKETS

Published April 13, 2018
Share This Comments

[ concerts ]

Annual New Music for Orchestra concert features student works December 11

philharmonia_woolsey3The Yale School of Music presents its annual New Music for Orchestra concert on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 7:30 pm. The concert will feature the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale and, for the first time, the chamber chorus of the Yale Camerata.

The first half of the concert features the Chamber Chorus of the Yale Camerata performing three works by first-year composition students: Natalie Dietterich’s Conversation with Strangers; Tiange Zhou’s The Lament of Adonis; and Katherine Balch’s aeiou. 

The Yale Philharmonia takes the stage after intermission to present pieces by second-year composition students. The orchestra will perform Michael Laurello’s Promises, Jesse Limbacher’s …but I dream in many places, and Nicholas DiBerardino’s Asphodel. MORE

Published December 3, 2014
Share This Comments

[ concerts ]

Yale Philharmonia, Camerata, Glee Club perform Mahler’s Second Symphony Sep. 19

Shinik Hahm, conductor

Shinik Hahm, conductor

The Yale School of Music presents the Yale Philharmonia in its first concert of the 2014–2015 season on Friday, September 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm. The orchestra, joined by the Yale Camerata and Yale Glee Club, will perform Gustav Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 2, “Resurrection.” The concert will also be live streamed; click here to listen. LIVE STREAM

Shinik Hahm will conduct. The vocal soloists are Emily Workman, soprano, and Leah Hawkins, mezzo-soprano, both students in the Yale Opera program at the Yale School of Music.

This symphony, which runs around 90 minutes, was one of the composer’s most popular pieces during his lifetime, and its appeal to audiences continues today. The piece is known as the “Resurrection” Symphony because its texts address themes of death and the afterlife. MORE

Published September 4, 2014
Share This Comments

[ Inauguration ]

Video: Inauguration Celebration Concert

In honor of University President Peter Salovey’s inauguration, a musical celebration of all that is Yale was held on Friday, October 11th in Woolsey Hall.

The event was hosted by Master of Ceremony Robert Blocker, Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music, and featured performances by the University’s major performing ensembles: Yale Concert Band, Yale Philharmonia, Yale Symphony Orchestra, Yale Camerata, and Yale Glee Club. Other performers included University Organist Thomas Murray; organist Paul Jacobs ’02MM, ’03AD; the Yale Cellos, directed by Aldo Parisot; and an ensemble of Yale guitarists, directed by Benjamin Verdery.

Watch the full video of the performance below. The concert starts approximately 10 minutes into the video.

Published October 14, 2013
Share This Comments

Renowned conductor Helmuth Rilling leads Dvorak’s Stabat Mater Apr. 19

Yale Philharmonia performs with Yale Camerata, Yale Glee Club

Helmuth Rilling. Photo: Jon Christopher Meyers

The Yale School of Music, Yale Institute of Sacred Music, and Yale Glee Club present a performance of Dvorák’s masterful Stabat Mater, led by the Grammy Award-winning conductor Helmuth Rilling on Friday, April 19, 2013. The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale will perform alongside the Yale Camerata and Yale Glee Club. The concert takes place at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall (500 College Street, New Haven).

Composed in 1877 in Prague, Stabat Mater was Dvorák’s response to the death of his daughter, Josefa, followed by the deaths of two more of his children. The ten-part masterpiece was his first composition on a religious theme since his student days, and the work is noted for its depth of emotion.

The internationally renowned conductor Helmuth Rilling will lead the performance. Rilling has said: “Music should never be merely comfortable, never fossilized, never soothing. It should startle people and reach deep down inside them, forcing them to reflect.”

The performers include the Yale Philharmonia, the Yale Camerata (a vocal ensemble sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and directed by Marguerite L. Brooks), and the Yale Glee Club (Yale’s premier undergraduate mixed chorus and the oldest musical organization on campus, directed by Jeffrey Douma).

Admission to the concert is free, and no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu. MORE

Published March 18, 2013
Share This Comments

Yale Philharmonia opens its season with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Sep. 23 concert features soloists from Yale Opera plus Yale Camerata and Yale Glee Club

The Yale School of Music presents the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale in a concert featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 8 pm in historic Woolsey Hall.

Shinik Hahm will conduct the concert, which opens with a fanfare by Richard Strauss and continues with Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3. The fanfare, written for the Vienna Philharmonic, has been played at the orchestra’s annual balls ever since its composition in 1924. Beethoven’s dramatic overture is one of four written for his only opera – which itself went through numerous revisions and was eventually named Fidelio.

For Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony, the Yale Philharmonia will be joined by the Yale Glee Club (Jeffrey Douma, director) and Yale Camerata (Marguerite L. Brooks, director). The vocal soloists, who are current or former students in the prestigious Yale Opera program, are soprano Amanda Hall, mezzo-soprano Kelly Hill, tenor Sam Levine, and bass-baritone Andrew Brown.

Admission to the concert is free, and no tickets are required. MORE

Published September 7, 2011
Share This Comments

New Music New Haven features the Pulitzer Prize-winning String Quartet No. 2 by Aaron Jay Kernis

“A composer of real mastery and individuality.”
–The New York Times

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 8 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (292 Orange Street, New Haven). The concert will feature faculty composer Aaron Jay Kernis, whose String Quartet No. 2, musica instrumentalis, will be performed by the Jasper Quartet. musica instrumentalis is the piece that won Kernis the Pulitzer Prize in 1998. Kernis has also won such accolades as the Grawemeyer Award and the Rome Prize.

The Jasper Quartet, currently in residence at the Oberlin Conservatory and the Caramoor Center for the Arts, is familiar to New Haven audiences from its two years as the graduate quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music (2008–2010).

The first half of the concert will feature music by graduate composers, beginning with Justin Tierney’s Fission for solo celeste (the instrument heard in Tchaikovksy’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”) and a piece by Andy Akiho for flute and marimba.

The Yale Camerata, directed by Marguerite L. Brooks, will sing choral music by Jordan Kuspa and Reena Esmail. Kuspa’s A Dream within a Dream is for four-part mixed choir. Esmail’s White Key for eight-part choir is based on Carol Muske-Dukes’s poem of the same name. Says Esmail, “White Key evokes the feeling of suspension. A woman makes the difficult journey by plane back to her home after receiving the news of her husband’s sudden death. As she is suspended in the air between two cities, she is also suspended between two lives, between a beautiful past and the uncertain present.”

MORE

Published April 5, 2011
Share This Comments

East Coast premiere of new Aaron Jay Kernis symphony

Yale presents the East Coast premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’s major new work, the “profoundly spiritual” Symphony of Meditations

Kernis, Aaron JayThe Yale School of Music, Institute of Sacred Music, and Glee Club will present the East Coast premiere of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Symphony of Meditations, a major new work in the repertoire for orchestra and chorus, on Friday, November 6 at 8 pm in Woolsey Hall. Kernis himself will conduct the performance, which will feature the Yale Philharmonia (Shinik Hahm, conductor), the Yale Camerata (Marguerite L. Brooks, conductor), the Yale Schola Cantorum (Masaaki Suzuki, director), and the Yale Glee Club (Jeffrey Douma, director). The vocal soloists, all emerging artists in the Yale Opera program, are Amanda Hall, soprano, Joseph Mikolaj, tenor and David Pershall, baritone. The performance will take place during the 2009 convention of the American Collegiate Choral Organization, hosted by Yale University.

The hour-long, three-movement Symphony of Meditations was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. After its first performance in June under the baton of Gerard Schwartz, the piece was warmly received by the audience and hailed by the press. The Examiner called it “a complex, ambitious and, overall, brilliant undertaking… there is much to praise about this multi-textured, profoundly spiritual composition.” Gathering Note said, “Kernis has constructed a major new symphony that gives notice to everyone that the form is not dead …nothing less than a serious and worthy composition.” MORE

Published October 21, 2009
Share This Comments

Nicholas McGegan: “Celebration of Four Masters”

mcgegan_sp

Nicholas McGegan, acclaimed by The New Yorker as “an expert in eighteenth-century style,” will conduct choral and orchestral works of Joseph Haydn, Felix Mendelssohn, and George Frideric Handel on Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 4 pm in Woolsey Hall. The concert is a “Celebration of Four Masters”— a reference to McGegan and the three featured composers — and coincides with the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death and the 200th anniversary of both Mendelssohn’s birth and Haydn’s death. McGegan will conduct the Yale Philharmonia (Shinik Hahm, director) and Yale Collegium Players (Robert Mealy, director) in Haydn’s Symphony No. 103 “Drum Roll,” and a selection of works for chorus and orchestra: Haydn’s Te Deum in C and Der Sturm with the Yale Camerata (Marguerite Brooks, conductor); Mendelssohn’s Verleih uns Frieden and Hear My Prayer with the Yale Glee Club (Jeffrey Douma, director); Haydn’s Salve Regina with the Yale Voxtet (James Taylor, director); and Handel’s As Pants the Hart and Te Deum in A with the Yale Schola Cantorum (Simon Carrington, director). The program concludes with the combined choruses and instrumentalists in Handel’s “Hallelujah” Chorus from Messiah.

The concert is a presentation of the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Yale School of Music, and the Yale Glee Club. Admission is free. For more information, visit music.yale.edu, www.yale.edu/ism, or call 203-432-4158.

Acclaimed by the Glasgow Herald as “a wizard who can make music soar in apparent defiance of gravity,” Nicholas McGegan has been the Music Director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (PBO) for more than twenty years and since 1991 the Artistic Director of Germany’s International Handel-Festival at Gottingen. Mr. McGegan is an active recording artist, with an extensive discography with the PBO and other performing groups, including the Gottingen Festival Opera and Orchestra and the Arcadian Academy. Mr. McGegan’s world-premiere recording of Handel’s Susanna earned a Gramophone Award. His most recent recordings include music by Handel and Mendelssohn for Carus, Romanza, featuring works of Hummel, Lachner and Weber, and Handel’s Atalanta and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, both with PBO.  Born in England and educated at Cambridge and Oxford Universities, Mr. McGegan has an honorary degree from London’s Royal College of Music and was elected an Honorary Professor of Philosophy at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen in 2006.

Published February 2, 2009
Share This Comments