[ Concerts ]

Updated program announced for Vocal Britain concerts

November 18, 2011

The Yale School of Music is pleased to announce the updated program and performers for Vocal Britain, the first concert of this year’s Yale in New York Series.

Janna Baty, mezzo-soprano

The program of music by Benjamin Britten and William Walton will take place on Sunday, December 4, at 7:30 pm, in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. New Haven audiences will get a preview of that program on Thursday, December 1, at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall.

World-renowned hornist and Yale faculty member William Purvis will perform Britten’s haunting “Serenade” with tenor Dann Coakwell ’11AD and a string orchestra of current Yale students.

The program will open with esteemed mezzo-soprano Janna Baty, a faculty member and a graduate of the School of Music, and pianist Jill Brunelle performing William Walton’s delightful, rarely-heard song cycle “A Song for the Lord Mayor’s Table.”

John McDonough, narrator

The second half will feature Walton’s tour-de-force, “Façade: An Entertainment,” with Baty and actor

John McDonough reciting Edith Sitwell’s inimitable poetry. William Boughton, the music director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and an expert in the music of William Walton, will conduct a chamber ensemble of Yale School of Music instrumentalists.

The charismatic McDonough, an actor and narrator, has performed with numerous orchestras and chamber music festivals, including narrating Stravinsky’s “L’Histoire du Soldat” at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival this past summer. He has recorded hundreds of audiobooks, winning an Audie Award in 2006, and starred in the revival of Captain Kangaroo.

David Shifrin is the artistic director of the Yale in New York series. The original program, which was to feature Walton’s “The Bear,” has been changed due to illness and personal obligations.

These performances coincide with a three-year Walton Project co-hosted by the New Haven Symphony and Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, whose collection includes 98% of Walton’s original manuscripts.

The preview concert takes place Thursday, December 1 at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Admission is free.

The Yale in New York concert takes place Sunday, December 4 at 7:30 pm in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $15–$25, available at www.carnegiehall.org or through CarnegieCharge: 212 247-7800.

For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu.

About the Performers

Praised by the Boston Globe for “a rich, viola-like tone and a rapturous, luminous lyricism,” mezzo-soprano Janna Baty enjoys an exceptionally versatile career. She has sung with the Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Daejeon Philharmonic, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Boston Lyric Opera, and has sung under the batons of James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, Stefan Asbury, and Gil Rose, among numerous others. She has performed at festivals worldwide, including the Aldeburgh and Britten Festivals in England. A noted specialist in contemporary music, Ms. Baty has worked alongside many composers, including John Harbison, Yehudi Wyner, and Peter Child, on performances of their music. Ms. Baty has enjoyed a long collaboration with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and with them has recorded the critically lauded Vali: Folk Songs (sung in Persian); Lukas Foss’ opera Griffelkin; the world-premiere recording of Eric Sawyer’s opera Our American Cousin; and John Harbison’s Mirabai Songs. An alumna of Oberlin College and the Yale School of Music, she joined the faculty of the Yale School of Music in 2008.

William Boughton, conductor

William Boughton began pursuing a career in conducting following cello studies at the New England Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music, and Prague Academy, and a performing career with the Royal Philharmonic, BBS, and London Sinfonietta. In 1980, he formed the English Symphony Orchestra (ESO), with whom he commissioned more than 20 works from such composers as Peter Sculthorpe and John Joubert and built a significant discography. In 2007, he became the tenth music director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has instituted a Composer-in-Residence program and undertaken a major recording project of the works of William Walton. The first recording (Walton’s Violin Concerto and First Symphony) was selected as a Critic’s Choice for 2010 by Gramophone Magazine. Under Mr. Boughton’s leadership, the NHSO was awarded an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2010. He currently hosts a monthly program on WMNR and is in demand as a guest speaker and conductor at orchestras around the world.

Tenor Dann Coakwell made his solo debut at Carnegie Hall in 2010 as the lead role of Andrey in the world premiere of Prokofiev’s rediscovered and reconstructed opera act, Dalyekie Morya (Distant Seas), and he is a featured soloist on the 2009 Grammy Award-nominated album Conspirare: A Company of Voices (Harmonia Mundi). Internationally, Dann has sung the Evangelist in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion on tour in Italy under Masaaki Suzuki, and he served as soloist under Helmuth Rilling in Germany in several Bach cantatas. He has appeared multiple times at the Oregon Bach Festival under both Rilling and Matthew Halls. Upcoming seasons feature Dann as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion in Boston, and as tenor soloist in Masaaki Suzuki’s production of Handel and Bach works with the Philharmonia Baroque in San Francisco. Dann holds an Artist Diploma in vocal performance from the Yale School of Music, an MM from Texas Tech University, and a BM from the University of Texas at Austin.

John McDonough is an actor and narrator that has performed with many orchestras and chamber music festivals, most recently at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (2011) narrating Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat. He was the voice of Paul Bunyan in the Glimmerglass  Opera and New York City Opera productions of the Benjamin Britten work. He also records audiobooks, winning an Audie Award in 2006. He has recorded hundreds of titles in Fiction, Classics, History, and Children’s Literature. This year he recorded “Out of Oz,” the last of the Wicked series by Gregory Maguire. Outside his audiobook work, John has performed with Garrison Keillor on “A Prairie Home Companion” and starred in the revival of Captain Kangaroo on the Fox and ABC Family networks.

William Purvis pursues a multifaceted career in the U.S. and abroad as horn soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and educator. A passionate advocate of new music, Mr. Purvis has participated in numerous premieres as hornist and conductor, including horn concerti by Peter Lieberson, Bayan Northcott, and Krzysztof Penderecki. Mr. Purvis is a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Yale Brass Trio, and Triton Horn Trio, and is an emeritus member of Orpheus. Recent recordings include the Horn Concerto of Peter Lieberson on Bridge (Grammy and WQXR Gramophone Awards); Richard Wernick’s Quintet for Horn and Strings with the Juilliard Quartet; and Elliott Carter’s Retracing II. Mr. Purvis is a faculty member at the Yale School of Music, where he is also the coordinator of winds and brass and the director of the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments.


The Yale School of Music presents Vocal Britain.

  • Walton: “A Song for the Lord Mayor’s Table”
    Janna Baty, mezzo-soprano; Jill Brunelle, piano
  • Britten: “Serenade” for tenor, horn, and strings
    featuring William Purvis, horn; Dann Coakwell, tenor
  • Walton: “Façade: An Entertainment”
    featuring William Boughton, guest conductor; Janna Baty and John McDonough, reciters

Preview Concert
When: Thursday, December 1 at 8 pm
Where: Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall, 470 College Street (corner of Wall Street), New Haven
Tickets: Free admission
Info: 203 432-4158 • music.yale.edu

Yale in New York Concert
When: Sunday, December 4 at 7:30 pm
Where: Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, 57th Street & 7th Avenue, New York City
Tickets:  $15–$25, student & senior discounts available
www.carnegiehall.org or CarnegieCharge: 212 247-7800


[…] got a show on Thursday! After that, I am SO looking forward to a concert on December 4 presented by Yale in New York, featuring my friend Dann Coakwell and one of my favorite pieces of all time, the never heard […]