[ Concerts ]

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

March 18, 2013

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.


About the Performers

The internationally renowned German conductor Helmuth Rilling received his earliest musical training at the Protestant theological seminaries Schöntal an der Jagst and Urach in Württemberg. He went on to study organ, composition, and choral direction at the Stuttgart College of Music, and completed his studies under Fernando Germani in Rome and at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. Mr. Rilling first garnered acclaim for his work with Gächinger Katorei, a choir he founded while still a student. From 1969 to 1981, he was the conductor of the Frankfurt Choir, during which time he was appointed as a professor of choral direction at the Frankfurt Music College. Since 1965, he has been conductor of the Stuttgart Bach Collegium. Mr. Rilling is a J.S. Bach scholar, having founded the Stuttgart Bach Academy in 1981 and been appointed as the President of the New Bach Society in 1990.

The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, conducted by Shinik Hahm, is one of America’s foremost music school ensembles. The largest performing group at the Yale School of Music, the Philharmonia offers superb training in orchestral playing and repertoire. Performances include an annual series of concerts in Woolsey Hall, as well as Yale Opera productions in the Schubert Performing Arts Center. In addition to its season of six Woolsey Hall concerts, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale has performed on numerous occasions in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2008 the Philharmonia undertook its first tour of Asia, with acclaimed performances in the Seoul Arts Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall and National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and the Shanghai Grand Theatre. The beginnings of the Yale Philharmonia can be traced to 1894, when an orchestra was organized under the leadership of the School’s first dean, Horatio Parker. The orchestra became known as the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale in 1973, with the appointment of Otto-Werner Mueller as resident conductor and William Steinberg, then music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony, as Sanford Professor of Music. Brazilian conductor Eleazar di Carvalho became music director in 1987, and Gunther Herbig joined the conducting staff as guest conductor and director of the Affiliate Artists Conductors program in 1990. Lawrence Leighton Smith, music director of the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, conducted the Philharmonia for a decade, and upon his retirement in 2004, Shinik Hahm was appointed music director.

Founded in 1985 by its conductor, Marguerite L. Brooks, the Yale Camerata is a vocal ensemble sponsored by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. The group’s approximately sixty singers are Yale graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, staff, and experienced singers from the New Haven community. The Camerata performs a widely varied spectrum of choral literature, with a specific commitment to recently composed choral music. Admission is by audition; singers commit to an active schedule of rehearsals and performances. The Camerata has collaborated with the Yale Glee Club, Yale Philharmonia, Yale Symphony, Yale Band, Yale Chamber Players, Yale Collegium Musicum, New Haven, Norwalk, and Hartford Symphony Orchestras, and the New Haven Chorale. The ensemble has also performed for Yale Music Spectrum and New Music New Haven. The Camerata has been heard on Connecticut Public Radio and national broadcasts of National Public Radio’s program “Performance Today.” Guest conductors have included Robert Shaw, Jaap Schröder, George Guest, Sir David Willcocks, Krzyzstof Penderecki, Sir Neville Marriner, and Helmuth Rilling. With the Institute of Sacred Music, the Camerata has commissioned and premiered works of Martin Bresnick, Daniel Kellogg, Stephen Paulus, Daniel Pinkham, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, among others.

From its earliest days as a group of thirteen men from the Class of 1863 to its current incarnation as an eighty-voice chorus of women and men, the Yale Glee Club, Yale’s principal undergraduate mixed chorus and oldest musical organization, has represented the best in collegiate choral music. During its recent 150th anniversary season, the Glee Club’s performances received rave reviews in the national press, including The New York Times (“One of the best collegiate singing ensembles, and one of the most adventurous…an exciting, beautifully sung concert at Carnegie Hall”). The Glee Club’s repertoire embraces a broad spectrum of choral music from the 16th century to the present, including Renaissance motets, contemporary choral works, folk music, spirituals, and traditional Yale songs. The Glee Club presents frequent premieres of newly commissioned works and sponsors two annual competitions for young composers. One of the world’s most traveled choruses, the Yale Glee Club has performed in every major city in the United States and embarked on its first overseas tour in 1928. The Glee Club has appeared with many distinguished guest conductors from Leopold Stokowski to Robert Shaw. The Yale Glee Club has had only seven directors in its 152-year history and is currently led by Jeffrey Douma.