Yale Schola Cantorum, conducted by its music director Masaaki Suzuki, will join forces with Juilliard415 and the Yale Baroque Ensemble, with Robert Mealy as concertmaster, to perform Bach's monumental St. Matthew Passion in May.
The New Haven performance will take place on Friday, May 6 at 8pm in Woolsey Hall (corner College and Grove). Markus Rathey, Associate Professor of Music History and a noted Bach scholar, will give a preconcert talk in the Presidents Room (Woolsey Hall) at 7 pm. The New Haven concert is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.
The New York performance will take place the following day on Saturday, May 7 at 8pm at Park Avenue Christian Church (1010 Park Ave. at 85th St.). Free tickets for this concert are available online at www.parkavenuechristian.com/concerts.
This is the first collaboration between the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Juilliard Historical Performance to present authentic interpretations on period instruments. After the New Haven and New York concerts, the groups will embark on a tour of Italy in May, performing at festivals in Milan, Florence, and Rome.
Yale Schola Cantorum, founded in 2003 by Simon Carrington, is a 24-voice chamber choir that sings in concerts and choral services. Supported by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music with the School of Music and open by audition to all Yale students, it specializes in music before 1750 and the last hundred years. In addition to performing regularly in New Haven, New York and Boston, Schola Cantorum records and tours nationally and internationally. Their live recording on CD with Robert Mealy and Yale Collegium Musicum of Heinrich Biber’s 1693 Vesperae longiores ac breviores, (available through Carus Verlag) received international acclaim from the early music press as have their previous CDs of J.S. Bach’s rarely heard 1725 version of the St John Passion and Antonio Bertali's Missa Resurrectionis, released on the reZound label and available online at www.gothic-catalog.com.
The Yale Baroque Ensemble, directed by the baroque violinist Robert Mealy, is a new postgraduate ensemble at the Yale School of Music dedicated to the highest level of study and performance of the Baroque repertoire. Using Yale's collection of baroque instruments, members of the Ensemble go through an intensive one-year program of study, immersing themselves in the chamber and solo repertoire from 1600 to 1785. The Yale Baroque Ensemble is presented in a series of concerts each year, including a special appearance this spring at Carnegie's Weill Hall as part of the "Yale at Carnegie" series.
Joining Yale's early music ensembles in this special project will be Juilliard415, the performing ensemble of Juilliard Historical Performance. This newly-established program provides a comprehensive course of study for exceptional graduate-level musicians who have a special interest in period-instrument performance. With an emphasis on music from the High Baroque through the early Classical eras performed on appropriate instruments, the performance-oriented curriculum brings together some of the most prominent period-instrument performers, scholars, and teachers in the world, under the artistic leadership of baroque violinist Monica Huggett.
These three student ensembles will be directed by the distinguished early-music conductor Masaaki Suzuki. Since founding Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of J.S. Bach. He has remained the group's music director ever since, taking it regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the USA. Suzuki’s impressive discography on the BIS label, featuring Bach’s complete works for harpsichord and his interpretations of Bach’s major choral works and sacred cantatas with Bach Collegium Japan (of which he has already completed over forty volumes of a project to record the complete series) have brought him much critical praise.
The performances are coproduced by Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Juilliard Historical Performance. For more information on the New Haven concert, call 203/432/5062. Information and tickets to the New York performance are available at www.parkavenuechristian.com/concerts.