2014 Bach Festival

Mastering the Mass: Perspectives on the Bach Mass in B Minor

Join us in March, over three weekends, where we explore in depth Bach’s glorious Mass in B Minor in preparation for our performance with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra on March 30, 2014 at 4 PM at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford.

According to Maestro Coffey, “The Mass in B Minor represents the culmination of the entire life’s work of J.S. Bach. Within it there is poignancy, contemplation, architectural splendor and unbridled joy all delivered by the hands and voices of choruses, soloists, and large orchestra.” The public performance of the B Minor Mass marks Maestro Coffey’s final concert with CONCORA, as he steps down as Artistic Director after 40 years.

The Festival offers two Saturdays of a morning lecture and a Community Sing, led by Maestro Coffey, lunch, and an open CONCORA rehearsal from 1:00 to 4:00, with light refreshments. We also present three Sunday afternoons with our special guests: Dr. Julianne Baird, soprano; Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, mezzo-soprano; and Dr. Christoph Wolff, eminent Bach scholar.

Each Festival day is considered an event; you can register for any event for $25 ($15 for students). We offer a pass to the entire Festival for $100 ($60 for students). Please print a copy of the Festival brochure and mail the registration form to the CONCORA office, or call us at 860-293-0567 to reserve your place. All events take place at South Church in New Britain: click here for directions.

We recommend that you bring a score to these events; you can purchase a copy of the Bärenreiter score for $20 on the registration form. (We require at least two weeks notice.)

Presenters

Dr. Christoph Wolff is Adams University Professor at Harvard University. Born and educated in Germany, he studied at the Universities of Berlin, Erlangen, and Freiburg, taking a performance diploma in 1963 and the Dr. Phil. in 1966. He taught the history of music at Erlangen, Toronto, Princeton, and Columbia Universities before joining the Harvard faculty in 1976 as Professor of Music. At Harvard he served as Chair of the Music Department and Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1992-2000). Recipient of international prizes & several honorary degrees, he serves as Director of the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig and President of the Répertoire International des Sources Musicales. He has published widely on the history of music from the 15th to the 20th centuries. Bach: Essays on His Life and Music, Mozart’s Requiem, The New Bach Reader, and Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musicia are his most recent books.

Julianne Baird, soprano, maintains a busy concert schedule of solo recitals and performances of baroque opera and oratorio. She has appeared as soloist with many major symphonies. With over 100 recordings to her credit, she is considered one of America’s most recorded women. Dr. Baird is an active teacher and scholar, with a degree from the Eastman School and a PhD in music history from Stanford University. She is regularly asked to provide master classes at universities and music schools.

Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, mezzo-soprano, is a member of the world-renowned vocal quartet Anonymous 4, and has recorded 10 award-winning CDs with the group. In addition to her work with Anonymous 4. she has a reputation as an accomplished soloist, specializing in early and new music. She is also a voice teacher, with a thriving studio in NYC. She gives master classes and ensemble technique workshops and has given residencies at colleges all over the US. She is currently a visiting artist at Duke University NC.

Richard Coffey is one of New England’s principal choral conductors. He founded CONCORA, Connecticut Choral Artists, as a professional vocal ensemble in 1974. Mr. Coffey is Organist and Minister of Music at South Church in New Britain, and is also Music Director of the Hartford Chorale. He holds degrees in music from the Univ. of North Carolina Greensboro and the School of Sacred Music, Union Theological Seminary. He is the 2009 recipient of the Alfred Nash Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jason Charneski, organist, has served as Director of Music and the Arts at Center Church in Hartford since 2002, where he serves as organist and directs the Center Church Choir. He is a frequent accompanist with CONCORA, and is active in the American Guild of Organists (AGO). Mr. Charneski holds degrees in organ performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Emlyn Ngai, Baroque violinist, leads a broad and distinguished career as both a modern and historical violinist. As a member of the Adaskin String Trio, he has concertized and recorded extensively. As a historical violinist, Emlyn is Concertmaster of the Philadelphia baroque orchestra Tempest di Mare, and Associate Concertmaster of the Carmel Bach Festival Orchestra, where he is also first violin of the Festival Quartet. As first prize winner at the 1995 Locatelli Concours Amsterdam, Emlyn recorded a solo CD of Corelli, Locatelli, and Tartini for Vanguard Classics. Together with harpsichordist Peter Watchorn, he has recorded J.S. Bach’s Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord on Musica Omnia. He holds a BM from McGill University and an M.M. in historical performance from Oberlin Conservatory.

Christine Gevert, harpsichordist, has been the organist and choir director at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lime Rock, Connecticut, and the artistic director of Crescendo since 2001. She began her musical studies in Santiago, Chile, and continued in Hamburg, Berlin, and London. She has performed as a solo organist and harpsichordist throughout Germany and Chile. She has recorded for Carpe Diem records, Berlin, since 1995, and can be heard on the early German Baroque CD Dulcis Memoriae, as well as in recordings with Les Inégales.

Kyle Swann, pianist and conductor, made his professional debut in 1993, leading James Sellar’s The World is Round at the Wadsworth Atheneum. He has subsequently appeared with numerous orchestras and opera companies, including Opera Theater of Connecticut, Mississippi Opera, Connecticut Opera, and Opera Boston. Mr. Swann in on the faculty at the Yale School of Music, where he is a coach for Yale Opera and accompanies numerous artsong recitals. He is also a vocal coach at The Hartt School. He holds degrees from The Hartt School in both piano and conducting, and counts Sidney Harth, Eleazer de Carvalho, Arthur Winograd and Raymond Hanson as his principal teachers.

Schedule

Saturday, March 8, 2014:

8:30: Coffee and registration
9:15: The Rev. Louis G. Nuechterlein presents a lecture on “The Life of J.S. Bach.”
10:15: Break
10:30: A Community Sing of the choruses from the Kyrie and Gloria movements of the Mass, led by Richard Coffey with Edward Clark accompanying.
Noon: Lunch in Cooper Hall
1:00 – 4:00: Open rehearsal of CONCORA in the Sanctuary.
2:30: Light refreshments in the Assyrian Memorial Parlor.

Sunday, March 9, 2014: An Afternoon with Soprano Julianne Baird, distinguished scholar and performer of Baroque music.

1:30: Registration
2:00: “Riots? Fist Fights? How Many Singers Should Sing the Mass in B Minor?” – Dr. Baird in conversation with Richard Coffey about historical performance practices.
2:45: Recital: “Music for Hearth and Home: An Evening in the Home of J.S. Bach” with harpsichordist Christine Gevert.
3:30: Vocal Master Class for half of the B Minor Mass soloists, all stepping out from the CONCORA roster, with Kyle Swann accompanying.
A reception follows.

Saturday, March 15, 2014:

8:30: Coffee and registration
9:15: Jason Charneski performs excerpts from Bach’s Clavier-Übung, known as the “Organ Mass,” and discusses the link between the Mass in B Minor and this liturgical masterpiece for organ.
10:15: Break
10:30: The Community Sing explores the choruses from the Credo movement of the Mass, led by Richard Coffey with Edward Clark accompanying.
Noon: Lunch in Cooper Hall
1:00 – 4:00: Open rehearsal of CONCORA in the Sanctuary.
2:30: Light refreshments in the Assyrian Memorial Parlor.

Sunday, March 16, 2014: An Afternoon with Mezzo-Soprano Jacqueline Horner-Kwiatek, acclaimed early music presenter and member of Anonymous 4.

1:30: Registration
2:00: Ms. Horner-Kwiatek presents a lecture, “The Joys and Challenges of Singing Bach.”
2:45: Recital: “Bach and Friends” with Kyle Swann accompanying.
3:15: Break
3:30: Vocal master class with the remaining CONCORA Bach soloists.
A reception follows

Sunday, March 23, 2014: An Afternoon with Christoph Wolff, professor emeritus at Harvard, distinguished scholar and author best known for his works on the music and life of Bach. Dr. Wolff will present two lectures.

1:30: Registration
2:00: Greetings from Richard Coffey
2:15: Lecture: “The Bach Expedition: New Findings about Bach’s Life and Works.”
3:15: Break
3:30: Emlyn Ngai performs Bach’s Partita in D minor on Baroque violin.
4:00: Lecture: “Bach’s Mass in B Minor.”
A reception follows.

 

 

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