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There will be no late seating for this performance. Please allow enough time to arrive at the hall so that you are seated on time.

Alan Gilbert Conducts Britten

This concert is now past.
Alan Gilbert
Location: Avery Fisher Hall (Directions)
Price Range: $29.00 - $99.00

Concert Duration

1 hour 30 minutes
Thu, Nov, 21, 2013
7:30 PM
Fri, Nov, 22, 2013
8:00 PM
Sat, Nov, 23, 2013
8:00 PM

Tenor Paul Appleby has withdrawn from these performances due to illness. On November 21 and 22, Michael Slattery replaces him in Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, and Dominic Armstrong replaces him in Spring Symphony. On November 23, Anthony Dean Griffey replaces him in both works.

The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)


Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings

Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings (1943)

Benjamin Britten composed his sublime song cycle Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings upon request from the legendary horn virtuoso Dennis Brain and created the tenor part for Peter Pears (the composer’s life partner, for whom he wrote all of his most notable tenor roles). A string orchestra accompanies the soloists. The dedicatee of the Serenade—and compiler of its texts— the English poet and critic Edward Sackville-West provides an apt summary of words and music: “The subject is Night and its prestigia [tricks], the lengthening shadow, the distant haze at sunset, the Baroque panoply of the starry sky, the heavy angels of sleep, but also the cloak of evil—the worm in the heart of the rose, the sense of sin in the heart of man.” The six “nocturnes” set poems by English authors spanning from the 15th to the 19th centuries, while a Prologue and an Epilogue for solo horn frame those songs. The first thing that will strike the ear of the listener is that the pitches of the haunting Prologue will sound sharp or flat. This is because we are accustomed to hearing the chromatic scale, whereas Britten asks the soloist to play on the natural harmonics of the horn (i.e., without using valves). Highlights of the Serenade include Pastoral—Charles Cotton’s “The Day’s Grown Old,” about the effects of the setting sun on the countryside, lengthening shadows and turning “brambles into tall cedars”; Elegy—William Blake’s darkly evocative “O Rose, thou art sick”; and Sonnet—John Keats’s “O soft embalmer of the still midnight,” in which the poets asks sleep to “seal the hushèd Casket of my Soul.” The hornist is not heard in Sonnet, but instead leaves the stage to play the Epilogue solo “in the distance,” a mirror image of the opening music. Fittingly, Britten chose to conduct Sonnet at the memorial concert for Dennis Brain who had died an untimely death at age 36 in a car accident.

Spring Symphony

Spring Symphony (1949)

Philharmonic audiences have the rare opportunity to hear one of Benjamin Britten’s masterworks, infrequently performed because of the huge artistic forces required. Cast in four sections—somewhat like movements of a symphony—it is scored for very large orchestra (including cow horn in the fourth section), chorus, boys’ choir, and three soloists. It was co-commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam. Inspired by the Suffolk countryside he loved, Britten explained that the work represents “a symphony not only dealing with the Spring itself but with the progress of Winter to Spring and the reawakening of the earth and life which that means.” Each movement’s several poems—a total of 14—establish a mood or feeling about spring or the coming summer season. Texts span from Edmund Spenser’s “The Merry Cuckoo” to William Blake’s “Sound the Flute” to W.H. Auden’s “Out on the Lawn I Lie in Bed.” Each of the settings collected within the “movements” has its own personality—something Britten masterfully achieves by varying the performing forces and effects (the boys choir, for example, not only sings but also whistles; or the tenor sings solo accompanied by three trumpets), ending with the full-throated climax of the Spring Symphony, “Sumer is icumen in.” Not heard here since Leonard Bernstein conducted the Philharmonic in 1963, this rich encomium to spring is a must-hear.  


Alan Gilbert

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009. The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of pride for the city and country. As New York magazine wrote, “The Philharmonic and its music director Alan Gilbert have turned themselves into a force of permanent revolution.”

Mr. Gilbert and the Philharmonic have forged artistic partnerships, introducing the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, held in the 2014–15 season by Christopher Rouse and violinist Lisa Batiashvili, respectively, as well as the new position of Artist-in-Association, inaugurated by Inon Barnatan this season; an annual festival, which this season is Dohnányi / Dvořák; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers inaugurated in spring 2014.

In the 2014–15 season Alan Gilbert conducts the U.S. Premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, alongside Mahler’s First Symphony; La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema with Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, and Josh Groban; Verdi’s Requiem; a staging of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; World Premieres by John Adams, Peter Eötvös, and Christopher Rouse; works by contemporary Nordic composers during CONTACT!; and the Silk Road Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma’s 15th-anniversary celebration. He concludes The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’s symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012. The Music Director presides over the EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour with stops including London, featuring Giants Are Small’s theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka as part of the Orchestra’s second International Associate residency at the Barbican Centre; Cologne, where he leads the World Premiere of Peter Eötvös’s Senza sangue, a Philharmonic co-commission; and returns to Dublin and Paris.

Last season’s highlights included the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL; Mozart’s three final symphonies; the U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Frieze coupled with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; World Premieres; an all-Britten program celebrating the composer’s centennial; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey as the film was screened; the ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour; and a staged production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. High points of Mr. Gilbert’s first four Philharmonic seasons included the critically celebrated productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2010) and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011) — both cited as the top cultural events of their respective years — as well as Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory (2012), the acclaimed spatial music program featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen, and A Dancer’s Dream: Two Ballets by Stravinsky (2013, and later presented in movie theaters internationally). Other highlights included World Premieres of works by Magnus Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and composers featured on CONTACT!; Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection, on A Concert for New York on September 10; Mr. Gilbert’s Philharmonic debut as violin soloist in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins; five concerts at Carnegie Hall; six tours to Europe; and the Asia Horizons tour.

Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras nationally and internationally, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra della Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has appeared at The Metropolitan, Los Angeles, Zurich, Royal Swedish, and Santa Fe opera companies. In 2014–15 he conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra’s season-opening concerts and on tour in Lucerne, Berlin, and London; Mozart’s Don Giovanni at The Metropolitan Opera; and The Philadelphia, Munich Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and NDR Symphony orchestras.

In September 2011 Alan Gilbert became Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he is also the first holder of Juilliard’s William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 leading John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; the DVD and Blu-ray of this production received the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Renée Fleming’s recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. Earlier releases garnered Grammy Award nominations and top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine.

Mr. Gilbert studied at Harvard University, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard and was assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra (1995–97). In May 2010 he received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Curtis, and in December 2011 he received Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Visit Alan Gilbert's Official Website

Learn more about Alan Gilbert



Michael Slattery

Michael Slattery made his New York Philharmonic debut in November 2013 singing Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings in the Orchestra’s celebrations of the composer’s 100th birthday as an acclaimed last-minute substitute for an ailing singer. Career highlights include the title role in Bernstein’s Candide at London’s Royal Festival Hall; The Very Best of Lerner & Loewe with Kelli O'Hara, Paolo Szot, and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall; Peter Sellars’s Tristan Project with Esa-Pekka Salonen and Philip Glass’s Akhnaten with John Adams, both with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; J.S. Bach’s B-minor Mass with Iván Fischer and the National Symphony Orchestra; Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 at the Berlin Staatsoper; and the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. He has also performed at the Edinburgh, Spoleto, Holland, Athens, Aspen Music, Mostly Mozart, and Williamstown Theater festivals, and as a soloist with ensembles including The Philadelphia, Seattle Symphony, St. Paul Chamber, and Philharmonia Baroque orchestras, and the Houston, Charlotte, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Pacific, and Kansas City symphony orchestras. Mr. Slattery’s solo recordings include The Irish Heart and Dowland in Dublin, chosen by Opera News as one of the best recordings of 2012. He has recorded a number of Handel’s works, including Saul with René Jacobs, for Harmonia Mundi, and Acis und Galatea, Atalanta, Samson, and Solomon with Nicholas McGegan. Recent projects have included Britten’s Curlew River with Olivier Py, and the World Premiere of Roland Auzet and Fabrice Melquiot’s Steve V (King different), the Steve Jobs digital opera, with Opéra de Lyon. Michael Slattery will perform in Robert Carsen’s production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence next summer. He is a long-time supporter of the organization Sing for Hope and resides in New York City.

Learn more about Michael Slattery


Tenor (Nov 21 & 22 <em>Spring Symphony</em> only)

Dominic Armstrong

Tenor Dominic Armstrong is a winner of the 2013 George London Foundation Vocal Competition. This season, he makes his role debut as Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca with the Northwest Indiana Symphony and appears in holiday concerts with the Oregon Symphony; in recital with the Brooklyn Art Song Society; in Mozart’s Requiem with the Lansing Symphony; in Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Orchestra, with both the Princeton Symphony and the Symphony in C; and in recital with Christine Brewer and Craig Rutenberg, under the auspices of the George London Foundation. In the 2012–13 season Mr. Armstrong returned to New York City Opera to sing Peter Quint in its production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, followed by his debuts at Carnegie Hall and with Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Steve in Andre Prévin’s A Streetcar Named Desire. He closed the season premiering two new operas: Jorge Sosa’s La Reina with American Lyric Theater, and Lera Auerbach’s The Blind with American Opera Projects. His engagements in the previous season included Chicago Opera Theatre’s production of Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki; his Memphis Opera debut as Eisenstein in J. Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus; and a return to Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival to cover Don José and perform Le Rémendado in Bizet’s Carmen. His other Castleton appearances included the roles of Macheath in Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera, Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Le Petit Vieillard in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortilèges, and Luigi in Puccini’s Il tabarro. Dominic Armstrong’s recent seasons have included performances with companies such as Opera Philadelphia, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Regio Torino, Wexford Festival Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, and Musica Viva Hong Kong. His numerous awards include Grand Finalist in the 2008 National Council Auditions with The Metropolitan Opera and winner of the 2009 Liederkranz Art Song Competition. These performances mark his New York Philharmonic debut.

Learn more about Dominic Armstrong


Tenor (Nov 23)

Anthony Dean Griffey

Four-time Grammy Award–winning tenor Anthony Dean Griffey’s 2013–14 season includes performances in Britten’s Peter Grimes with the St. Louis Symphony and War Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; both included appearances at Carnegie Hall. He also returns to Houston Grand Opera and Los Angeles Opera, and makes debuts at Opera Carolina and the Orquestra Simfònica del Gran Teatre del Liceu. Mr. Griffey has appeared at The Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Paris Opéra, Teatro Comunale di Firenze, and Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera. He has performed the title role in Peter Grimes all over the world, most recently in The Met’s production broadcast on the Met: Live in HD series. He created the roles of Mitch in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, at San Francisco Opera, and Lennie in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, at Houston Grand Opera. He recently premiered Christopher Theofanidis’s The Gift with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Concert engagements have included the New York, Berlin, Munich, and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras; the Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Montreal, Toronto, and London symphony orchestras; The Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras; The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Philharmonia Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland at the Concertgebouw, and NJK Symphony Orchestra; and at the BBC Proms, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Aspen, Edinburgh, Lanaudière, and Saito Kinen festivals. He made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in 2004, and has given recitals with pianist Warren Jones throughout the United States. Anthony Dean Griffey holds degrees from Wingate University, Eastman School of Music, and The Juilliard School, and he was a member of The Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Program. He was also inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2011. His honors include the Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wingate University and induction into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Anthony Dean Griffey made his New York Philharmonic debut in October 1999 performing the World Premieres of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Garden of Light and Miachel Torkey’s Four Seasons, conducted by then Music Director Kurt Masur; he most recently appeared with the Philharmonic in June 2010 performing Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert.

Learn more about Anthony Dean Griffey



Philip Myers

Philip Myers, The Ruth F. and Alan J. Broder Chair, joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Horn in January 1980. He made his solo debut during his first month with the Orchestra in the premiere of William Schuman’s Three Colloquies for French Horn and Orchestra, and he has appeared as a Philharmonic soloist on numerous occasions. In October 2012 he performed Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and in November 2013 he performed Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, led by Alan Gilbert. Other highlights include Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns, with Lorin Maazel in February 2007 and Kurt Masur in May 2001; Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings led by André Previn in October 2001; and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon in March 2010, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert. He is a member of the New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet, which performs an annual Holiday Brass Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, and appears often internationally in conjunction with the Orchestra’s tours.

Mr. Myers began his orchestral career in 1971 with a three-year term as principal horn of the Atlantic Symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was third horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1974 until 1977. As principal horn of the Minnesota Orchestra for a season and a half, he made his solo debut with that ensemble in 1979, performing Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto

No. 1 with Sir Neville Marriner conducting. A native of Elkhart, Indiana, Philip Myers holds two degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He plays Engelbert Schmid French horns.

Learn more about Philip Myers



Kate Royal

London-born soprano Kate Royal studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the National Opera Studio. Her honors include the 2004 Kathleen Ferrier Award, 2004 John Christie Award, and 2007 Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award.

In concert Ms. Royal has performed with the London, Berlin, Los Angeles, La Scala, Royal Liverpool, and Rotterdam philharmonic orchestras; Boston, National, BBC, and Bavarian Radio symphony orchestras; Orpheus and Scottish Chamber Orchestras; Concert d’Astrée; Philharmonia Orchestra; and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She has appeared at the BBC Proms and the Verbier, Baden-Baden, and Edinburgh International festivals, and she has given recitals throughout Europe and North America. The conductors she has collaborated with include Thomas Adès, Jiří Bělohlávek, Myung-Whun Chung, Emmanuelle Haïm, Pablo Heras-Casado, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Charles Mackerras, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vasily Petrenko, Sir Simon Rattle, Helmuth Rilling, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robin Ticciati, and Jaap van Zweden.

Ms. Royal’s opera engagements include Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute at the Lucerne and Glyndebourne Festivals and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and the Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw for Glyndebourne Touring Opera; Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Glyndebourne Festival and at Teatro Real in Madrid; Poppea in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea for English National Opera; Miranda in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest at Covent Garden; Handel’s L’Allegro for Paris Opera; Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen and Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Glyndebourne Festival; and Countess Almaviva at the Aix-en-Provence Festival. In 2011 she made her debut at The Metropolitan Opera as Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Upcoming appearances include Micaëla at The Metropolitan Opera, the Governess at Paris Opera, Lady Penelope Rich in Britten’s Gloriana at Covent Garden, and Pamina at Baden-Baden with Mr. Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic.

An exclusive EMI Classics recording artist, Kate Royal’s discography includes Midsummer Night, a collection of 20th-century arias performed with Edward Gardner and the Orchestra of English National Opera, and a recording of some of her favorite songs performed with Mr. Gardner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Her solo recital disc with pianist Malcolm Martineau, A Lesson in Love, was released in 2011. Other recordings include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Manchester Camerata (Avie Records) and Schumann’s Liederkreis with pianist Graham Johnson (Hyperion).



Sasha Cooke

During the summer of 2012 mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl with Leonard Slatkin and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with Robert Spano at the Aspen Music Festival, and Beethoven’s Mass in C major with Louis Langrée at the Mostly Mozart Festival. She also appeared at the Round Top and Music@Menlo festivals. Highlights of the 2012–13 season include her San Francisco Opera debut as the title role in the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, role debuts as Magnolia in Show Boat at Houston Grand Opera and Sonia in Dominick Argento’s The Aspern Papers at Dallas Opera, and a return to the San Francisco Symphony in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Michael Tilson Thomas. She gives the world premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’s Earth Echoes with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and she performs Mahler’s Third Symphony with Mr. Slatkin and the Orchestre National de Lyon, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Jean-Marie Zeitouni and the Columbus Symphony, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with Pinchas Steinberg and The Cleveland Orchestra, and Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony with Mr. Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. She also performs for the New York Festival of Song series, with the Miró Quartet for Friends of Chamber Music in Denver, and with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York and Mecklenburg, Germany.

Previous engagements for Ms. Cooke include, among many others, Kitty Oppenheimer in The Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, which was released on DVD and won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording; the Asia premiere of John Corigliano’s One Sweet Morning with Lan Shui and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra; and Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. At The Metropolitan Opera, where she was a member of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she sang the role of the Sandman in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, which was broadcast live in high definition to cinemas across the United States and later released on DVD.

Sasha Cooke has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, and Merkin Concert Hall, among other venues. Her honors include First Place and the American Prize in the José Iturbi International Music Competition, Top Prize in the Gerda Lissner Foundation’s International Vocal Competition, and The Kennedy Center’s Marian Anderson Award, all in 2010; First Prizes in the 2007 Sun Valley Opera International Vocal Competition and 2006 Bach Vocal Competition for American Singers, sponsored by The American Bach Society and The Bach Choir of Bethlehem; and Third Prize in the 2006 Licia Albanese-Puccini International Vocal Competition.



New York Choral Artists, a professional chorus founded and directed by Joseph Flummerfelt, has been heard with the New York Philharmonic in recent seasons performing repertoire ranging from Tippett’s A Child of Our Time to Mozart’s Requiem. The chorus opened the Philharmonic’s 2002–03 subscription season performing the World Premiere of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, commissioned by the Philharmonic with Lincoln Center’s Great Performers. Other highlights of the group’s history include the 1995 Philharmonic concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, and a televised performance of the 1986 Statue of Liberty Concert in Central Park. The chorus performed Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 during Lorin Maazel’s final weeks as Music Director, and has more recently collaborated with Music Director Alan Gilbert on Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, Bach’s B-minor Mass, and Britten’s Spring Symphony in the concerts celebrating the British composer’s centennial.

Learn more about New York Choral Artists



Joseph Flummerfelt

For more than 40 seasons Joseph Flummerfelt has been preparing choral performances for the New York Philharmonic. Named Conductor of the Year in 2004 by Musical America, he is founder and musical director of the New York Choral Artists and an artistic director of Spoleto Festival U.S.A. He was conductor of the Westminster Choir for 33 years. He has collaborated with such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Alan Gilbert, Carlo Maria Giulini, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Robert Shaw, and William Steinberg. His choirs have been featured on 45 recordings, including Grammy Award–winning versions of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Bernstein, Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra, and John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls. He has also received two Grammy nominations, and his Delos recording of Brahms’s choral works, Singing for Pleasure, with the Westminster Choir, was chosen by The New York Times as a favorite among Brahms recordings. Mr. Flummerfelt’s honors include Le Prix du Président de la République from L’Académie du Disque Français and four honorary doctoral degrees. He is sought out as a guest conductor and master teacher of choral conducting in New York and throughout the United States.

Learn more about Joseph Flummerfelt



Now in its 22nd season, the Grammy Award–winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus (BYC), under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Dianne Berkun-Menaker, is defying convention and re-imagining the artistic role of the youth chorus. BYC has become one of the country’s leading choruses, performing hundreds of concerts, collaborating with some of the most influential composers and artists of our time, and commissioning daring, new choral works. BYC has performed with major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Orchestra, and under the batons of Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Charles Dutoit, Robert Spano, and Leon Botstein. The Chorus has also appeared in performances and recordings with popular artists including Barbra Streisand, Sir Elton John, Lou Reed, Philip Glass, Kronos Quartet, and Alicia Keys. BYC won a Grammy for the world premiere live recording of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls with the New York Philharmonic in 2005. Central to BYC’s work is New Voices, an active commissioning program with the goal of creating innovative, genre-bending repertoire that challenges and thrills both singers and audiences. Among the celebrated composers BYC has commissioned are Pulitzer prizewinners David Lang and Paul Moravec, Bryce Dessner, Missy Mazzoli, Nico Muhly, Kirk Nurock, Richard Reed Parry, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Julia Wolfe, and Shara Worden. These collaborations have yielded thirty individual compositions as well as full-scale productions, including Tell the Way (2011), co-produced with St. Ann’s Warehouse and featuring composer Nico Muhly, and Brooklyn Village (2012), co-produced with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Roulette Theater. In addition, BYC often performs in major music festivals, including BAM’s Next Wave Festival, BAM’s Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Festival, the Ecstatic Music Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, MusicNOW Festival in Cincinnati, and the Bang on a Can Marathon at the River to River Festival. The young singers, who are drawn from all five boroughs of New York City, receive unparalleled training from the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy (BYCA)—a performance-based vocal music education program.



Dianne Berkun-Menaker is the founder and artistic director of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy (BYCA). Since 1992, BYCA has grown to become a pioneering arts organization with a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world's foremost composers and artists. As artistic director, Ms. Berkun-Menaker has pursued a vision that defies the conventional artistic role of a youth chorus. With the creation of BYC’s New Voices, she has commissioned and presented daring choral repertoire that both challenges and appeals to her young singers. The program has yielded 30 genre-bending works by an eclectic group of influential composers, including Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Aleksandra Vrebalov, Julia Wolfe, and Shara Worden. Under her direction, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (BYC) has become one of the country’s most sought-after ensembles — known not only for its remarkable sound, but also for its ability to express a vast emotional and musical range. She has prepared choruses for performances with such major orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Most notably, she prepared BYC for its 2002 debut with the New York Philharmonic in John Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning On the Transmigration of Souls, the recording for which the Chorus won a Grammy Award in 2005. An active guest conductor and clinician, she is a regular presenter for such organizations as the New York Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, and the American Choral Directors Association. She was the artistic director for the 2012–13 Carnegie Hall Choral Institute and is creator of BYCA’s groundbreaking Cross-Choral Training™ program—a unique approach to voice training. Ms. Berkun-Menaker earned her B.S. degree in Music Education and Piano from New York University. She studied at Mannes College of Music, holds a diploma in the Kodály Concept from the University of Calgary, and earned the Artist-Teacher diploma from CME Institute.

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