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Calendar

Brooklyn Youth Chorus & San Francisco Girls Chorus

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Location

Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center

Directions
Price Range

$25

Date & Times

9

Jun, 2016

Thursday, 7:00 PM

Event Info

To purchase tickets to this concert, click here and use the “Buy Tickets” button. This concert is a double bill with an 8:30 PM concert featuring The Knights with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus, also in the Rose Theater. Tickets are valid for both concerts.

Part of NY PHIL BIENNIAL

martiniPlay Date with composers and performers after concert at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center (between the double bill).

Hear music by Oscar-winning legend Philip Glass, Pulitzer Prize winner and Kanye West collaborator Caroline Shaw, and more when Brooklyn Youth Chorus (“The sheer beauty of their singing was captivating” — The New York Times) and San Francisco Girls Chorus (“A listener could only sit slack-jawed in astonishment at the beauty and clarity of their singing” — San Francisco Chronicle) team up at the NY PHIL BIENNIAL.

Presented by the New York Philharmonic

Program

Philip Glass/
Arr. L. Bielawa and P. Glass

“Father Death Blues” from Hydrogen Jukebox (New York Premiere of choral arrangement)

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Carla Kihlstedt

Herring Run (New York Premiere)

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Theo Bleckmann

Final Answer (World Premiere)

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Caroline Shaw

so quietly (World Premiere)

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Mary Kouyoumdjian

Become Who I Am

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Gabriel Kahane

Back of the Choir (World Premiere)

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Artists

Dianne Berkun Menaker

Conductor

Dianne Berkun Menaker

Conductor

Conductor

Dianne Berkun Menaker is the founder and artistic director of Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Under her visionary leadership, the chorus has become one of the most highly regarded ensembles in the country and has stretched the artistic boundaries for the youth chorus. She has prepared choruses for performances with acclaimed conductors, including Alan Gilbert, Marin Alsop, James Levine, Charles Dutoit, and Robert Spano. Most notably, she prepared the chorus for its 2002 debut with the New York Philharmonic in John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, the recording for which the chorus won a Grammy Award in 2005. Ms. Berkun Menaker has also prepared the Chorus for appearances and recordings with artists such as Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Lou Reed, Philip Glass, Grizzly Bear, John Legend, Natasha Bedingfield, and Alicia Keys. Out of a desire to showcase the chorus’s versatility and uniquely beautiful sounds, she has developed an active commissioning program, collaborating with some of the most important composers of our time. Ms. Berkun Menaker is a regular choral clinician and teaching artist for such organizations as the New York Philharmonic and The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall and has also presented workshops and master classes for New York University, New York State School Music Association, the American Choral Directors Association, and the New York City Department of Education. She is the creator of the chorus’s Cross-Choral Training program, a proven holistic and experiential approach to developing singers in a group setting encompassing both voice and musicianship pedagogy.

Learn more about Dianne Berkun Menaker
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Valérie Sainte-Agathe

Conductor

Valérie Sainte-Agathe

Conductor

Conductor

A native of Martinique, Valérie Sainte-Agathe has served as music director and principal conductor of the San Francisco Girls Chorus and Chorus School since 2013. She received her bachelor’s degree in choral conducting from Université Paul Valéry in Montpellier; her diplome d’études musicales in piano, chamber music, and theory from the Montpellier Conservatory; a master’s in management from the University of Montpellier; and a master’s in cultural project management from Paul Valéry University, where she led the choir Ecume. She studied piano performance at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and has served as a pianist for the Orchestre National de Montpellier and the Festival de Radio France, where she performed in concerts and recordings of works by contemporary composers such as John Adams, Michael Torke, and Steve Reich. She participated in numerous productions by the Opéra National de Montpellier and Opéra Junior, first as a vocal coach, then as a choirmaster; she was appointed artistic coordinator and music director in 2000. In 2005 she served as choir director for Paris’s second Vocal Art Biennale, and the Festival de Radio France with Armin Jordan for Humperdinck’s Die Königskinder, and worked with Emmanuel Krivine and Alain Altinoglu for Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher. She also produced the World Premiere of Didier Lockwood’s jazz opera ¡Libertad! at Montpellier’s Opéra Comédie, prepared the Junior Opera Chorus in collaboration with the Regional Symphonic Choir (2008), and participated in 2010’s Victoires de la Musique for Faure’s Pavane accompanied by the Orchestra of Montpellier, as well as Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors. In 2012 Ms. Sainte-Agathe participated in eight recordings with the Orchestre National de Montpellier and the Festival de Radio France. She is a recipient of the Victoires de la Musique and two Orphée d’or for Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher and D’Indy’s L’étranger.

Learn more about Valérie Sainte-Agathe
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Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Dianne Berkun Menaker, director

Chorus

Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Dianne Berkun Menaker, director

Chorus

Chorus

Brooklyn Youth Chorus — WQXR’s 2016–17 artists-in-residence, now celebrating its 25th anniversary — is a collective of young singers and vocal ensembles re-envisioning choral music performance through artistic innovation, collaboration, and distinctively beautiful sound. With an incredibly versatile range and repertoire, Brooklyn Youth Chorus combines intensive voice training and music study with exceptional performance experiences. The chorus has appeared with acclaimed orchestras and conductors, including the New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and under the batons of Alan Gilbert, Gustavo Dudamel, James Levine, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Additionally, the chorus has performed with major recording artists such as Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Grizzly Bear, and John Legend. The chorus received a 2005 Grammy Award for the recording of John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls with the New York Philharmonic.

Silent Voices, Brooklyn Youth Chorus’s 25th anniversary project that premieres at BAM for the winter–spring season in May 2017, harnesses the power of young people to be instruments of change, giving voice to those silenced or marginalized by social, cultural, or religious circumstances. The chorus has appeared at important contemporary music festivals including the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, Ecstatic Music Festival, MusicNOW, 21c Liederabend, and the Prototype Festival. It has also toured throughout the United States and Europe, including on recent trips to Arizona, Chicago, Minneapolis, Amsterdam, London, and Washington, D.C.

Founded in 1992 by artistic director Dianne Berkun Menaker, Brooklyn Youth Chorus’s program encompasses more than 650 students in its core after-school and public school outreach programs. Classes take place at their Cobble Hill headquarters and neighborhood locations in Bedford-Stuyvesant, East Flatbush, Red Hook, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Dianne Berkun Menaker is the founder and artistic director of Brooklyn Youth Chorus, which, under her leadership, has become one of the most highly regarded ensembles in the country and has stretched the artistic boundaries for the youth chorus. Ms. Berkun Menaker has prepared choruses for performances with acclaimed conductors including Alan Gilbert, Marin Alsop, James Levine, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, and Gustavo Dudamel. Most notably, she prepared the chorus for its 2002 New York Philharmonic debut in John Adams’s On the Transmigration of Souls, for the recording of which the chorus won a Grammy Award in 2005. Ms. Berkun Menaker is the creator of the chorus’s Cross-Choral Training program, a holistic and experiential approach to developing singers in a group setting encompassing both voice and musicianship pedagogy.

Learn more about Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Dianne Berkun Menaker, director

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San Francisco Girls Chorus

Chorus

San Francisco Girls Chorus

Chorus

Chorus

Since its founding in 1978, the San Francisco Girls Chorus (SFGC) has been a pioneer in the field of choral music for young women’s voices. With a mission to create outstanding performances featuring the unique and compelling sound of young women’s voices through an exemplary music education program, SFGC is a regional center for music education and performance for girls and young women, ages 5–18. More than 350 singers from 160 schools in 48 Bay Area cities participate in this internationally recognized program, deemed “a model in the country for training girls’ voices” by the California Arts Council. SFGC performs more than 100 concerts each year, reaching 50,000 to 100,000 people locally and internationally. Following a 30th anniversary season that included featured performances at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and a New York debut at Lincoln Center, SFGC has furthered its status as an internationally celebrated professional choral ensemble. In 2010 the ensemble won its fourth and fifth Grammy Awards for Mahler’s Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. In 2013 it toured to Berlin, Germany, to participate in artistic director Lisa Bielawa’s large-scale spatial symphony, Tempelhof Broadcast, and performed as part of the San Francisco iteration of the ambitious piece, Crissy Broadcast, in October 2013. Under the direction of music director and principal conductor Valérie Sainte-Agathe, SFGC performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera, and has appeared with many other renowned cultural organizations including the Simón Bolivar Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, ODC/Dance, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, and Tokyo Philharmonic.

Learn more about San Francisco Girls Chorus

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Lisa Bielawa

Artistic Director, San Francisco Girls Chorus

Lisa Bielawa

Artistic Director, San Francisco Girls Chorus

Artistic Director, San Francisco Girls Chorus

Composer and vocalist Lisa Bielawa is a 2009 Rome Prize winner in Musical Composition. She takes inspiration for her work from literary sources and close artistic collaborations. Born in San Francisco into a musical family, Ms. Bielawa played violin and piano, sang, and composed from childhood. She moved to New York in 1990, after graduating from Yale University, and became an active participant in New York musical life. She began touring as the vocalist with the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1992 and has premiered and toured works by John Zorn, Anthony Braxton, and Michael Gordon. In 1997 she co-founded the MATA Festival, which celebrates the work of young composers. Ms. Bielawa was appointed artistic director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus in 2013 and is an artist-in-residence at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, California. Lisa Bielawa’s music is frequently performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Recent highlights include a performance of Trojan Women at Le Poisson Rouge and a residency at Zorn’s The Stone, plus world premieres of Hypermelodia at The Rivers School Conservatory, The Right Weather by ACO at Carnegie Hall, The Lay of the Love and Death at Lincoln Center, Chance Encounter by Susan Narucki and The Knights, and Airfield Broadcasts, a work for hundreds of musicians that was premiered on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin in May 2013 and later performed at Crissy Field in San Francisco in October 2013. Ms. Bielawa is currently at work on Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser, a new opera composed on a libretto by Erik Ehn and directed by Charles Otte, created for episodic release via broadcast and online media. Vireo won the 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Multimedia Award. Her latest album, The Lay of the Love, was released on Innova in June 2015.

Learn more about Lisa Bielawa

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Theo Bleckmann

Vocalist

Theo Bleckmann

Vocalist

Vocalist

Grammy-nominated jazz singer and new music composer Theo Bleckmann’s diverse recorded work includes albums of Las Vegas standards, Weimar art songs, and popular “bar songs” (all with pianist Fumio Yasuda); a recording of newly-arranged songs by Charles Ives (with jazz/rock collective Kneebody); and his acclaimed Hello Earth — The Music of Kate Bush. Mr. Bleckmann has most recently appeared as a special guest on recordings by Ambrose Akinmusire for Blue Note Records and Julia Hülsmann’s trio for ECM Records. In January 2017 ECM will release Mr. Bleckmann’s recording with his new Elegy Quintet, produced by legendary label head and founder Manfred Eicher. Theo Bleckmann has collaborated with musicians, artists, actors, and composers including Ambrose Akinmusire, Laurie Anderson, Uri Caine, Philip Glass, Ann Hamilton, John Hollenbeck, Sheila Jordan, Phil Kline, David Lang, Kirk Nurock, Frances MacDormand, Ben Monder, Michael Tilson Thomas, Kenny Wheeler, John Zorn, te Bang on a Can All-Stars, and, most prominently, Meredith Monk, with whom Mr. Bleckmann worked as a core ensemble member for more than 15 years. He has been interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared with Laurie Anderson on Late Show with David Letterman. In 2015 Mr. Bleckmann premiered a new work for the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and in 2016 his work is being featured in the NY PHIL BIENNIAL and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Bleckmann has consistently appeared in the top-five spots in the DownBeat critics’ polls for Best Male Vocalist and top-ten spots in their readers’ polls, and his work on Phil Kline’s Out Cold helped place that production on WQXR’s Operavore Best Opera of 2012. In 2010 he received the prestigious JAZZ ECHO award from the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in his native Germany. 

Learn more about Theo Bleckmann

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Hotel Elefant

Amplified string quartet

Hotel Elefant

Amplified string quartet

Amplified string quartet

Hotel Elefant is a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to the music of innovative, living composers. Founded by composers Leaha Maria Villarreal and Mary Kouyoumdjian, Hotel Elefant brings an awareness of today’s music to the general public through commissions, performances, and moderated discussions among composers, performers, and audiences. With a flexible roster of more than 20 musicians, Hotel Elefant works closely with a broad spectrum of progressive artists including John Luther Adams, Richard Carrick, Michael Gordon, Paola Prestini, David T. Little, Angélica Negrón, Matt Marks, and Chinary Ung. The ensemble has performed at venues including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Carnegie Hall, Look and Listen Festival, and Bang on a Can Marathon; collaborated with the Kronos Quartet and The Nouveau Classical Project; and partnered with BalletCollective, Experiments in Opera, and Ear Heart Music. Alongside its commitment to commissioning and performing new music, Hotel Elefant is dedicated to documenting the musical thoughts and experiences of contemporary artists through video, engaging thousands of viewers globally in the creative process.

Learn more about Hotel Elefant

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Special Thanks

Major support for the NY PHIL BIENNIAL is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, and The Francis Goelet Fund.

Additional funding is provided by Howard Gilman Foundation and Honey M. Kurtz.

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