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Bach’s St. Matthew Passion

Mar 23 - Mar 25


A work of startling emotional and psychological depth, J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion brings together the whole of the composer’s musical language in the service of expressing his deep personal faith. Tenor Nicholas Phan sings the role of the Evangelist. 



7:30 PM





8:00 PM





8:00 PM




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Wu Tsai Theater, David Geffen Hall


3 Hours 15 Minutes with Intermission

Additional Info
These concerts will be streamed on the Hauser Digital Wall.


Program Notes

J.S. Bach

St. Matthew Passion



  • Jaap van Zweden


    Jaap van Zweden began his tenure as the 26th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2018. He also serves as Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, a post he has held since 2012, and becomes Music Director of the Seoul Philharmonic in 2024. He has conducted orchestras on three continents, appearing as guest with, in Europe, the Orchestre de Paris, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and London Symphony Orchestra, and, in the United States, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and other distinguished ensembles.

    In 2023–24, Jaap van Zweden’s New York Philharmonic farewell season will celebrate his connection with the Orchestra’s musicians as he leads performances in which six Principal players appear as concerto soloists. He also revisits the oeuvres of composers he has championed at the Philharmonic, ranging from Steve Reich and Joel Thompson to Mozart, conducting the Requiem, and Mahler, leading the Symphony No. 2, Resurrection. By the conclusion of his Philharmonic tenure, which has included the reopening of the transformed David Geffen Hall, he will have led the Orchestra in World, US, and New York Premieres of 31 works. Among them are pieces commissioned through Project 19 — which marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment with new works by 19 women composers, among them Tania León’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Stride. During the 2021–22 season, when David Geffen Hall was closed for renovation, he conducted the Orchestra at other New York City venues — including his first-ever Philharmonic appearances at Carnegie Hall — and in the residency at the Usedom Music Festival, where the New York Philharmonic was the first American orchestra to perform abroad since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Jaap van Zweden and the New York Philharmonic inaugurated the new David Geffen Hall in October 2022 with HOME, a monthlong housewarming for the Orchestra and its audiences. Other 2022–23 season highlights include SPIRIT, a musical expression of the trials and triumphs of the human spirit featuring performances of Messiaen’s Turangalîla-symphonie and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and EARTH, a response to the climate crisis that includes Julia Wolfe’s unEarth and John Luther Adams’s Become Desert. Over the course of David Geffen Hall’s inaugural season, he is conducting repertoire ranging from Beethoven and Bruckner to premieres by Marcos Balter, Etienne Charles, Caroline Shaw, and Carlos Simon, in addition to the works by Wolfe and Adams.

    Jaap van Zweden’s New York Philharmonic recordings include the World Premiere of David Lang’s prisoner of the state (2020), and Wolfe’s Grammy-nominated Fire in my mouth (2019), both released on the Decca Gold label. He conducted the Hong Kong Philharmonic in first-ever performances in Hong Kong of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, released on the Naxos label. His acclaimed performances of Lohengrin, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Parsifal — the last of which earned him the prestigious Edison Award for Best Opera Recording in 2012 — are available on CD and DVD.

    Born in Amsterdam, Jaap van Zweden, at age 19, was appointed the youngest-ever concertmaster of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and began his conducting career almost 20 years later, in 1996. In April 2023, van Zweden receives the Concertgebouw Prize, for exceptional contributions to that organization’s artistic profile. He remains Conductor Emeritus of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and Honorary Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, where he was Chief Conductor (2005–13); he also served as Chief Conductor of the Royal Flanders Orchestra (2008–11), and as Music Director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (2008–18). Under his leadership, the Hong Kong Philharmonic was named Gramophone’s Orchestra of the Year in 2019. He was named Musical America’s 2012 Conductor of the Year and was the subject of an October 2018 CBS 60 Minutes profile on the occasion of his arrival at the New York Philharmonic.

    In 1997 Jaap van Zweden and his wife, Aaltje, established the Papageno Foundation to support families of children with autism. The Foundation has grown into a multifaceted organization that focuses on the development of children and young adults with autism. The Foundation provides in-home music therapy through a national network of qualified music therapists in the Netherlands; opened the Papageno House in 2015 (with Her Majesty Queen Maxima in attendance) for young adults with autism to live, work, and participate in the community; created a research center at the Papageno House for early diagnosis and treatment of autism and for analyzing the effects of music therapy on autism; develops funding opportunities to support autism programs; and, more recently, launched the app TEAMPapageno, which allows children with autism to communicate with each other through music composition.

    Learn more about Jaap van Zweden
  • Nicholas Phan


    American tenor Nicholas Phan is increasingly recognized as an artist of distinction. With a diverse repertoire that spans nearly 500 years of music, he performs regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and opera companies. An avid recitalist and a passionate advocate for art song and vocal chamber music, in 2010 Phan co-founded Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC), an organization devoted to promoting this underserved repertoire.

    Learn more about Nicholas Phan
  • Davóne Tines


    Davóne Tines is a pathbreaking artist whose work encompasses a diverse repertoire, ranging from early music to new commissions by leading composers, and explores the social issues of today. A creator, curator, and performer at the intersection of many histories, cultures, and aesthetics, he is engaged in work that blends opera, art song, contemporary classical, spirituals, gospel, and protest songs as a means to tell a deeply personal story of perseverance connecting to all of humanity. Projects include Recital No. 1: MASS, a program exploring the mass woven through Western European, African American, and 21st-century traditions, performed at Carnegie Hall and elsewhere; Concerto No. 1: SERMON and Concerto No. 2: ANTHEM, programs for voice and orchestra that weave together arias and contemporary song, including arrangements by Tines, with poetry; and Everything Rises, a multimedia musical work exploring artistic journeys and family histories, co-created with violinist Jennifer Koh.

    Learn more about Davóne Tines
  • Amanda Forsythe


    Recognized internationally as a leading interpreter of Baroque and Classical repertoire, Amanda Forsythe is a regular soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Handel and Haydn Society, Apollo’s Fire, Boston Baroque, and Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF). She has performed with The Philadelphia, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and St. Louis Symphony orchestras, as well as the Academy of Ancient Music, Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, Philharmonia Baroque, and Rome’s Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

    Learn more about Amanda Forsythe
  • Tamara Mumford


    American mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, who has gained a reputation as an exciting and in-demand singer, appears with many of the finest orchestras and opera houses in the US and Europe. This season she returns to The Metropolitan Opera for the new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and makes her Detroit Opera debut in Wagner’s Die Walküre. She appears in concert with the New York Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Boston Baroque, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

    Learn more about Tamara Mumford
  • Paul Appleby


    Paul Appleby is admired for his interpretive depth, vocal strength, and range of expressivity. His calendar this season includes the world premiere of John Adams’s Antony and Cleopatra at San Francisco Opera, Bernstein’s Candide for Opéra de Lyon, and Adams’s Girls of the Golden West with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by the composer. He also performs J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the New York Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic, both conducted by Jaap van Zweden, and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with the Met Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall.

    Learn more about Paul Appleby
  • Philippe Sly


    French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly is the First Prize winner of the prestigious Concours Musical International de Montréal and a Grand Prize winner of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and he was awarded Concert of the Year in Romantic, Post-Romantic, and Impressionist Music at the 16th-annual ceremony of the Gala des prix Opus.

    Learn more about Philippe Sly
  • Musica Sacra
    Kent Tritle, director


    Since its founding in 1964 by conductor Richard Westenburg, the mission of Musica Sacra has been to create definitive, professional choral performances of the highest caliber — profound statements made simply and elegantly. It does so with concerts, recordings, the commissioning and performing of new works, and collaborating with other top tier performing arts organizations. Musica Sacra is known for its interpretations of the masterpieces of choral music — the choral oeuvre of J.S. Bach, the masses of Mozart and Haydn, the requiems of Mozart, Brahms, and Fauré — and its involvement in contemporary repertoire. The group has given the world and New York premieres of numerous choral works by major composers, many of them commissioned by the chorus. Under the artistic leadership of Kent Tritle, Musica Sacra presents concerts each year at prestigious venues throughout New York, among them annual performances of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall. Recent highlights of the choir’s singular history of collaborations with other ensembles and organizations include performances with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Musica Sacra has recorded on the RCA, BMG, MSR Classics, and Deutsche Grammophon labels. Its discography includes the first digitally recorded performance of Messiah, released in 1982 by RCA and reissued on High Performance, BMG’s audiophile label. Recent recordings include Messages to Myself, the first led by Kent Tritle; a disc of contemporary works including commissions by Daniel Brewbaker and Michael Gilbertson; and Eternal Reflections, recent choral compositions by Robert Paterson.

    Learn more about Musica Sacra
    Kent Tritle, director
  • Brooklyn Youth Chorus,
         Dianne Berkun Menaker, director


    Grammy Award–winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, led by founder and artistic director Dianne Berkun Menaker, has collaborated with a range of organizations and artists including the New York Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, International Contemporary Ensemble, Joe Hisaishi, The National, David Byrne, Wye Oak, Bon Iver, Shara Nova, London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kronos Quartet, Barbra Streisand, Arcade Fire, Elton John, and Grizzly Bear. As a commissioner of new music, the Chorus has introduced more than 120 original works and given world premieres by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Tania León, David Lang, Nico Muhly, Angélica Negrón, Bryce Dessner, Paola Prestini, Nathalie Joachim, Paul Moravec, Toshi Reagon, Alev Lenz, Anna Clyne, Aleksandra Vrebalov, John King, and William Brittelle.

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

Special Thanks

SPIRIT, featuring J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion, is presented by an anonymous donor.


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March 7
Artist Spotlight: Hilary Hahn

Join us for an evening with Hilary Hahn — part of our new series showcasing some of today’s most acclaimed and innovative musical artists.

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