Orchestra of St. Luke's
Mozart's "Great" Mass with Heras-Casado
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Pablo Heras-Casado, Conductor Laureate
Camilla Tilling, Soprano
Susanna Phillips, Soprano
Thomas Cooley, Tenor
Michael Sumuel, Bass-Baritone
Westminster Symphonic Choir
Joe Miller, Conductor
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 1
MOZART Mass in C Minor, K. 427, "Great"
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
Pre-Concert TalkPre-concert talk starts at 7:00 PM in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with Walter Frisch, Professor of Music, Columbia University.
This concert is made possible, in part, by an endowment fund for choral music established by S. Donald Sussman in memory of Judith Arron and Robert Shaw.
At a Glance
Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 was his first effort in one of the most prestigious genres for a composer of his day. In contrast to the boundary-pushing qualities of his later symphonies, in this early work Beethoven mostly plays it safe. He follows the rules (for the most part) codified by Mozart and one of his own teachers, Joseph Haydn, regarded as the undisputed master of the symphony genre. Through its relatively restrained scope and ethos, this symphony reminds us that Beethoven’s later iconoclasm came after a thorough mastery and understanding of convention.
The Mass in C Minor, by contrast, was Mozart’s last composition in the genre and a work borne of considerable personal and professional conflict, and ultimately was left unfinished. This massive setting of the Roman Catholic Mass pushes the boundaries of the genre to their breaking point, transforming a religious ritual into a spectacular operatic experience. In other words, while Beethoven’s First Symphony might come across as politely “Mozartean” in its restraint, Mozart’s bold C-Minor Mass has “Beethovenian” ambition to spare.
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) is one of America’s most versatile and distinguished orchestras, collaborating with the world’s greatest artists and performing approximately 80 concerts each year—including its Carnegie Hall series; chamber music programs at The Morgan Library & Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center; and summer residency at Caramoor. In its 43-year history, OSL has commissioned more than 50 new works; has given more than 175 world, US, and New York City premieres; and has appeared on more than 100 recordings, including four Grammy Award winners and seven releases on its own label, St. Luke’s Collection. In 2017, OSL announced that renowned Baroque and Classical conductor Bernard Labadie will join the orchestra as principal conductor in the 2018–2019 season. Its previous music directors and principal conductors are Sir Roger Norrington, Sir Charles Mackerras, and Donald Runnicles, and Conductor Laureate Pablo Heras-Casado.
OSL grew out of a chamber ensemble that began giving concerts at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in Greenwich Village in 1974. Today, the 21 virtuoso artists of St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble make up OSL’s artistic core.
OSL owns and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Midtown Manhattan, where it shares a building with the Baryshnikov Arts Center. The DiMenna Center is New York City’s premier venue for rehearsal, recording, and learning, having quickly gained a reputation for its superb acoustics, state-of-the-art facilities, and affordability. Since opening in 2011, The DiMenna Center has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors, including more than 400 ensembles and artists such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Itzhak Perlman, Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Valery Gergiev, James Levine, James Taylor, and Sting. OSL hosts hundreds of neighbors, families, and schoolchildren at its home each year for free community events.
Through its Education & Community programs, OSL has introduced audiences across New York City to live classical music. OSL brings free chamber concerts to the five boroughs, offers free interactive music programs at The DiMenna Center, provides chamber music coaching, and engages 10,000 public school students each year through its Free School Concerts. In 2013, OSL launched Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL), an after-school instrumental coaching program that emphasizes musical excellence and social development, in partnership with community organizations and public schools in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood.
Musical America’s 2014 Conductor of the Year, Orchestra of St. Luke’s Conductor Laureate Pablo Heras-Casado enjoys an unusually varied career that encompasses the great symphonic and operatic repertoire, historically informed performance, and cutting-edge contemporary scores. His tenure as principal conductor of St. Luke’s began in 2012, and he led his final concert in that role this summer for the St. Luke’s concerts at Caramoor. He is the first conductor laureate in the ensemble’s history. He has served as principal guest conductor at Teatro Real since 2014. The 2017–2018 season is Mr. Heras-Casado’s first as director of Granada’s International Festival of Music and Dance.
Mr. Heras-Casado’s engagements in the 2017–2018 season include returns to the San Francisco Symphony, the Philadelphia and Philharmonia orchestras, the Munich Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, and Salzburg’s Mozartwoche. He continues his touring and recording partnerships with the Balthasar Neumann Chor & Ensemble, focusing on works of Monteverdi, and the Freiburger Barockorchester, with programs devoted to Beethoven and Mendelssohn. In May and June 2018, he conducts the Spanish premiere of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s opera Die Soldaten for six performances at Teatro Real. In June 2018, Mr. Heras-Casado takes the podium at the new Elbphilharmonie Hamburg to lead the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in four performances of works by Brahms and Dvořák.
Mr. Heras-Casado records for harmonia mundi, as well as Deutsche Grammophon’s Archiv Produktion.
A winning combination of beautiful voice and musical versatility has played no small part in sustaining Camilla Tilling’s top-flight career, which has now spanned two decades. An acclaimed early debut at New York City Opera launched her career on an international trajectory that has since seen performances on the world’s major opera, concert, and recital stages, while simultaneously building an impressive discography.
A highly regarded concert performer, Ms. Tilling is a regular guest with many of the world’s leading orchestras. Recent concert highlights include Dutilleux’s Correspondances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Esa-Pekka Salonen, Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra under Thomas Hengelbrock, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, and Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Vienna Symphony under Philippe Jordan. She has performed Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Christoph von Dohnányi, the Orchestre National de France under Daniele Gatti, and the London Symphony Orchestra under François-Xavier Roth; and Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the New York Philharmonic under Mr. von Dohnányi, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich under Bernard Haitink, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Andris Nelsons. The recent addition to her repertoire of Beethoven’s Missa solemnis in Lisbon led immediately to further performances with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas and at Teatro alla Scala with Bernard Haitink.
Highlights of the current season include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Kent Nagano, Grieg’s Peer Gynt with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Ken-David Masur, Ein deutsches Requiem with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Bernard Haitink, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Orchestre de Paris and Thomas Hengelbrock, and Dutilleux’s Correspondances with the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Mr. Heras-Casado. This December, Ms. Tilling is scheduled to perform as soloist at the 2017 Nobel Prize Ceremony with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.
Alabama-born soprano Susanna Phillips, recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, continues to establish herself as one of today’s most sought-after singing actors and recitalists.
In the 2017–2018 season, Ms. Phillips returns to the Metropolitan Opera for a 10th consecutive season to sing her acclaimed Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème, which will be broadcast through the Met’s Live in HD series. She will also make her role debut as Birdie in Blitzstein’s Regina in her debut with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, sharing the stage with Susan Graham and James Morris. Orchestral engagements this season include Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Oratorio Society of New York, Elijah with Music of the Baroque in Chicago, concerts in New York and Chicago with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Teddy Abrams leading the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Strauss’s Four Last Songs with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Colorado Symphony. She also gives a recital at the Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago.
The 2016–2017 season saw Ms. Phillips return to the Metropolitan Opera as Clémence in the Met premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin, conducted by Susanna Mälkki, and as Musetta in La bohème. In March 2017, Ms. Phillips made her Opernhaus Zürich debut as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. She also appeared as Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare with Boston Baroque and Martin Pearlman. Orchestra engagements last season included a return to the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting a program of American songs, Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and Mass in C Minor with Jane Glover and Music of the Baroque, and Britten’s War Requiem with Kent Tritle and the Oratorio Society of New York, as well as Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Robert Spano leading the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Phillips also performed recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Celebrity Series of Boston, and with Eric Owens at the Washington Performing Arts in a program co-curated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Thomas Cooley is a singer of great versatility, expressiveness, and virtuosity, in demand internationally for a wide range of repertoire in concert, opera, and chamber music. His repertoire on the symphonic stage includes works such as Beethoven’s Missa solemnis and Ninth Symphony; Berlioz’s Requiem, Les nuits d’été, and L’enfance du Christ; Haydn’s The Seasons; Britten’s War Requiem and Serenade; Stravinsky’s Les noces; Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang and Elijah; Mozart’s Requiem; Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius; Rihm’s Deus Passus; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde; and Penderecki’s Credo. Recent concert highlights include the world premiere and recording of Christopher Theofanidis’s Creation/Creator with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus, Bruckner’s Te Deum, and his first foray into Wagner with an excerpt from Parsifal with the St. Louis Symphony.
Mr. Cooley has collaborated with internationally prominent conductors who include Helmuth Rilling, Donald Runnicles, Osmo Vänskä, Eiji Oue, Lan Shui, Michael Tilson Thomas, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nicholas McGegan, Robert Spano, David Robertson, Markus Stenz, Carlo Rizzi, Franz Welser-Möst, Manfred Honeck, and Bernard Labadie. He performs regularly at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival, and with major orchestras that include the Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, National, Milwaukee, and Quebec symphony orchestras; St. Louis Symphony; Oregon Symphony; Minnesota Orchestra; The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Copenhagen Philharmonic; Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra; National Arts Centre Orchestra of Ottawa; the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra; and Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra.
Particularly renowned for his agility and skill in Baroque music, Mr. Cooley is in demand as an interpreter of the works of Bach and Handel, most especially in the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions and in the great oratorios of Handel. He appears regularly with such historically informed groups as the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, The Handel and Haydn Society, Music of the Baroque, Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Akademie für Alte Musik, Boston Baroque, Les Violons du Roy, and Munich Bach Choir, as well as at the Carmel and Oregon Bach festivals. Named artist-in-residence for the 2015–2016 season at Music of the Baroque in Chicago, he performed Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, a program of Bach cantatas, and the title role in Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus.
American bass-baritone Michael Sumuel returns to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera this season to perform Sharpless in Madama Butterfly and makes his debut at Palermo’s Teatro Massimo performing Theseus in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Concert appearances include debuts with the BBC Proms; singing Kate Whitley’s I am I say with The Multi-Story Orchestra; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony; Handel’s Messiah with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; Bach’s St. John Passion with Music of the Baroque in Chicago, conducted by Jane Glover; and a return to Houston to perform Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.
In the 2016–2017 season, Mr. Sumuel returned to Houston Grand Opera as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, conducted by Jane Glover, and Masetto in Don Giovanni at San Francisco Opera, conducted by Marc Minkowski. Additional appearances included a role and house debut as Alidoro in La Cenerentola and Escamillo in Carmen at Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. Concert engagements included debuts with The Cleveland Orchestra as Pilatus in Bach’s St. John Passion, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst; Mozart’s Requiem with the Phoenix Symphony; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the American Classical Orchestra at Geffen Hall.
Mr. Sumuel’s was awarded a 2015 Richard Tucker Career Grant and was a winner of the 2009 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. He is an alumnus of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera Center and the Filene Young Artist program at Wolf Trap Opera.
Westminster Symphonic Choir
Recognized as one of the world’s leading choral ensembles, the Westminster Symphonic Choir has recorded and performed with major orchestras under virtually every internationally acclaimed conductor of the past 83 years. The ensemble is composed of juniors, seniors, and graduate students at Westminster Choir College.
The ensemble’s 2017–2018 season includes a performance of Holst’s The Planets with The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Cristian Măcelaru; the premiere of Tod Machover’s Philadelphia Voices with The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Andrew Manze; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Rossen Milanov; and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, conducted by Joe Miller.
Recent seasons have included performances of Verdi’s Requiem with The Philadelphia Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Berg’s Wozzeck with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Villa-Lobos’s Chôros No. 10 and Estévez’s Cantata criolla with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela and Gustavo Dudamel, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim, and Christopher Rouse’s Requiem with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert.
Westminster Choir College is a division of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts, which has campuses in Princeton and Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Joe Miller is conductor of two of America’s most renowned choral ensembles: the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir. He is also director of choral activities at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. In addition to his responsibilities at Westminster, Dr. Miller is artistic director for choral activities for the Spoleto Festival USA and director of the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir.
His 2017–2018 season with the Westminster Choir includes a concert tour of the Midwest, performances and broadcasts at its home in Princeton, its annual residency at the Spoleto Festival USA, and the release of a new recording. As conductor of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Dr. Miller has collaborated with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, earning him critical praise.
Dr. Miller is also founder and conductor of the Westminster Summer Choral Festival Chamber Choir, a program that offers professional-level choral and vocal artists the opportunity to explore challenging works for one week each summer on the Westminster campus in Princeton.