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.
Bernard Labadie has established himself worldwide as one of the preeminent conductors of the Baroque and Classical repertoire, a reputation closely tied to his work with Les Violons du Roy (for which he served as music director from its inception until 2014) and La Chapelle de Québec. With these two ensembles, he has regularly toured Canada, the US, and Europe, visiting major venues and festivals such as Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Barbican, the Concertgebouw, and the Salzburg Festival, among others. He begins his tenure as principal conductor of Orchestra of St. Luke’s in the 2018–2019 season.
In 2018–2019, Mr. Labadie guest conducts the Kansas City Symphony, Handel and Haydn Society, Canadian Opera Company, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, New World Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. He has become a regular presence on the podiums of the major North American orchestras, including the Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Toronto symphony orchestras; the Colorado, Houston, and San Francisco symphonies; the Cleveland and Philadelphia orchestras; and the Los Angeles and New York philharmonics. Internationally, Mr. Labadie has conducted the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Collegium Vocale Gent, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, and Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
Mr. Labadie’s critically acclaimed discography includes Handel’s Apollo e Dafne, and a collaborative recording of Mozart’s Requiem with Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec—both of which received Canada’s Juno Award. Other recordings include C. P. E. Bach’s complete cello concertos with Truls Mørk and Les Violons du Roy, J. S. Bach’s complete piano concertos with Alexandre Tharaud, and Haydn’s piano concertos with Marc-André Hamelin. Mr. Labadie has received Paris’s Samuel de Champlain award and the Canadian government’s Officer of the Order of Canada, and his home province has named him a Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Québec.
Lauren Snouffer is celebrated as one of the most versatile and respected sopranos on the international stage. Highlights of her 2018–2019 season include the title role of Berg’s Lulu in a new production at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago; the world premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s The Phoenix at Houston Grand Opera; a new production of Handel’s Serse at the International Handel Festival in Karlsruhe; Magnolia Hawks in Francesca Zambello’s production of Show Boat at the Glimmerglass Festival; Bernstein’s Candide with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra; Handel’s Messiah with The Cleveland Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic; and a program of Bach and Couperin with Ars Lyrica Houston.
Collaborations in past seasons have included performances with Marin Alsop and the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, Alan Gilbert and Juilliard’s AXIOM (presented by the New York Philharmonic), Markus Stenz and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra. Her discography includes Hasse’s Siroe and Handel’s Ottone (for Decca), Arthur Gottschalk’s Requiem for the Living (Navona Records), Donald Grantham’s La cancíon desesperada (Harmonia Mundi), and Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel (ECM Records).
Closely associated with George Benjamin’s opera Written on Skin, Ms. Snouffer has sung the lead soprano role under the composer’s baton at the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and with the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse and Opera Philadelphia. She has performed Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, presented the world premiere of Andrew Norman’s A Trip to the Moon with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and joined Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic in the title role of HK Gruber’s Gloria—A Pig Tale in a production staged by Doug Fitch.
A graduate of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Ms. Snouffer was a winner of a 2013 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, a Richard F. Gold Career Grant bestowed by Houston Grand Opera, and a grand finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She is a graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School.
Susan Graham rose to the highest echelon of international performers within just a few years of her professional debut, mastering an astonishing range of repertoire and genres along the way. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi’s Poppea to Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, which was written especially for her. Among her numerous honors are a Grammy Award for her collection of Ives songs, Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year, and an Opera News Award. As one of the foremost exponents of French vocal music, she has been recognized with the French government’s Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.
To launch the 2018–2019 season, Ms. Graham reunites with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra to reprise their celebrated account of Mahler’s Third Symphony at London’s BBC Proms and in Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Lucerne, and Paris. In the US, she makes her role debut as Humperdinck’s Witch in Doug Fitch’s treatment of Hänsel und Gretel at LA Opera, and revisits her signature interpretation of Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with the Houston Symphony. Inspired by the Schumann song cycle, her Frauenliebe und -leben Variations program is the vehicle for upcoming US recital dates.
Ms. Graham’s earliest operatic successes were in such trouser roles as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. Her technical expertise soon brought mastery of more virtuosic parts, and she went on to triumph as Octavian in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier and the Composer in his Ariadne auf Naxos. She sang the leading women’s roles in the Metropolitan Opera’s world premieres of John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby and Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, and made her musical theater debut in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. In concert, she makes regular appearances with the world’s foremost orchestras, often in French repertoire, while her distinguished discography comprises a wealth of opera, orchestral, and solo recordings. Gramophone magazine has dubbed her “America’s favorite mezzo.”
Among the most renowned concert and opera singers of his generation, Lothar Odinius is a regular guest at major international festivals and in the important concert halls of Berlin, Vienna, Milan, London, and New York. He has collaborated with conductors such as Ivor Bolton, Adam Fischer, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Thomas Hengelbrock, Philippe Herreweghe, Andrew Manze, Sir Neville Marriner, Marc Minkowski, Kirill Petrenko, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Helmuth Rilling, Sir András Schiff, Peter Schreier, Andreas Spering, Christian Thielemann, and Franz Welser-Möst.
Mr. Odinius is equally at ease singing opera, and has appeared at the Zurich Opera House; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; and Opéra de Paris, as well as at the Schwetzingen, Glyndebourne, and Bayreuth festivals, among others. Central to his repertoire are all the important Mozart roles, from Tamino to Idomeneo.
Highlights of his 2016–2017 season included Guido in Johann Strauss II’s Eine Nacht in Venedig at Opéra de Lyon, Giove and Anfinomo in Monteverdi’s Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria under Emmanuelle Haïm at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Froh in Das Rheingold under Mr. Hengelbrock with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Bach’s St. John Passion in Paris conducted by Mr. Hengelbrock, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung (The Creation) under Sir Roger Norrington in Kiel, a chamber music version of Schubert’s Winterreise in Lisbon, works by Telemann and Handel at the Semperoper Dresden, Mahler’s Das klagende Lied in Madrid, and Mozart’s C-Minor Mass under Bernard Labadie at Vienna’s Konzerthaus.
Mr. Odinius’s engagements in the 2017–2018 season included Beethoven’s Missa solemnis under Steven Sloane as part of the Ruhrtriennale and his return to the Elbphilharmonie for Mozart’s Requiem conducted by Mr. Hengelbrock. He also performed Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with Mr. Hengelbrock and the Balthasar Neumann Choir in Dortmund, Luxemburg, Baden-Baden, Hannover, and Düsseldorf. Operatic engagements included the roles of Guido in Peter Langdal’s production of Eine Nacht in Venedig in Graz and the title role in La clemenza di Tito in Antwerp.
French-Canadian bass-baritone Philippe Sly has received international acclaim for his “beautiful, blooming tone and magnetic stage presence” (San Francisco Chronicle). Mr. Sly is the first-prize winner of the Concours musical international de Montréal and a grand-prize winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, singing repertoire that includes Mozart, Bach, Handel, Stravinsky, and Wagner. Recently, he was awarded Concert of the Year in Romantic, Post-Romantic, and Impressionist Music at the 16th annual ceremony of the Prix Opus in Québec.
In the 2017–2018 season, Mr. Sly returned to the Opéra de Paris as Guglielmo in a new production of Così fan tutte conducted by Philippe Jordan, the same role that served as his debut the previous season. Also at the Opéra de Paris, he made his role debut as Zebul in Claus Guth’s new production of Jephtha conducted by William Christie. In concert, he debuted with the Minnesota Orchestra in Fauré’s Requiem and with the Academy of Ancient Music in Bach’s St. John Passion, both conducted by Bernard Labadie, and was heard in a guitar-voice duo recital at the Tucson Guitar Society with guitarist John Charles Britton. With the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, he sang Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, as well as songs of Rachmaninoff, Grieg, and Sibelius, and he returned to Opéra de Lyon in a new production of Don Giovanni.
Other recent highlights include a concert performance as Narbal in Berlioz’s Les Troyens with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg under John Nelson, which was recorded by Warner/Erato, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra. He debuted with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion under Jaap van Zweden, and returned to Montreal with Arte Musica / Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in a duo-recital of Schubert lieder with guitarist John Charles Britton. In the summer of 2017, he made an acclaimed debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, where he sang the title role in a new production of Don Giovanni.
Created in 1985 by Founding Conductor and Music Director Bernard Labadie, La Chapelle de Québec is one of North America’s premier voice ensembles. Made up exclusively of professional singers hand-picked from all over Canada, this unique chamber choir specializes in the choral and orchestral repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries. It performs regularly with its other half, the chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy, and as a guest choir with some of the finest orchestras in North America. Its interpretations of the oratorios, requiems, masses, and cantatas of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Haydn, as well as Fauré and Duruflé, are frequently hailed in the Canadian and international press.
La Chapelle de Québec is heard regularly at Palais Montcalm in Québec City and Montreal Symphony House, as well as at the Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at Carnegie Hall with Les Violons du Roy and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and in Ottawa with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. The choir’s concerts are often broadcast by the CBC and Radio-Canada in Canada, and by National Public Radio in the US.
La Chapelle de Québec is also known for its role in Le chemin de Noël, an annual event that brings music lovers from throughout the Québec City region together every December.
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) was founded in 1974 as a group of virtuoso musicians performing chamber music concerts at Greenwich Village’s Church of St. Luke in the Fields. Now in its 44th season, the orchestra performs a variety of musical genres at New York’s major concert venues, and has collaborated with artists ranging from Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell to Bono and Metallica. In September 2018, Bernard Labadie—a world-renowned conductor of Baroque and Classical repertoire—joined OSL as principal conductor, continuing the orchestra’s tradition of working with champions of historical performance practice.
In 2019, OSL launches two major initiatives: the inaugural OSL Bach Festival in New York City and the opening of the DeGaetano Composition Institute. The three-week Bach Festival will feature 15 performances, including orchestral concerts conducted by Bernard Labadie, keyboard concerts, and the Paul Taylor Dance Company performing Taylor’s complete Bach dances.
OSL’s signature programming includes a subscription series presented by Carnegie Hall; an annual summer residency at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts; and a chamber music series at The Morgan Library & Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center. The orchestra has participated in 118 recordings, four of which have won Grammy Awards; has commissioned more than 50 new works; and has given more than 175 world, US, and New York City premieres.
OSL’s Education & Community programs reach more than 11,000 New York City public school students each year. Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s provides free instrumental coaching, while the Chamber Music Mentorship Program provides professional development opportunities and workshops for pre-professional musicians.
OSL built and operates The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in Hell’s Kitchen. New York City’s only rehearsal, recording, education, and performance space expressly dedicated to classical music, The DiMenna Center serves more than 500 ensembles and 30,000 musicians annually.