Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Enjoy your Beethoven favorites and become acquainted with some less familiar works all in one night. In the Choral Fantasy, an improvisatory piano solo introduces a set of variations that culminates in a rousing finale for solo singers, chorus, piano, and orchestra. Along with other choral works, also enjoy a rare opportunity to hear the second overture Beethoven wrote for Leonore—an early version of his opera Fidelio.
Part of: Beethoven Celebration
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Bernard Labadie, Principal Conductor
Karina Gauvin, Soprano
Kelley O'Connor, Mezzo-Soprano
Andrew Haji, Tenor
Matthew Brook, Bass-Baritone
Jeremy Denk, Piano
La Chapelle de Québec
Bernard Labadie, Music Director
Leonore Overture No. 2
Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Mass in C Major
Event DurationThe printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.
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.
Lead support for the Beethoven Celebration is provided by The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund.
Public support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.
In honor of the centenary of his birth, Carnegie Hall’s 2019–2020 season is dedicated to the memory of Isaac Stern in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Carnegie Hall, arts advocacy, and the field of music.
At a Glance
It is not exactly a secret that 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, an occasion that has led to an abundance of performances of his music. For most, it is a joyous occasion to celebrate a figure widely revered as one of the consummate artists of Western civilization, a cultural titan on par with Michelangelo and Shakespeare. For others, this anniversary year is an opportunity for reflection on his cultural status in the past and present.
Perhaps most provocatively, musicologist Andrea Moore proposed a moratorium on performances of Beethoven’s music during this special year in favor of commissions of new orchestral works. This moratorium, as Moore stated, “might give us a new way into hearing it live again.” Indeed, in recent years writers who include the late Linda Shaver-Gleason have explained how Beethoven’s revered status has been decades—if not centuries—in the making, and is not necessarily reflective of any inherent artistic superiority in his music.
Tonight’s program provides an excellent opportunity to consider these debates about Beethoven’s status, giving voice to works not generally regarded as the composer’s popular masterpieces. They reveal Beethoven as a working artist endeavoring to learn from previous generations and adapting his talents in new and challenging genres. Notably, many of these works look ahead to future endeavors, and each of them is fully realized: brilliant and satisfying in its own right.
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL), an independent orchestra and arts organization, evolved from a group of virtuoso musicians who began performing concerts at Greenwich Village’s Church of St. Luke in the Fields in 1974. Now in its 45th season, the orchestra performs more than 70 times each year at venues throughout New York City and beyond. Bernard Labadie, a celebrated expert in 18th-century music, became OSL’s principal conductor in 2018, continuing the orchestra’s long tradition of working with proponents of historical performance practice.
OSL’s signature programming includes a subscription series presented by Carnegie Hall, now in its 33rd season; the OSL Bach Festival, presented in association with Carnegie Hall and other venues; chamber music series at The Morgan Library & Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Merkin Hall; Music in Color, a free community concert tour of New York City’s five boroughs; a summer residency at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, now in its 42nd season; and a creative partnership with Paul Taylor American Modern Dance, for which OSL provides live musical accompaniment during the company’s annual Lincoln Center season.
OSL’s Education and Community Engagement programs include the Free School Concerts series, which has presented innovative concerts to student audiences since 1977; Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which provides free instrumental coaching to elementary and middle-school students; and the DeGaetano Composition Institute, which provides emerging composers with mentorship and creative support as they develop new works to be performed by the orchestra.
In 2011, OSL opened The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, New York City’s only rehearsal, recording, education, and performance space expressly dedicated to classical music. The center serves more than 500 ensembles and more than 30,000 musicians each year.
Learn more at OSLmusic.org or @OSLmusic on Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, and more.
Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading conductors of Baroque, Classical, and early-Romantic repertoire, Bernard Labadie made his debut with Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) as principal conductor designate at the Caramoor Summer Music Festival on July 2, 2017, leading an all-Mozart program. Now, as OSL’s fifth principal conductor, he joins the distinguished roster of Pablo Heras-Casado (2011–2017), Roger Norrington (1990–1994), Charles Mackerras (1998–2001), and Donald Runnicles (2001–2007). Mr. Labadie received an honorary doctor of musical arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music in May 2018.
In addition to his appearances with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Mr. Labadie makes guest appearances during the 2019–2020 season with the Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, and Finnish Radio symphony orchestras; National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa); Orchestre symphonique de Québec; Los Angeles Philharmonic; Utah Symphony; and Handel and Haydn Society. The French-Canadian Mr. Labadie founded the celebrated chamber orchestra Les Violons du Roy in 1984 and brought it to international renown. He stepped down as music director in 2014, after 30 years, to pursue wider interests. Mr. Labadie is a regular guest conductor with all the major North American orchestras and has appeared locally with the New York Philharmonic and Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and at the Metropolitan Opera. His notable European engagements include performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as well as frequent assignments with period-instrument orchestras that include the Academy of Ancient Music, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. An eminent opera conductor, Mr. Labadie has served as artistic director of Opéra de Québec and Opéra de Montréal. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut during the 2009–2010 season with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Mr. Labadie’s extensive discography includes many critically acclaimed recordings on the Dorian, ATMA, and Virgin Classics labels, including 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.
Recognized for her work in the Baroque repertoire, Canadian soprano Karina Gauvin has sung with leading symphony orchestras that include the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Les Talens Lyriques, Venice Baroque Orchestra, Accademia Bizantina, Il Complesso Barocco, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, and Les Violons du Roy. Engagements in the 2018–2019 season included a recital of French mélodies at Opéra de Lille, Opéra national du Rhin, and Wigmore Hall; concerts with Le Concert de la Loge under Julien Chauvin at the Handel Festival, Halle, and Metz Arsenal; and Bellezza in Handel’s Il trionfo del empo e del disinganno with Alessandro De Marchi at the Innsbruck Festival.
Ms. Gauvin’s recent engagements have included Vitellia in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées under Teodor Currentzis, Duchesse d’Étampes in Saint-Saëns’s Ascanio with Guillaume Tourniaire at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Merab in Handel’s Saul at the Glyndebourne Festival. Other past projects include European tours and recordings for EMI / Virgin Classics of Handel’s Ariodante and Giulio Cesare with Alan Curtis and Il Complesso Barocco, Debussy’s Le martyre de saint Sébastien and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, and Lia in Debussy’s L’enfant prodigue with Mikko Franck and the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France.
Ms. Gauvin’s extensive discography has won numerous awards, including a Chamber Music America Award for her recording Fête galante with pianist Marc-André Hamelin, two Grammy Award nominations for her recordings with the Boston Early Music Festival, and several Opus prizes. She recorded the role of Donna Elvira with Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna for Sony Classical.
Grammy Award–winning mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor has emerged as one of the most compelling performers of her generation. In the 2019–2020 season, she joins Alan Gilbert for his inaugural performances as chief conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah.” Other highlights include Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Lieberson’s Neruda Songs with The Philadelphia Orchestra, John Adams’s El Niño with the Houston Symphony, Beethoven’s Missa solemnis with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and Korngold’s Abschiedslieder with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She also performs Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the San Francisco Symphony for Michael Tilson Thomas’s final concerts as music director.
John Adams wrote the title role of The Gospel According to the Other Mary for Ms. O’Connor, and she has performed the work in concert and in Peter Sellars’s production with Gustavo Dudamel, Grant Gershon, Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Simon Rattle, and David Robertson. She has sung Adams’s El Niño with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and continues to be the eminent living interpreter of Lieberson’s Neruda Songs, having performed them with Christoph Eschenbach and the National Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Robert Spano and the Minnesota Orchestra, and David Zinman and the Berliner Philharmoniker and Tonhalle Orchester Zürich, among many others.
Ms. O’Connor has appeared with Gustavo Dudamel in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah,” on tour with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. With Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra, she has sung Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Mass in C Major, staged performances of Verdi’s Falstaff in Cleveland and at the Lucerne Festival, and Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles.
For her debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, Ms. O’Connor joined Robert Spano for performances and a Deutsche Grammophon recording. Her discography also includes Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Jaap van Zweden and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Neruda Songs with Mr. Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and The Gospel According to the Other Mary with Mr. Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Canadian tenor Andrew Haji is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after voices on the operatic and concert stages. A graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s (COC) Ensemble Studio, Mr. Haji has sung numerous roles with the COC, including Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata, Rodriguez in Massenet’s Don Quichotte, and Gabriel Dumont in Somers’s Louis Riel. He has also sung Hélios in Félicien David’s Herculanum at the Wexford Festival Opera, and Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
In summer 2015, Mr. Haji sang Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro with the Salzburg Festival Young Singers Project, and in 2014, he sang Rodolfo at the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy. He has also sung Tamino at the Music Academy of the West (2013) and the Accademia Europea dell’Opera (2012). In 2014, he was the recipient of the Grand Prix, Press Prize, and Junior Jury Prize at the 50th International Vocal Competition in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. In 2013, he received an encouragement award in the Marilyn Horne Song Competition at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. In 2012, he won second prize at the COC’s Ensemble Studio Competition.
Mr. Haji holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Toronto, where his opera credits include Nemorino; Rob Ford in Rob Ford, the Opera; Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte; Lacouf / Reporter from Paris in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias; Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni; Vanderdendur/Ragotski in Bernstein’s Candide; and Cecco in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna. Recent and upcoming engagements include Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation, Verdi’s Requiem, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and Mozart’s Requiem, Mass in C Minor, and “Coronation” Mass.
Matthew Brook leapt to fame with his 2007 Gramophone Award–winning recording of Handel’s Messiah with the Dunedin Consort, followed by critically acclaimed recordings of Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. He has appeared as soloist throughout Europe, Australia, North and South America, and the Far East, and has worked with many of the world’s leading conductors. He is now considered one of the finest singers of his generation.
Recent and upcoming highlights include Purcell’s The Fairy Queen and Dido and Aeneas with the Handel and Haydn Society; Bach’s St. John Passion with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Haydn’s The Creation and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Bach’s Magnificat and Brahms’s Triumphlied with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Handel’s Ariodante with the Staatstheater Stuttgart, and on tour with The English Concert and Boston Baroque; Handel’s Rinaldo with Opéra de Oviedo; Handel’s Agrippina at Teatro de la Maestranza; Handel’s Messiah with Les Violons du Roy in Québec and with the Ottawa National Arts Centre Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with The Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw; a tour of Bach cantatas with the Monteverdi Choir and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging and Early Music Vancouver; a tour of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and with Gli Angeli Genève; Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Tippett’s A Child of Our Time at Festival de Saint-Denis; and Herod and Father in Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.
One of America’s foremost pianists, Jeremy Denk is the winner of a MacArthur Fellowship and the Avery Fisher Prize, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the 2019–2020 season, he plays Book I of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier at Lincoln Center and at the Barbican in London, and makes his concerto debut at Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. He also makes his solo recital debut at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and returns to the Piano aux Jacobins festival in France as well as to London’s Wigmore Hall ahead of his residency there in the 2020–2021 season. Other engagements include his debut with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and returns to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the PianoEspoo Festival in Finland, where he performs concertos by Bach, Mozart, and Carter.
Mr. Denk tours throughout the US, including performances of John Adams’s Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Seattle Symphony, and Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, with which he collaborates as artistic partner. Other collaborations include Winterreise with Eric Owens, the complete Ives violin sonatas with Stefan Jackiw, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with his longtime musical partners Joshua Bell and Steven Isserlis.
Mr. Denk’s recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for Nonesuch Records reached the top of Billboard’s classical chart. His recording of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111, paired with Ligeti’s Études was named one of the best albums of the year by The New Yorker, NPR, and The Washington Post; his account of the Beethoven sonata was selected by BBC Radio 3’s Building a Library as the best available version recorded on a modern piano. His recording of Ives’s two piano sonatas also appeared on many best-of-the-year lists. His 2019 recording c.1300–c.2000 features works by composers who range from Guillaume de Machaut, Gilles Binchois, and Carlo Gesualdo to Stockhausen, Ligeti, and Philip Glass.
La Chapelle de Québec
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-orchestral repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries. The choir performs regularly with its other half, 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 works by Fauré and Duruflé, are frequently hailed in the Canadian and international press.
La Chapelle de Québec is heard regularly at the Palais Montcalm in Québec City and at the Maison symphonique in Montreal, as well as at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic 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 United States. It is also known for its role in Le Chemin de Noël, an annual event that brings together music lovers from throughout the Québec City region every December.