BRATTLEBORO >> The upcoming the 6th Annual Blanche Moyse Memorial Concert is a homecoming of sorts for a group of talented musicians.
The concert — set for 7 p.m. Saturday, at Marlboro College's Persons Auditorium, in Marlboro — will feature the Blanche Moyse Memorial Orchestra, a baroque ensemble consisting largely of veterans of the New England Bach Festival, which Moyse founded and directed from 1969 to 2004.
Orchestra members enjoy successful careers in New York City, Boston, and beyond, but will gather in Marlboro, the scene of many Bach Festival performances, to celebrate Moyse's life and work.
The orchestra joins the Blanche Moyse Chorale to honor the memory of their mentor with a presentation of works by her beloved J. S. Bach. Director Mary Westbrook-Geha will lead the Chorale in two of Bach's delightful motets: Motet #6 Lobet den Herrn alle Heiden and Motet #2 Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, with string and continuo accompaniments.
Complementing these choral selections, the Memorial Orchestra will perform two of Bach's well-known chamber works: Brandenburg Concerto #1, featuring violinist Ellen dePasquale, and Concerto for Oboe and Violin, featuring soloists Stephen Taylor and Mayuki Fukuhara.
The program will conclude with one of Bach's contemplative Lutheran masses, Short Mass in F, with full orchestra, chorus, and soloists Hyunah Yu, soprano, and Donald Wilkinson, baritone.
The motets will be sung in the original German and the mass will be sung in Latin; English translations will be provided in the program booklet.
Among the Memorial Concert's soloists and featured performers:
Concertmaster and violinist Ellen dePasquale is widely acclaimed for the beauty of her playing and refined musicianship. She studied with Jascha Brodsky at the Curtis Institute of Music, and pursued graduate studies at Indiana University with Miriam Fried, before being appointed concertmaster of the Florida Orchestra in 1996. From 1999-2007, she served as Associate Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra, and is now a frequent guest concertmaster with orchestras throughout the United States and Canada and has most recently served as acting Associate Concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony. A highly sought-after pedagogue, dePasquale has been a faculty member at several music schools. She is a regular guest at leading music festivals throughout the United States and Europe, as well as an active recitalist and chamber musician. Now residing in New York City, dePasquale performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Stephen Taylor, one of the most sought-after oboists in the country, holds the Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III solo oboe chair at the Chamber Music Society. He is a solo oboist with the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble (for which he has served as co-director of chamber music), the American Composers Orchestra, the New England Bach Festival Orchestra, and Speculum Musicae, and is co-principal oboist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. His list of regular festival appearances is too long to record. Among his more than 200 recordings is Elliott Carter's Oboe Quartet, for which Mr. Taylor received a Grammy nomination. He has performed many of Carter's works, giving several world premieres. He is entered in "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities" and has been awarded a performer's grant from the Fromm Foundation at Harvard University. He is a faculty member of the Juilliard, Yale, and Manhattan schools of music. Taylor plays rare Caldwell model Lorée oboes.
Violinist Mayuki Fukuhara began his musical studies at age seven, and won Japan's International Music Festival Grand Prix at age twelve. In the United States, he attended the Curtis Institute and the Mannes College of Music, studying with Ivan Galamian, Jaime Laredo and Felix Galimir. Mr. Fukuhara is presently a principal violinist of the Orchestra of St. Luke's. He performs regularly with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York Collegium, Claring Chamber Players, Brandenburg Ensemble, and has recently appeared as concertmaster of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Fukuhara spends his summers performing with the Saito Kinen Orchestra of Japan under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, and teaches at Bennington's Chamber Music Conference. He has recorded under numerous major labels.
An American citizen born in South Korea, soprano Hyunah Yu had embarked on a career in molecular biology, when a family tragedy caused her to turn to music. As a voice student at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University she received the prestigious Artist Diploma. She was a prize winner in the 1999 Naumburg International Competition and a finalist in both the 1998 Dutch International Vocal Competition and the 1999 Concert Artist Guild International Competition in New York. Soon afterwards, Yu began an annual collaboration with Blanche Moyse, singing all the major Bach oratorios, starting with the St. Matthew Passion, both in Vermont and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, in 1999. Since then, she has been a regular participating artist at the Marlboro Music Festival. She made her solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall in May 2004. In 2005, Yu gave a solo recital at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, performed concerts in Montreal and Vancouver, and toured Europe with the Rotterdam Philharmonic , singing Mahler's 8th Symphony and Bach's B Minor Mass. In 2006, Ms.Yu sang the title role in Mozart's "Zaïde" at The Lincoln Centre, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with the Seoul Philharmonic. In 2012, Yu returned to Korea for a solo recital sponsored by the New Music Series of the Seoul National University. More recently, she performed a solo repertoire in Carnegie Hall as part of the Musicians from Marlboro 2015-16 tour.
Baritone Donald Wilkinson enjoys a distinguished career in concert, opera, oratorio, recital and contemporary music, and has appeared throughout the United States and Canada. He made his European debut performing the role of Dionysos in the World premiere of Theodore Antoniou's opera, "The Bacchae," at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Since that debut, he has appeared in Australia and Europe. Wilkinson has performed as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, and other symphony orchestras in eastern USA. Since 1984, he has been a soloist in Emmanuel Music's famed "Bach Cantata Series", under the direction of Craig Smith and John Harbison. In 1990, he was awarded a fellowship to Tanglewood. Highly sought after for his interpretations of Bach, he has appeared in a number of notable Bach festivals and is featured in Emmanuel Music's recordings of Bach's cantatas and passions. His discography also includes a variety of 20th-century and contemporary composers. Mr. Wilkinson teaches voice at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Phillips Academy, Andover. He also maintains a private studio at his residence in Nahant, Massachusetts.
The Blanche Moyse Chorale, founded in 1978 as a program of the Brattleboro Music Center, is a chamber chorus of approximately 30 singers, who strive to attain the high level of musical artistry exemplified by its original director, Blanche Moyse. For many years, the Chorale was the choral arm of the New England Bach Festival. Since 2007, director Mary Westbrook-Geha has led the Chorale in performances of works by Handel, Copland, Stravinsky, Mendelssohn, Britten, Palestrina, Schütz, Brahms and, of course, J.S. Bach. Although based in the Brattleboro area, the Chorale includes singers from neighboring states.
Tickets for the Memorial Concert may be obtained from the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523, online at bmcvt.org, or from any Chorale member. General ticket prices are $20 in advance, $22 at the door, and $5 for students (college included). Preferred seating prices are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Persons Auditorium is handicapped-accessible; please provide advance notice of any special seating needs.
This performance is sponsored by Vermont Public Radio (VPR) and by Vermont Arts 2016 (a project of the Vermont Arts Council). For more information, call the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523, or visit bmcvt.org.