FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONCORA Media Contact: Christine Laird
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE: CONCORA, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT 06103
CONCORA adds a second performance of Brahms' “A German Requiem” in Stamford on November 4
HARTFORD AND NEW BRITAIN, CONN. (October 5, 2017) — CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), the region’s oldest all-professional choral ensemble, will open its 44th season with two performances of the enduringly beautiful Requiem by Johannes Brahms.
The first performance is on Sunday, October 15, 4pm, at South Church, 90 Main Street, New Britain.
A second performance has been added on Saturday November 4, 7:30 PM at Saint John's Episcopal Church, 628 Main Street, in Stamford. This concert is part of Saint John's 275th anniversary celebration.
The two concerts are the first of the 2017-2018 season, during which CONCORA, under the direction of Artistic Director Chris Shepard, celebrates masterworks of the choral art, with fresh interpretations of music that many consider the greatest examples of the genre, including the timeless Requiem of Johannes Brahms.
“True masterworks have lasting power and beauty,” said Shepard, who is beginning his third season as the ensemble’s Artistic Director and is also the director of music at Saint John's Episcopal Church. “Musical trends and fashions come and go, but the finest works of music – such as Brahms’ moving Requiem – stand the test of time. Singers never tire of performing it, and listeners never tire of hearing it. This sort of beauty transcends time.”
After its 1868 premiere, conductor Karl Reinthaler predicted that the Requiem “would live as one of the most exalted creations of musical art.” Brahms’ setting, unusual among Requiems for its use of biblical verses instead of the austere Latin liturgy, is beloved for its messages of comfort, hope, blessing, and rest.
“Brahms was right in wanting us to experience this music as what he called a ‘human requiem,’” says Shepard. “The texts he selected comfort the living and in so doing, offer a powerful affirmation of our shared humanity.”
CONCORA will perform the “London Version” of the Requiem, an arrangement for choir and four-hand piano that Brahms himself prepared for more intimate presentations of the work. The vocal solos will be presented by soprano Louise Fauteaux and baritone Chai-lun Yueh. Eric Trudel and Cihan Yücel are the featured pianists. The program also includes a rarely-heard Brahms choral masterwork, Nänie, a poignant, achingly beautiful, but ultimately consoling elegy. Oboist Libby van Cleve is the featured soloist.
CONCORA will present two performances of this program:
Sunday, October 15, 2017, at 4:00pm, at South Church, 90 Main Street, New Britain, CT. Tickets are $10-$55, with discounted rates for students, seniors, and groups of eight or more.
Saturday, November 4, 2017, at 7:30pm, at Saint John's Episcopal Church, 628 Main Street, Stamford CT. No tickets are required.
For more information, visit CONCORA’s website www.concora.org or contact the CONCORA office at 860-293-0567 or email@example.com.
Bio statements and photos follow.
About CONCORA’s Artistic Director Chris Shepard
Chris Shepard has served as CONCORA’s Artistic Director since 2015, succeeding founder Richard Coffey in that role. He also serves as Music Director of the Worcester Chorus and the Masterwork Chorus of Morristown, New Jersey. With these choirs, Chris has performed a wide range of repertoire, collaborating with a number of major orchestras in venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Radio City Music Hall in New York, as well as the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
A conductor with a particular affinity for the choral music of J.S. Bach, Chris founded the Sydneian Bach Choir in Sydney, Australia, an ensemble that has performed all of Bach’s choral cantatas as well as all of his major choral works. He has taught at the Taft School, Sydney Grammar School, and Holy Cross College. A pianist and keyboard continuist, Chris holds degrees from the Hartt School and the Yale School of Music, and the University of Sydney. His PhD dissertation won the American Choral Directors Association’s 2012 Julius Herford Prize for outstanding doctoral thesis in choral music.
A fuller bio of Chris Shepard is available at http://concora.org/artistic-director/.
About CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists)
Acclaimed as Connecticut’s premier professional choir, CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists) has been praised as “one of the premier musical forces in the state,” “one of our region’s priceless musical assets,” and “a model of choral artistry.” Since its founding in 1974 by Artistic Director Emeritus Richard Coffey, CONCORA has enriched the Greater Hartford area with concerts of beautiful choral music presented by its professional singers. Now in its 44th season, the ensemble enjoys an extraordinary reputation for artistic excellence throughout New England.
Under the direction of Chris Shepard, now in his third season as Artistic Director, CONCORA’s versatility is displayed in its wide range of repertoire and in the crafting of ensembles from among the choir’s roster of singers to produce an extraordinary range of choral color and dynamic range for each program and performance space.
More information about CONCORA is available at http://concora.org/about/
About Louise Fauteux, Soprano
Louise Fauteux enjoys a diversified career in the arts devoted to education and performance. Her versatility as a soprano has afforded her opportunities with some of today’s most celebrated institutions, including a solo role in Peer Gynt with the New York Philharmonic and actor John de Lancie, a theatrical version of the St. Matthew Passion at the Brooklyn Academy of Music directed by Jonathan Miller, and a tour of Venice with DiCapo Opera and the Fairfield Chorale. Some of her favorite operatic roles performed include Pamina in The Magic Flute, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, Violetta in La Traviata, and Lucy from The Telephone. For Un Ballo in Maschera with Connecticut Concert Opera, the Hartford Courant characterized Louise Fauteux as a "pert, boyish Oscar" with "clarion tone in her two showpiece arias and a soaring top in the great Act I ensemble.” Ms. Fauteux received her master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College. Her vocal students have received various awards and scholarships and have gone on to further studies at Tanglewood, Hartt School of Music, Westminster Choir College, UCONN, and Oberlin Conservatory. Ms. Fauteux’s own awards and honors include a fellowship with the Carmel Bach Festival, national semifinalist for the MacAllister Awards, and a scholarship from the Connecticut Opera Guild. In recent years she has appeared frequently on WFSB television as both a soloist and a choir director, and is a frequent featured soloist with New Haven Chorale, the Farmington Valley Chorale, the Connecticut Master Chorale, and the Connecticut Chamber Chorus. In 2017, she has performed Mozart’s “Dove Sono” with the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra and gave the premiere of “An Aria for the Executive Order” by Niloufar Nourbakhsh for the Women’s Composer Festival in Hartford. Ms. Fauteux teaches music for A.I. Prince Technical High School and is resident artist for the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Hartford.
About Chai-lun Yueh, Baritone
Chai-lun Yueh is an award-winning artist, an exciting and dramatic baritone with a rich and powerful voice, a music director and voice educator, the first Chinese-born classical musician to receive a nomination for a GRAMMY Award®, winner of Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions of New England Region, and a finalist at the Luciano Pavarotti International Vocal Competition. His recently released CD, 24 Italian Songs and Arias, won The Prestige Music Awards of Gold in 2012 and The Global Music Awards (Award of Excellence, Male vocal, classical) in 2013. His CD “Infinite Time,” a collection of the best-known Chinese art songs from the early- to mid-20th centuries also received the Gold Award from The Prestige Music Awards in 2013. After graduating from the Central Conservatory of Music of China with the highest honor, Mr. Yueh received his Artist Diploma and Master of Music degrees from The Hartt School, University of Hartford. He continued advanced studies at The Julliard School and Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Over the last two decades, Mr. Yueh has worked closely with many distinguished artists, directors, and conductors including Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Gino Bechi, Sherrill Milnes, Nancy Milnes, Anton Guadagno, Yves Abel, and Adelaide Bishop. He has portrayed leading roles such as Tonio, Rigoletto, Giorgio Germont, Escamillo, Marcello, Sharpless, and Count Almaviva. He has been heard at The National Opera of China in Beijing; Austin Lyric Opera, Baltimore Opera, Connecticut Opera, Hawaii Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut and many others. As baritone soloist, Mr. Yueh has performed at Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Chicago Symphony Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Strathmore Music Hall in Washington DC, Jordan Hall in Boston, and Woolsey Hall at Yale University. Mr. Yueh has also performed in Europe including Vienna, Salzburg, Paris and Prague. He teaches at Wesleyan University and Trinity College and is Music Director of the Connecticut Women’s Chorale and Artistic Director of Kang Hua Singers of Greater Hartford. Mr. Yueh is an active recitalist and has given vocal recitals, master classes and vocal workshops in the United States (Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Phoenix, and Houston) and China (Shanghai and Beijing). Starting in the fall of 2017, Chai-lun will be the newest faculty member teaching voice at the Hartt School, and will also be serving as the Senior Advisor for recruiting international students from China.
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For more information, or to schedule an interview with Chris Shepard, please contact:
Christine Laird, firstname.lastname@example.org 860-293-0567
Administrative Office: City Arts on Pearl, 233 Pearl Street, Hartford, CT 06103