The Bach Choir of Holy Trinity is one of very few professional choirs in residence in a Lutheran Church in the United States. With a distinguished 44 year history, the choir has maintained excellence amidst the constant changes inherent in a church setting. Most often the choir numbers around 12 voices. The Bach Choir may be heard in two CD releases, Joining Hearts and Voices and Bach for All Seasons, both produced with Augsburg Fortress, and each nominated for a Grammy. MORE INFORMATION ON RECORDINGS HERE
The Bach Players of Holy Trinity constitute one of New York's finest early music instrumental ensembles. In 1994 Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity implemented the performance of Bach on historic instruments (modeled on those known to Bach in the Baroque period) thus creating a unique and accurate staging of Bach's cantatas and other sacred works. Peter Kupfer was formally named concertmaster in 2000. Individually, the renowned ensemble members are in great demand and perform throughout the United States and beyond.
PETER KUPFER specializes in 17th and 18th Century repertoire performed on period instruments. Following undergraduate studies at the University of California at Berkeley, studies at conservatory in France and graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he returned to California where he began performing with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and other early music ensembles. Other groups include American Bach Soloists, Apollo's Fire, Aston Magna, Handel & Haydn Society, Opera Lafayette, Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Tafelmusik, and Washington Bach Consort. In addition to Bach Vespers, where he has had the honor of serving as concertmaster for the past eight seasons, Peter has performed with American Classical Orchestra, Clarion, Concert Royal, Ensemble for Early Music, Four Nations Ensemble and Rebel. He may be heard on numerous recordings, including a soon to released collection of the complete Masses of Joseph Haydn with Rebel and the choir of Trinity Wall Street.
PRINCIPAL SOPRANO SOLOIST
“...the songs were sung with such passion, such conviction that I thought I could never forget those words.” (Londonʼs The Independent). Maine native, soprano JENNIFER BATES enjoys a multifaceted career in the opera, concert and recital worlds. Her most recent engagements include the role Pepik in the NY Philharmonicʼs 2011 production of The Cunning Little Vixen, multiple appearances with NY City Opera, Zemlinskyʼs Der Zwerg with the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Cantata Series just steps from Lincoln Center. Highlights of previous seasons have included performances at Carnegie Hall, singing Haydnʼs Lord Nelson Mass with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, and many European engagements, including Elgarʼs The Kingdom with Maestro Leonard Slatkin and the Philharmonia in the prestigious Three Choirs Festival, Haydnʼs Creation with Robert Tear at the Dartington International Summer Festival, Fauréʼs Requiem with Sir David Willcocks at Royal Albert Hall, and Verdiʼs Requiem at Windsor Castle. She has also appeared with the Masterworks Chorale in Boston, the Orchestra of London and the London Pro Arte Orchestra. Her repertoire spans the gamut, ranging from Bach, Monteverdi and Couperin to the more avant-garde works of Schönberg, Eisler, and Berg. As a recitalist, she has performed in multiple venues in the US and abroad, including a tour of Great Britain performing Brittenʼs Holy Sonnets of John Donne, and a recital at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. Jennifer is a strong advocate of late 20th and 21st century music, singing numerous premiers of new works and revamping classics of the contemporary repertoire, including Lukas Fossʼ Time Cycle, and Miss Donnithorneʼs Maggot by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. She appears regularly on NY City Operaʼs VOX series and has sung on the ALEA III series in Boston. Ms. Bates was a Chamber Music Fellow at the Aspen Festival, and a Scholar at the Steans Institute for Singers at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, and is on the faculty at Colby College in Maine.
PRINCIPAL ALTO SOLOIST
Countertenor BRYAN DESILVA's operatic roles include the title role in Handel's "Giulio Cesare in Egitto," the Sorceress in Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas," and Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. In December 2005 Bryan debuted as the alto soloist in Bach’s Magnificat with the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, earning praise from the Philadelphia Inquirer. In April 2008 he made his debut with the Reading Choral Society and orchestra as the alto soloist in Handel’s Utrecht Jubilate Deo and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass for which the Reading Eagle acclaimed Mr. DeSilva's "warm and honeyed tone."
In the Spring of 2010 Bryan was the alto soloist in J.S. Bach's Mass in G Major in Reading, which also featured renowned soprano Julianne Baird. The Reading Eagle called his duet with Ms. Baird "particularly memorable", praising his "otherworldly voice [which] complemented hers so well." Highlights for the 2012-13 season include a concert of Lieder featuring Schumann's Liederkreis (op. 24) and Frauenliebe und Leben (op. 42) as well as a performance as the alto soloist in Bach's Mass in B-minor with the Bach Festival of Philadelphia. http://www.bryandesilva.com
PRINCIPAL TENOR SOLOIST
American tenor JOHN KAWA is an active performer in concert and opera throughout the New York Metropolitan area, both as a soloist and an ensemble member. Returning for his fourth season as Principal Tenor Soloist at Bach Vespers, he is pleased to continue his work with the artists at Holy Trinity Lutheran. Also this year, John will have the distinct pleasure of performing on the multinational tour of Philip Glass’s Einstein on the Beach.
Mr. Kawa’s recent engagements have included singing Pasek (The Cunning Little Vixen) with the New York Philharmonic, Sander (Grétry’s Zémire et Azor) with the American Classical Orchestra and DeYancey (Alice Parker’s The Ponder Heart). His solo concert repertoire includes Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Joby Talbot’s Path of Miracles, Saint-Saens’s Christmas Oratorio, Les Noces, Messiah, Elijah, Carmina Burana, and the numerous Bach cantatas and oratorios. John has also sung the roles of Idomeneo, Orpheus in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, and Valére in Mechem’s Tartuffe. As a graduate student, he had the joy of working under Kirke Mechem directly in a staged workshop of his most recent opera, Pride and Prejudice.
John frequently works with such groups as The Choir of Saint Ignatius Loyola, The Concert Chorale of New York, The New York Choral Artists, The New York Virtuoso Singers, Musica Sacra, The Saint Andrew Chorale, The Russian Chamber Chorus of New York, New York City Ballet, American Symphony Orchestra, and various others. Previously, he has performed at the Magnolia Baroque Festival in Winston-Salem, NC, the Illuminations! Summer Festival in Manteo, NC, and with the Macon Symphony Orchestra, in central Georgia.
Mr. Kawa holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from Mercer University in Macon, GA and a Master of Music in opera performance from the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC where he was a recipient of the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute Fellowship.
PRINCIPAL BASS SOLOIST
Bass-baritone JOE DAMON CHAPPEL, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. At Eastman, he was a William Warfield Scholar and had many solo credits with the Eastman Chorale and the Eastman Opera Theater. His career has demonstrated proficiency in a wide range of musical genres, from early music to opera and musical theater. He is the principal bass soloist with Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity (NYC), under the baton of Cantor Richard Erickson, and is an accomplished specialist in the performance of Bach’s cantatas, passion settings, and other large works. In 2008, Maestro Georg Cristoph Biller, Bach’s current living successor as Kantor of Thomaskirche, Leipzig, was a visiting guest conductor at Holy Trinity, and Mr. Chappel was honored to work with him on several cantatas as a featured soloist. He has also performed with groups such as Bachworks, NY Collegium, Early Music New York, Les Gouts-Reunis, Vox Vocal Ensemble and The Tiffany Consort (founding member), an 8-member ensemble of soloists which received a 2006 Grammy nomination for its debut recording project, O Magnum Mysterium. He has been hailed by the New York Times as a “warm bass anchor…” and after his first Verdi requiem, The State of Columbia, SC wrote “Chappel’s ‘Mors Stupebit’ kept the audience hanging on every breathy syllable, filling the hall with his strength even in the softest moments.” As a member of the Carolina Chamber Chorale (C3) at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, he was bass soloist in world premieres by American composers Dan Locklair and Anthony Davis. Mr. Chappel sang his first Verdi Requiem with the South Carolina Philharmonic, Nicholas Smith, conductor. Subsequently, he and Maestro Smith have worked on several projects, including a Verdi Requiem at the Bollington Festival (UK), the Palmetto Opera’s production of Marriage of Figaro (as Figaro), and a return to the South Carolina Philharmonic as soloist in Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast.
A champion of new and/or rarely heard music, Mr. Chappel is frequently sought as a soloist in world premieres of newly written or newly discovered works. In 2007, he made his Lincoln Center debut as bass soloist in the world premiere ofAndrew Fowler’s Directions for Singing. In 2006, he gave the New World premiere of a recently unearthed Kuhnau mass for solo Bass and strings. He has performed several works composed around the events of 9/11, including the role of the Pilot in the world premiere of Anthony Davis’ Restless Mourning at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and the world premiere of Joelle Wallach’s Firefighter’s Prayer at Powell Hall as part of the Saint Louis Symphony’s “On Stage at Powell” recital series. In 2008 he performed Orestes/Athena in the U.S. premiere of Iannis Xenakis’ Oresteia at Miller Theater, Columbia University.
On the opera stage, Mr. Chappel has performed roles which include Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro), Porgy (Porgy and Bess), Tobit (Tobias and the Angel), Mustafa (L’Italiana in Algieri), Frere Laurent (Romeo et Juliette), Mr. Gobineau (The Medium), Giove (La Calisto), Angelotti (Tosca), Sparafucile and Monterone (Rigoletto). He has participated in productions by One World Symphony, Dicapo Opera, the American Singers’ Opera Project, New Hampshire Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, the Bollington Festival (UK), Opera at Eau Claire, and Palmetto Opera.
A believer in the power of educational outreach, Mr. Chappel has performed roles in A Band of Angels and The Orphan Singer, two children’s musicals created by the New York City based company, Making Books Sing, and most recently as Noye in the Eau Claire High School production of Noye’s Fludde, as part of the Columbia, SC “Opera in Schools”program.
Recent projects include singing in the Bard Summerscape 2011 production of Richard Strauss’ Die Liebe der Danae, and the Bard Music Festival men’s chorus. In February 2012, Mr. Chappel will join Maestro Erickson for several performances at the Boulder Bach Festival, and in the spring he will join Phillip Glass, the Phillip Glass Ensemble, and acclaimed director Robert Wilson in the world tour of Einstein on the Beach, a year-long project with performances throughout Europe, North and Latin America.
JASON ABRAMS is rapidly becoming one of the rising stars in the next generation of countertenors. Praised by Opera News for his "honeyed, rock-solid countertenor" and the Boston Globe for an "uncommon beauty of timbre and acting skill," the young American countertenor continues to garner acclaim for his stunning and nuanced performances.
Jason Abrams sang the role of Roberto in Vivaldi's Griselda with Santa Fe Opera in summer of 2011, stepping in for an ailing David Daniels. In 2011-12 he sings as Sandman in Hänsel und Gretel with Virginia Opera and joins the roster of Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of Handel's Rinaldo. In the 2009-10 season, he joined New York City Opera for its production of Esther, performed the role of Sandman with Austin Lyric Opera, appeared as featured soloist in a concert with String Orchestra of the Rockies, and appeared as soloist with the Britten-Pears Orchestra in Aldeburgh to sing Handel's Saul.
Recent engagements include appearances with New York City Opera Austin Lyric Opera, Florentine Opera, Central City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Pittsburgh Opera, Boston Baroque, the Greenwich Music Festival, and the Charlotte Symphony. He has worked with such distinguished conductors as Emmanuelle Haïm, Nicholas Kraemer, Jane Glover, Matthew Halls, Robert Spano, and Craig Smith.
Mr. Abrams received a prestigious fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center and is also a recipient of the John Moriarty Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council as well as awards from both the Sullivan Foundation and Jensen Foundation. He holds a graduate diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree from the University of Arizona and a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University. www.barrettvantage.com
Young American soprano SARAH BRAILEY has been recognized for a “striking, statuesque presence with a voice that is equally beautiful,” while excelling in a broad and varied repertoire that encompasses the works of Bach, Britten, Catalani, Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Verdi.
The Capital Times exclaimed, “Sarah Brailey lent powerful and expressive vocals” while the Wisconsin State Journal praised the soprano, whose “moments were a highlight of the closing Te Deum, captured in solo voice what the ensemble embodied throughout." Ms. Brailey is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a MM in Vocal Performance where she was awarded the Paul J. Collins Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. During this period, Ms. Brailey appeared as Nedda in I Pagliacci, 1st Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Beth in Adamo’s Little Women with Stoughton Opera and UW-Madison Opera Theater. Additionally, Ms. Brailey created the role of Jane Bennet in the world premiere of the Jacobs/Baker Pride and Prejudice with Eastman Opera Theater and performed the role of Sharon in Master Class featuring renowned actress Angela Iannone.
A frequent recitalist, Ms. Brailey recently appeared to critical acclaim in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the Helena Symphony Orchestra. The soprano’s concert repertoire further encompasses such diverse works as the Bach St Matthew Passion, Dvorák Stabat Mater, Fauré Requiem, Handel Brockes Passion, Handel Messiah, Haydn Theresienmesse, Mendelssohn Elijah, Mozart Requiem, Telemann Der Tag des Gerichts, and Vivaldi Gloria. Ms. Brailey has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the United States and New York City.
After completing her doctorate at Eastman in 2010, mezzo-soprano KATE MARONEY moved to New York City, where she is pleased to sing regularly with Holy Trinity Bach Vespers. Kate has appeared in concerts with Musica Sacra, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, Saint Luke in the Fields, Mostly Mozart Festival, Fairfield Country Chorale, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Berkshire Bach Society, and she sings frequently with the New York Choral Artists and New York Philharmonic. In the upcoming 2012-2013 season, Kate is excited to be part of a world tour with the Philip Glass Ensemble presenting Robert Wilson’s production of Einstein on the Beach. Kate is also appearing in recitals as a guest artist at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, and University of Louisville; and is premiering a new opera, Song from the Uproar, by Missy Mazzoli, at The Kitchen, NYC, in 2012. Kate can be heard singing James Adler’s Reflections upon a September morn, on a recording recently released by Albany Records. Last Spring, Kate was a Semi-Finalist in the Oratorio Society of New York Lyndon Woodside Soloist Competition and a Finalist in the Rochester Oratorio "Classical Idol" Competition. Additional solo engagements include performing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Choral Society, Amuse, MasterWorks Chorale, Mercury Opera, Orchestra Sinfonica Milano di Giuseppe Verdi, Musica Nova, Eastman Collegium, and the Geneseo Orchestra and Chorale. In addition to her D.M.A., Kate holds degrees in performance from SUNY Purchase and Yale. She resides in Brooklyn. www.katemaroney.com
MALCOLM J. MERRIWEATHER began his professional musical training as a chorister in the St. Paul's Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys, Buffalo, New York. He attended Syracuse University where he earned a Bachelor of Music in music education, summa cum laude. Malcolm was honored as a Visual and Performing Arts Scholar and a Remembrance Scholar.
Mr. Merriweather leads a professional career as a baritone, conductor and teacher. He earned a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied conducting with Dr. William Weinert. Merriweather has served as organist and choirmaster at the Church of St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene (Episcopal) in downtown Rochester and Director of Music at Asbury First United Methodist Church, Rochester. As assistant conductor for the Gregory Kunde Chorale he was privileged to prepare and conduct the choir for performances of Brahms’ Requiem, Mozart’s Coronation Mass and excerpts from Rossini’s Othello with orchestra and soloists.
He received a second M.M. in Vocal Performance from the studio of Rita Shane, dramatic coloratura soprano. The baritone has had solo engagements include appearances with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, New York Choral Society, Norfolk Chamber Choir, Gregory Kunde Chorale, Voices, Bach Vespers Choir and Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He has been a fellowship recipient with the festivals at Norfolk, CT and Tanglewood Music Center. A supporter of new music, Mr. Merriweather has premiered works by John Liberatore, Ju Ri Seo, Douglas Fisk and James Adler.
A passionate music educator, Malcolm enjoyed serving as the Artistic Director and Conductor for the Rochester Boys Choir and is currently on the faculty at St. Thomas More Play Group, Manhattan and the Third Street Music Settlement, Manhattan.
In addition to freelance singing, Malcolm serves as the Bruno Walter Assistant Conductor for the New York Choral Society.
Tenor NILS NEUBERT performs regularly in opera, recital and oratorio. He has performed at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall, and Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Yamaha Hall, Boston's Jordan Hall, Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, the Bergen Performing Arts Center, the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace Museum, the United Jewish Appeal Headquarters of New York, as well as in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Spain. Nils holds degrees from the Juilliard School and Columbia University, and is currently pursuing his doctorate in performance at the CUNY Graduate Center. He serves on the voice faculties of William Paterson University and the Music Conservatory of Westchester, and also teaches at the International Academy of Music in Italy. Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, he resides in New York City where he studies with Dr. Robert C. White, Jr. For more information, please visit www.nilsneubert.com.
Hailed for her “best all-around performance” in Handel’s Ariodante (Opera News-Princeton Festival), soprano MARCY RICHARDSON recently made her Alice Tully and Avery Fisher Hall debut as the soprano soloist in the Faure Requiem and Mozart Vesperae Solennes de Confessore with MidAmerica Productions, sang Diana/Giove as Diana in La Calisto with Vertical Player Repertory, John Eaton’s The Greeks at Symphony Space for the New Composers Alliance Summer Festival, and produced and recorded a concert of seconda donna Handel arias with Operamission. Upcoming performances include Opera Toledo’s Gala Concert, From Vienna to Paris to New York, as well as her second Dalinda in Ariodante with Opera Vivente. She has performed with Baltimore Opera, Central City Opera, Orlando Opera, Lyrique-en-Mer in Belle-Île, France, the Lucerne Festival, the Carmel Bach Festival, Bloomington Early Music Festival, VocalEssence, and has won awards from the Kurt Weill Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council. She also has been seen as Emmaline in King Arthur, Susanna and Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Fiorilla in Il Turco in Italia, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Cinderella in Into the Woods, Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate and as a soloist in Messiah, Die Schöpfung, Handel’s Solomon, Israel in Egypt, Webern’s Op. 18, and the Pergolesi Stabat Mater, to name a few. Ms. Richardson is originally from Grosse Pointe, MI and is a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Please visit www.marcyrichardson.com
Artists appearing this season in Bach Vespers
THE BACH CHOIR
Jennifer Bates* (principal)
Bryan DeSilva* (principal)
John Kawa* (principal)
Joe Damon Chappel* (principal)
THE BACH PLAYERS
Peter Kupfer* (Concertmaster)
Violone/Viol da gamba
Sang Joon Park*