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
American countertenor BRENNAN HALL is a native of Orlando, Florida and made his professional debut singing as a soloist in Bach’s St. John Passion with the American Bach Soloists, under the direction of Jeffrey Thomas. Hall was praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for his “remarkably rich voice throughout his range… and admirable musical intelligence.”
He performed the title role in Phillip Glass’s Akhnaten with the Jacobs School of Music and Indianapolis Opera Company. Hall premiered a Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler filmed opera as Horus in River of Fundament. He also performed several scenes from the movie at the 2012 Summer Holland Festival in Amsterdam. Hall has preformed the roles of the Spirit in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and as Willie in Small Box, a new one-act opera by librettist Bruce L. Pearson and composer Herman Whitfield III. He has also appeared in scenes as Phlegon (Antinious and Hadrian) a new opera by composer Clint Borzoni and librettist Edward Ficklin, Sesto (Giulio Caesare), Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice) and Malcome (La Donna del Lago).
Hall’s concert work as a soloist includes Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabaeus, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Schütz’s Die Sieben Worte Jesu Christi Am Kreuz, Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine, and Dowland’s First Book of Ayres with Nigel North. He is a frequent soloist for the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project and the Bloomington Early Music Festival. Hall has acquired degrees from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and Rollins College.
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.
Artists appearing this season in Bach Vespers
THE BACH CHOIR
Joseph Charles Beutel
Joe Damon Chappel
THE BACH PLAYERS
Peter Kupfer (Concertmaster)
Violone/Viol da gamba
Sang Joon Park