William H. Scheide

William H. ScheideThis concert is presented in honor of William H. Scheide who died on November 14, 2014 at the age of 100. A man of numerous talents and interests, who spent a lifetime giving back, Bill Scheide was a dedicated humanitarian, bibliophile, and Bach scholar…more

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Sir John Eliot GardinerSir John Eliot Gardiner is one of the most versatile and sought after conductors of our time. Founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, he appears regularly with leading symphony orchestras…

Monteverdi Choir

Monteverdi ChoirThe Monteverdi Choir, founded in 1964, is famous for its passionate, committed and virtuosic singing. Over the past 50 years, it has been consistently acclaimed as one of the best choirs in the world, noted for its ability to…

English Baroque Soloists

English Baroque SoloistsThe English Baroque Soloists have long been established as one of the world’s leading period instrument orchestras. Throughout their repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi to Mozart and Haydn, they are equally at home in… more

Soloists

SoloistsMariana Flores, soprano; Esther Brazil, soprano / mezzo-soprano; Francesca Aspromonte, soprano / mezzo-soprano; Francesca Boncompagni, soprano / mezzo-soprano; James Hall, alto; John Lattimore, alto; Krystian Adam, tenor…

William H. Scheide

This concert is presented in honor of William H. Scheide who died on November 14, 2014 at the age of 100. A man of numerous talents and interests, who spent a lifetime giving back, Bill Scheide was a dedicated humanitarian, bibliophile, and Bach scholar. Bill believed that each member of the human family deserves a free and enlightened life and his life-long support of the arts, education, civil rights, health, and poverty relief programs expressed this belief deeply and selflessly.

A graduate of Princeton (Class of 1936), where he majored in history because there was no music department, Bill earned an M.A. in music at Columbia (1940). He was the first American to be published in the Bach Jahrbuch, a journal of Bach scholarship. In 1946, Bill founded and directed the Bach Aria Group, a vocal and instrumental ensemble that performed and recorded for 34 years.

Renowned for his interest in and collection of rare books, Bill was the owner of the Scheide Library, housed in Firestone Library at Princeton University and bequeathed to the University in February of this year; the collection contains books and manuscripts that Bill, his grandfather, William T. Scheide, and his father, John H. Scheide (Class of 1896) acquired. The largest and most valuable gift in the history of the University, the Scheide Library holds copies of the first four Bibles ever printed; materials on the invention and history of printing; books and manuscripts on the early voyages to the Americas; and musical manuscripts of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and many others.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Sir John Eliot Gardiner is one of the most versatile and sought after conductors of our time. Founder and artistic director of the Monteverdi Choir, the English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, he appears regularly with leading symphony orchestras such as the LSO, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Royal Concertgebouw, Bayerischer Rundfunk and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. After serving as artistic director of the Opéra de Lyon (1983-88) and chef fondateur of its orchestra, the centre of his opera projects in France moved to the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris with Gluck’s Orphée and Alceste, Weber’s Oberon, Verdi’s Falstaff and most notably with Berlioz Les Troyens in 2003 — and thereafter to the Opéra Comique where he conducted new productions of Carmen, Pelléas et Mélisande Chabrier’s L’Etoile, and the Weber-Berlioz Le Freyschütz with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique.

Acknowledged as a key figure in the early music revival of the past four decades, Gardiner has led his own ensembles in a number of ground-breaking projects and international tours, including the year-long Bach Cantata Pilgrimage to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death in the millennium year. Two of Gardiner’s ensembles celebrated momentous anniversaries in 2014: with the Monteverdi Choir he returned to King’s College, Cambridge to perform Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, exactly fifty years to the day after their inaugural concert in the famous chapel. The 25th anniversary of the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique was marked by the filming of a BBC TV documentary on Beethoven, their first visit to Latin America, and culminated in a celebratory European tour. The two ensembles came together in August for a BBC Prom performance of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, widely acclaimed and hailed by one critic as 'the concert of the year'.

The extent of Gardiner’s repertoire is illustrated by over 250 recordings for major record companies and by numerous international awards including the Gramophone Special Achievement Award for live recordings of the complete church cantatas of JS Bach on the Soli Deo Gloria label. In 2013 he won the Critics’ Circle’s 'Outstanding Musician' award.

In recognition of his work, Sir John Eliot Gardiner has received several international prizes, and honorary doctorates — from the University of Lyon, the New England Conservatory of Music, the University of Pavia and the University of St. Andrews. In 1992 he became an Honorary Fellow of both King’s College London and the Royal Academy of Music, and in 2007/8 a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge. In 2014 he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of his alma mater, King’s College, Cambridge. Awarded a CBE in 1990 he was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 1998 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He was nominated Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1996 and made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2010. He received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany in 2005.

His acclaimed book on Bach, Music in the Castle of Heaven, was published by Penguin in the UK and by Knopf in the USA in 2013. He was recently appointed President of the Bach Archive in Leipzig. http://www.monteverdi.co.uk/about/gardiner

Monteverdi Choir

Under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales

The Monteverdi Choir, founded in 1964, is famous for its passionate, committed and virtuosic singing. Over the past 50 years, it has been consistently acclaimed as one of the best choirs in the world, noted for its ability to switch composer, language and idiom with complete stylistic conviction.

Among a number of trail-blazing tours, the most ambitious was the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, during which the Choir performed all 198 of JS Bach’s sacred cantatas in more than 60 churches throughout Europe, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. The entire project was recorded and released by the company’s record label, Soli Deo Gloria. It was hailed as “one of the most ambitious musical projects of all times” by Gramophone magazine.

The Choir is also a fertile training ground for future generations of choral and solo singers: Choir members often step out to sing solo parts and many former members have gone on to enjoy successful solo careers. Since 2007, the Monteverdi Apprentices Programme has added an exciting new dimension to its profile.

The Choir has over 150 recordings to its name and has won numerous prizes. It regularly participates in staged opera productions, including recently Le Freyschütz (Weber), L’Etoile (Chabrier) and Carmen (Bizet) at the Opéra Comique in Paris.

Last year, the Choir celebrated its 50th anniversary with performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 in Cambridge, Barcelona and Versailles and an extensive European and US tour of Handel’s Dixit Dominus. It collaborated with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in a performance of Schumann’s Manfred under the direction of Sir John Eliot Gardiner; and released an acclaimed new album of English polyphony, Vigilate!.

Earlier in 2015, Bach’s B minor Mass tour took the Choir to Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne and Paris. Further projects this year include performances at several major summer festivals as well as the Choir’s first Far East tour in over a decade with concerts in Hong-Kong, Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai. http://www.monteverdi.co.uk/about/choir

English Baroque Soloists

Under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales

The English Baroque Soloists have long been established as one of the world’s leading period instrument orchestras. Throughout their repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi to Mozart and Haydn, they are equally at home in chamber, symphonic and operatic performances and the distinctive sound of their warm and incisive playing is instantly recognisable.

The English Baroque Soloists are regularly involved in joint projects with the Monteverdi Choir, with whom they famously took part in the trail-blazing Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, performing all of Bach’s sacred cantatas throughout Europe. More recently, the two joined forces again in a “Bach Marathon” event at the Royal Albert Hall (2013), and collaborated on recordings and tours of Bach Motets (2011) and Ascension Cantatas (2012), both of which reached no. 1 in the UK classical charts.

The ensemble has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues including La Scala in Milan, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Sydney Opera House. In the course of the 1990s they performed Mozart’s seven mature operas and recorded all Mozart’s mature symphonies and his complete piano concerto cycle. Their recent recordings of the Brandenburg Concerti and Mozart Symphonies 39 & 41 were released by the Monteverdi ensemble’s own record label, Soli Deo Gloria.

In 2014, the Monteverdi Choir’s 50th anniversary year, they performed with the Choir in tours of Monteverdi Vespers 1610 in Cambridge, Versailles, and Barcelona, and Handel Dixit Dominus at several summer festivals.

2015 has already taken the EBS and the Choir to Munich, Frankfurt, Lucerne, and Paris to perform Bach’s B minor Mass. Further projects this year include performances at several major summer festivals as well as the orchestra’s first Far East tour in over a decade with concerts in Hong-Kong, Seoul, Beijing, and Shanghai. http://www.monteverdi.co.uk/about/ebs

Soloists

Mariana Flores, soprano
Esther Brazil, soprano / mezzo-soprano
Francesca Aspromonte, soprano / mezzo-soprano
Francesca Boncompagni, soprano / mezzo-soprano
James Hall, alto
John Lattimore, alto
Krystian Adam, tenor
Andrew Tortise, tenor
Gareth Treseder, tenor
Nicholas Mulroy, tenor
David Shipley, bass
Gianluca Buratto, bass
Alex Ashworth, bass