February 7, 2024

(February 2024) – Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) – celebrated for its “exceptionally fine and
committed music-making” (New York Times) – gives four mainstage performances in Carnegie
Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage during the orchestra’s 50th-anniversary season in
2024–25. Conductor Louis Langrée makes his Carnegie Hall debut leading OSL and cellist
Sterling Elliott in Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 in D, along with Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony
and Valerie Coleman’s Fanfare for Uncommon Times (Nov 14). In January, the orchestra
returns to Carnegie Hall for the New York debut of conductor Raphaël Pichon, who leads
baritone Christian Gerhaher, soprano Ying Fang and the Ensemble Altera chamber choir in the
U.S. premiere of the conductor’s curated evening-length concert, Mein Traum (Jan 23, 2025).
Juxtaposing Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony with music from his operas, Franz Liszt’s
orchestrations of songs by Robert Schumann, and arias by Carl Maria von Weber, Pichon’s Mein
Traum was released to international acclaim on the Harmonia Mundi label in 2022. In Bernard
Labadie’s final season as OSL Principal Conductor, he leads the Orchestra in two Carnegie
mainstage programs. He collaborates with pianist Marc-André Hamelin in Beethoven’s
“Emperor” Concerto, alongside works by Mozart and Haydn (Feb 13, 2025), then conducts
Bach’s St. John Passion with his own La Chapelle de Québec and an all-star roster of soloists
including Andrew Haji, Philippe Sly, Joélle Harvey and Hugh Cutting (April 10, 2025).

James Roe, OSL’s President and Executive Director, reflects on the orchestra’s history at Carnegie
Hall:

“On October 26, 1974, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble performed its inaugural concert at The
Church of St. Luke in the Fields. Five decades later Orchestra of St. Luke’s has grown to be a leader
in the cultural life of New York City.
“Carnegie Hall first presented Orchestra of St. Luke’s on November 25, 1984—almost forty
years to the day from the opening concert of the 2024/25 season—and since that time the
orchestra has performed on its stages 425 times, more than any other orchestra during that same
period. When we walk on stage at Carnegie Hall, we feel at home; when we play for Carnegie
audiences they feel like friends.
“With so many concerts to choose from, it is impossible to pick favorites, but a few highlights
illustrate the orchestra’s famous versatility: Mozart Symphonies with Leonard Bernstein in 1989,
a Rainforest Foundation benefit with Whitney Houston and Sting in 1995, Carousel in concert with
Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald in 2002, Ask Your Mama! with Jessye Norman and The Roots
in 2009, Carnegie Hall’s 125th Anniversary All-Star Gala Benefit Concert hosted by Richard Gere
in 2016, and a performance in 2019 celebrating the anniversary of the Apollo moon landing that
featured our musicians dressed as NASA engineers.
“A mountaintop moment for Orchestra of St. Luke’s was the performance of Bach’s
monumental St. Matthew Passion led by Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie in the Stern
Auditorium during the first season after the pandemic shutdown. It was the orchestra’s sixth
performance of this work at Carnegie Hall and part of our dedication to bringing the music of Bach
to New York City, which inspired the creation of the annual OSL Bach Festival in Zankel Hall in
2019.
“In the 2023/24 Season, Orchestra of St. Luke’s began presenting its chamber music series at
Weill Recital Hall, becoming the only orchestra to have subscription series in all three of
Carnegie’s auditoriums.

“Orchestra of St. Luke’s is a New York original, and our story has played out on the Carnegie
Hall stages. During our 50th Anniversary we celebrate our long partnership with the greatest
concert hall in the world.”

Louis Langrée Carnegie debut

Orchestra of St. Luke’s opens its 50th Anniversary Season with the long-awaited Carnegie Hall
debut of Louis Langrée. Now serving as Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony, where he is
in his final season after a “transformative” (New York Times) decade on the podium, conductor
Langrée is beloved by New York City audiences for his artistic leadership as Music Director of the
Mostly Mozart Festival from 2003 to 2023. This tenure was, as the New York Times declared, “by
any measure a triumph of ensemble-building and musical curiosity,” capping a “quietly
remarkable” career that has been “a steady climb of prestige and quality.” Next season, he leads
the orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, along with Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 2 in D with
soloist Sterling Elliott, who performed as a member of OSL’s cello section as a Juilliard student.
Opening the program is Fanfare for Uncommon Times by frequent OSL collaborator Valerie
Coleman, which was commissioned by the orchestra in 2021.

Raphaël Pichon’s New York debut

In a recent profile of conductor Raphaël Pichon, the New York Times notes that “Pichon, 38, in a
short time has become not just one of the most interesting younger conductors working with
period instruments, but also one of the most interesting conductors around.” Pichon’s original
program, Mein Traum, comprises Schubert’s “Unfinished” Symphony interspersed with excerpts
from the same composer’s stage works and arias from Weber’s Oberon and Euryanthe and
Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust, weaving a vast Romantic narrative exploring the major
themes of Schubert’s work. The Times profile, after detailing the conductor’s gift for dramatic
narrative, says of the recording of Mein Traum that it “more than succeeds in reorienting the ears.
” Pichon used the instrumental timbres of his disparate materials to achieve a sonic coherence,
and the works were chosen as narrative complements to an image Schubert wrote down in 1822:
“With a heart full of infinite love for those who spurned that love, I wandered.” Soloists for OSL’s
U.S. premiere performance are baritone Christian Gerhaher, who achieved a triumph last fall in
the Metropolitan Opera’s Tannhäuser, and soprano Ying Fang, a frequent collaborator with
Pichon, known for her “voice that can stop time, pure and rich and open and consummately
expressive” (Financial Times).

Labadie’s celebratory final season with OSL

Bernard Labadie conducts two of the Carnegie mainstage programs in the upcoming season.
First, he teams up with his longtime friend and collaborator Marc-André Hamelin for a
performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto, along with Mozart’s Symphony No. 39
and the introduction to Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ (Feb 13). For Labadie’s final
performance as Principal Conductor, he concludes his series of major Bach choral masterworks
with the towering St. John Passion. Philippe Sly reprises the role of Jesus he performed in OSL’s
St. Matthew Passion in 2022, which also featured countertenor Hugh Cutting in the solo quartet.
Andrew Haji, the Evangelist in this performance, was the tenor soloist for OSL’s Christmas Oratorio this past December. Also on the roster are soprano Joélle Harvey – a featured performer
in this season’s OSL Bach Festival – tenor Samuel Boden and baritone William Thomas. The
celebrated La Chapelle de Québec chorus, founded by Labadie in 1985 and directed by him ever
since, also joins OSL for the performance. In a recent video interview, Labadie elaborates on the
dramatic nature of the work:

“You can’t understand the St. Matthew if you don’t know the St. John, and at the same time the St.
John seems to be the total opposite. Because we see the St. Matthew – even though it’s for two
choirs, two orchestras and a huge group of people on stage – as a more intimate version of the
Passion. St. John, on the other hand, is a much more dramatic work. … It’s probably Bach’s most
dramatic creation, the most operatic; it is extremely intense, because the text invites that. … The
beginning is for me one of the best moments of Baroque opera, even though it’s an opera for the
church.”

Labadie expands on the upcoming performance of the St. John Passion here.

Labadie’s seven-year tenure with OSL is the most significant of any OSL titled conductor. The fifth
to step into that role, Labadie followed in the distinguished footsteps of Sir Roger Norrington
(1990-1994), Sir Charles Mackerras (1998-2001), Sir Donald Runnicles (2001-2007) and Pablo
Heras-Casado (2011-2017). He led a major OSL expansion at Carnegie Hall with the creation of
the OSL Bach Festival in 2019, led a cycle of major Bach chorale masterpieces at Carnegie Hall
including the St. Matthew Passion, Christmas Oratorio and the upcoming St. John Passion,
conducted more concerts with OSL than any other Principal Conductor, and received consistently
glowing praise in the press. Following the pandemic, New York audiences embraced Labadie’s
programs, resulting in box office records. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from
Manhattan School of Music, conducted the MSM Orchestra and gave masterclasses at both MSM
and The Juilliard School, and regularly worked with Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York’s only
youth orchestra under the umbrella of a professional orchestra.

About the special relationship he and the orchestra have to Carnegie Hall, Labadie explains:

“The physical effect on your body when you walk on stage at Carnegie Hall for the first time and
it’s full of people clapping is amazing. Every time I work with Orchestra of St Luke’s on Perelman
Stage in Stern Auditorium, I get that feeling of amazement – it never gets old. It’s the first time
every time and I feel a deep personal connection with the audience. … Orchestra of St. Luke’s has
been blessed with an extremely faithful and enthusiastic base of supporters, one of the things I’m
most proud of accomplishing together during my tenure as Principal Conductor.”

Justin Davidson in New York magazine called OSL “one of our perpetually underappreciated
hometown groups,” noting after OSL’s 2022 St. Matthew Passion: “The result was a luminous
rarity: a baroque behemoth performed by a big ensemble with delicacy, lightness, and paschal
fervor. … Labadie, the orchestra’s [principal conductor] and a Bach specialist, managed that
complex flow of beauty and rage with a mastery worthy of DeMille.” The New York Times
agreed: “Under Labadie’s baton, the music was unwaveringly measured but balanced; its
flashes of grandeur didn’t need to be overstated to land powerfully.”

At the end of his video interview, the conductor reflects on his experience with the board and
musicians of OSL:

“They’re normal people willing to do extraordinary things. That’s what, for me, sums up Orchestra
of St. Luke’s. When the time comes for me to put my baton in its case and call it a career, I will
remember my years with Orchestra of St. Luke’s as among the best ones artistically, but also from
the human viewpoint, in terms of relationships and of connections with the audience … it will be
like a golden light, somewhere, in the sky.”

Details of OSL’s full 50th Anniversary Season will be announced later this year.

About Orchestra of St. Luke’s

Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) performs and produces in a variety of formats throughout New
York City, including orchestra and chamber music series on each of Carnegie Hall’s iconic stages,
programs focused on contemporary composers presented throughout the five boroughs,
collaborations with Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center, a composition institute,
education and community engagement programs, and much more. Founded in 1974 when a
group of virtuoso chamber musicians began performing together in Greenwich Village at The
Church of St. Luke in the Fields, the ensemble expanded into an orchestra in 1979 and is today “a
mainstay of New York’s classical scene” (New Yorker) under the baton of Principal Conductor
Bernard Labadie, a celebrated specialist in 18th-century music, and special guests. OSL has
participated in 120 recordings, four of which have won Grammy Awards, has commissioned more
than 70 new works, and has given more than 200 world, U.S., and New York City premieres. OSL
champions the work of historically underrepresented composers, in recent seasons including
Florence Price, Julius Eastman, Joseph Bologne, and others along with living composers, recently
including Valerie Coleman, Eleanor Alberga, Anna Clyne, Joan Tower, and Wynton Marsalis. OSL’s
Education & Community Engagement programs have been a staple of its work since it first
produced a staged opera for New York City public school children in 1976. For students today,
OSL continues to offer accessible, interactive concerts in addition to: the 100-member Youth
Orchestra of St. Luke’s (YOSL) program, now in its 10th season and the only youth orchestra
under the umbrella of a professional group in New York City; concert tours that introduce
classical music to new audiences; a mentorship program for pre-professional musicians; and the
DeGaetano Composition Institute, which supports the development of emerging composers and
commissions new works for OSL each season. OSL built and operates The DiMenna Center in
midtown Manhattan – located in the nexus of Manhattan’s burgeoning Hudson Yards
neighborhood and the theater district near Times Square – the city’s only rehearsal, recording,
and performance space built specially for classical music. Thousands of local and international
musicians create work at The DiMenna Center where they not only stage performances, but also
rehearse, record, and broadcast music enjoyed throughout the city and the world. To learn more,
visit OSLmusic.org or follow @OSLmusic on YouTube, Spotify, Instagram, or Facebook.

To download high-resolution photos, click here.

Facebook.com/OSLmusic
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Orchestra of St. Luke’s: Carnegie Hall mainstage performances 2024–25
All performances in Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Nov 14, 2024
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
“Louis Langrée Conducts Beethoven”
Louis Langrée, conductor
Sterling Elliott, cello
Valerie COLEMAN: Fanfare for Uncommon Times (2021 OSL Commission)
HAYDN: Cello Concerto No. 2 in D
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

Jan 23, 2025
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
“Mein Traum (My Dream): Schubert, R. Schumann, C. Weber”
Raphaël Pichon, conductor
Christian Gerhaher, baritone
Ying Fang, soprano
Ensemble Altera
Christopher Lowrey, Artistic Director
SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759, “Unfinished”
Songs and arias of SCHUBERT, SCHUMANN AND WEBER

Feb 13, 2025
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
“Marc-André Hamelin Performs ‘Emperor’”
Bernard Labadie, Principal Conductor
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
HAYDN: Introduzione from The Seven Last Words of Christ, Hob. XX: 2
MOZART: Symphony No. 39 in E-flat, K. 543
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”

April 10, 2025
Page 7 of 7
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
“J. S. Bach’s St. John Passion”
Bernard Labadie, Principal Conductor
Evangelist: Andrew Haji, tenor
Jesus: Philippe Sly, bass-baritone
Soprano: Joélle Harvey
Countertenor: Hugh Cutting
Tenor: Samuel Boden
Bass: William Thomas
La Chapelle de Québec
BACH: St. John Passion

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© 21C Media Group, February 2024