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Four Premieres Highlight Trinity Wall Street’s Seasonal Twelfth Night Festival, “Time’s Arrow” (Dec 26–Jan 6)

Trinity Wall Street’s annual Twelfth Night Festival is a high point of the New York holiday season, honoring the twelve days of the nativity with a full program of events at St. Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church (December 26–January 6). All festival events are free except for Handel’s Messiah and the Play of Daniel performances. This winter’s festival, subtitled “Time’s Arrow,” celebrates early and contemporary music with programming that juxtaposes the two. Music of the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Baroque rubs shoulders with music by living composers, including premieres by Daniel Felsenfeld, David Lang, Tarik O’Regan and Gerald Busby.

Trinity Wall Street’s Twelfth Night Festival: “Time’s Arrow” features Trinity’s own ensembles, the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, resident contemporary music orchestra NOVUS NY, and the newly formed semi-professional choir Downtown Voices, as well as distinguished guests, including, but not limited to, TENET, Clarion Music Society, Gotham Early Music Scene, and New York Baroque Incorporated, whose climactic Festival Concert will be performed on both period and modern instruments.

As Julian Wachner, Director of Music and the Arts at Trinity Wall Street, explains:

“A fascination, steeped in a hungry curiosity, informs both the contemporary music scene and the search for the new in ancient and early music. From The Choir of Trinity Wall Street to the members of the Trinity Baroque Orchestra and NOVUS NY, a new generation of performer has emerged with a love and dedication to both ends of the so-called classical spectrum of Art music. Our new direction for the Twelfth Night Festival celebrates the joy of these undiscovered countries, and in merging the two worlds in multiple programs, we examine the differences in human expression and revel in the constants of our quest for deeper understanding.”

Premieres by Daniel Felsenfeld, David Lang, Tarik O’Regan, and Gerald Busby
In keeping with the “Time’s Arrow” theme, this winter’s Twelfth Night Festival is highlighted by the premieres of major new works that engage with the past. Wachner leads The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and NOVUS NY in the world premiere performance of Astrophysical Mass by Daniel Felsenfeld (December 30). Created in collaboration with author Rick Moody – named one of “20 writers for the 21st century” (New Yorker) – Felsenfeld’s is the first of six 21st-century takes on the traditional Mass to be yielded by “Mass Reimaginings,” Trinity’s long-term commissioning project. Designed to enrich both the concert and liturgical choral literature, Mass Reimaginings shares Time’s Arrow’s focus on the relationship between old and new; as Felsenfeld says, “It puts contemporary composers and writers in an historical context.”

Wachner, NOVUS NY and the choir give the New York premiere of The National Anthems by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang (January 5). An important new Trinity co-commission, Lang’s work addresses the value of national anthems the world over, in expressing each country’s perception of itself and of its history. Organized in five movements themed around peace, glowing hearts, glory, freedom, and communality, The National Anthems draws on fragments of the national anthems of each of the United Nations’ 193 member states, and was pronounced “hauntingly effective” (Los Angeles Times) at its Los Angeles premiere.

Wachner also conducts NOVUS NY and the choir in the U.S. premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s A Letter of Rights (January 4). Commissioned to mark this year’s historic 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, O’Regan’s cantata is set to a libretto by Alice Goodman – her first since collaborating with John Adams on their controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer. Inspired by the medieval English document that serves as the basis for modern democracy, Goodman’s text contrasts Magna Carta’s high ideals with the earthy physicality of its transmission.

A fourth premiere follows when, to honor the 80th birthday of Gerald Busby, styled “the last living Bohemian in Chelsea” (New Yorker), Wachner, NOVUS NY, and Avi Stein – Trinity’s organist and chorus master – present a program of the composer’s works that includes the world premiere of his harpsichord concerto (January 2).

Bach, Handel, Britten and more
“Time’s Arrow” opens with Wachner leading the choir and baroque orchestra in the final performance of their run of Handel’s Messiah (December 26). As it does year-round at Trinity, the music of Bach looms large in the festival. Wachner, the choir, and baroque orchestra present four programs of his cantatas and more (December 28; January 4–6), while the Helicon ensemble performs selections by the Baroque master and other members of his prolific family (December 28). Bach and Handel will both also be heard at the Time’s Arrow Festival Concert, when the celebrated New York Baroque Incorporated, playing on both modern and baroque instruments, rings in the New Year with an inferno of fire-themed works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Grammy Award-winner Michael Daugherty. Violinist Owen Dalby joins Wachner and the orchestra as soloist in Daugherty’s Fire and Blood (January 1).

Following Trinity’s success in mounting “New York’s most substantial commemoration of Britten’s centennial” (New York Times), Downtown Voices (Trinity’s new semi-professional choir), NOVUS NY, and the Trinity Youth Chorus & Orchestra join forces for a seasonal pairing of the English composer’s Ceremony of Carols and St. Nicolas (December 27).

Returning festival favorites include Gotham Early Music Scene, which gives three performances of The Play of Daniel (January 2 & 3), and the Clarion Music Society, which performs Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (December 31 & January 3).

Further festival presentations find GEMAS performing Latin American Christmas music (December 29); soprano Paola Quagliata exploring cross-genre relationships in “Jazzin’ Around Baroque” (December 30); baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert singing Schubert’s Winterreise cycle (January 2); soprano Julia Sophie Wagner presenting a program of music by Grieg, Mendelssohn, and Clara and Robert Schumann (January 3); and emerging composer-violinist Jessie Montgomery joining her string ensemble for “Banner,” a program pairing Moravian hymns with her own chamber music, with long-time Trinity collaborator James Blachly as guest conductor (December 29).  A full festival listing is provided below, and there is a full schedule of events at

Trinity Wall Street
One of the oldest, largest and most vibrant of all Episcopal parishes, Trinity Wall Street is located in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District, where it has created a dynamic home for music; as the New York Times acknowledges, “Trinity’s music is indispensable and unmissable.” Serving as director of Trinity’s Music and the Arts Program – as well as principal conductor of The Choir of Trinity Wall Street, the period-instrument Trinity Baroque Orchestra, and contemporary-music ensemble-in-residence NOVUS NY – Julian Wachner also oversees all liturgical, professional and community music and arts programming at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. The New Yorker has described Trinity Wall Street’s cultural offerings as representing “a mini-Lincoln Center for downtown Manhattan.” The music at Trinity ranges from large-scale oratorios to chamber music, and from intimate a cappella singing to jazz improvisation. Many concerts at Trinity Wall Street are professionally filmed and webcast live at

Trinity Wall Street
Except where noted, all performances take place at St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway at Fulton Street, NYC.
Except where noted, all performances are free.

Dec 26; 5pm
(Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street)
Handel: Messiah
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street & Trinity Baroque Orchestra / Julian Wachner
Tickets at

Dec 27; 5pm
(Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street)
Benjamin Britten: Ceremony of Carols
Benjamin Britten: St. Nicolas
Downtown Voices, Trinity Youth Chorus & Orchestra, NOVUS NY / Melissa Attebury and Stephen Sands

Dec 27; 8pm
Compline by Candlelight
Lessons and Carols

Dec 28; 1pm
Bach at One
Johann Adam Reincken: Toccata in A
S. Bach: Cantata BWV 133, Ich freue mich in dir
S. Bach: Cantata BWV 7, Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street & Trinity Baroque Orchestra / Avi Stein

Dec 28; 5pm
The Bach Family

Dec 29; 1pm
Christmas Music of Latin America

Dec 29; 5pm
Moravian Hymns
Jessie Montgomery: Source Code, Strum & Banner
Jessie Montgomery String Ensemble
James Blachly, conductor

Dec 30; 1pm
Jazzin’ Around Baroque
Paola Quagliata, soprano

Dec 30; 5pm
(Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street)
“Mass Reimaginings”
Daniel Felsenfeld (text by Rick Moody): Astrophysical Mass (world premiere)
Orlande de Lassus: Prophetiae Sibyllarum
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street & NOVUS NY / Julian Wachner

Dec 31; 5pm
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
Clarion Music Society / Steven Fox

Jan 1; 5pm
George Friedrich Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks
Michael Daugherty: Fire and Blood
Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 59 in A (“Fire”)
J.S. Bach: Cantata BWV 34, O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street with New York Baroque Incorporated featuring Owen Dalby, violin
Julian Wachner, conductor

Jan 2; 1pm
Celebrating Gerald Busby”
NOVUS NY featuring Avi Stein, harpsichord / Julian Wachner

Jan 2; 5pm
Franz Schubert: Winterreise
Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone

Jan 2; 7pm
(Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street)
Play of Daniel
Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS)
Tickets at

Jan 3; 3pm and 7pm
(Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street)
Play of Daniel
Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS)
Tickets at

Jan 3; 5pm
Leipziger Schule
Works by Grieg, Mendelssohn, Clara and Robert Schumann
Julia Sophie Wagner, soprano

Jan 3; 8pm
Compline by Candlelight
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Liturgy of St John Chrysostom
Clarion Music Society / Steven Fox

Jan 4; 1pm
Bach at One
Georg Böhm: Prelude, Fugue and Postlude in G minor
J.S. Bach: Cantata BWV 115, Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit
J.S. Bach: Cantata BWV 205, Zerreisset, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street & Trinity Baroque Orchestra / Julian Wachner

Jan 4; 5pm
(Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street)
Ars Subtilior presented by TENET
Tarik O’Regan/ Alice Goodman: A Letter of Rights (U.S. premiere)
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street with NOVUS NY / Julian Wachner

Jan 5; 1pm
Bach at One
Olivier Messiaen: La Nativité du Seigneur, IX. Dieu parmi nous
S. Bach: Cantata BWV 110, Unser Mund sei voll Lachens
S. Bach: Cantata BWV 207, Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street & Trinity Baroque Orchestra / Julian Wachner

Jan 5; 5pm
(Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street)
Lorelei performs works of Pérotin, Dunstable, Du Fay, Hong, and Lang
David Lang: The National Anthems (New York premiere of TWS co-commission), Ark Luggage
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street with guest artists from Newspeak / Julian Wachner

Jan 6; 1pm
Bach at One
S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548
S. Bach: Cantata BWV 215, Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen
S. Bach: Sanctus, Osanna, and Dona nobis pacem from Mass in B minor, BWV 232
The Choir of Trinity Wall Street & Trinity Baroque Orchestra / Julian Wachner

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© 21C Media Group, November 2015

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