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Trinity Wall Street at River To River Festival 2012

This summer, Trinity Wall Street will once again participate in the River To River Festival®, lower Manhattan’s free annual summer arts festival, which this year takes place from June 17 – July 15. Trinity will present three events, bringing a breadth of programming – ranging from choral sounds from Indonesia and evocations of ancient Italy to the music of New York’s own rising downtown star Nico Muhly – that illustrates why both church and festival have grown close to New York’s heart.

The Trinity series, which forms part of the River To River Festival, begins on June 24 at Trinity’s St. Paul’s Chapel with a performance by the Manado State University Choir, which hails from the province of North Sulawesi in Indonesia. A mixed-voice chamber choir of about 24 singers, the group has been acclaimed for its beautiful sound, its ability to move audiences and its versatility, performing repertoire ranging from early to contemporary Western music, from traditional Indonesian music with choreography to popular music, jazz and Southeast Asian choral music. The choir performs under the direction of André de Quadros, who is a conductor, ethnomusicologist, human rights activist and Professor of Music at Boston University.

Trinity’s next two festival events both include partnerships with contemporary performing arts group Beth Morrison Projects, following their successful collaboration (New Music Now) at last year’s River To River festival.

On June 25, Trinity’s contemporary music orchestra, NOVUS NY, whose May 2011 debut concert was called “a most auspicious introduction” by the New York Times, lines up alongside the Washington Chorus and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus to give the New York premiere of the fully completed score of New York composer Paola Prestini’s “folk opera,” Oceanic Verses, produced by Beth Morrison Projects at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University. This multimedia opera, with film by Ali Hossaini and libretto by Donna DiNovelli, uses archaic Italian dialects and field recordings to summon up the spirit of an Italy now long overgrown by the modern world. The piece explores the universal themes of migration – the choices people make when they decide to leave their homelands – and the world’s accumulated layers of civilizations, each in turn built upon the ruins of the last. Prestini’s music is published by Tzadik, John Zorn’s iconic record label, and her work has been hailed by leading composer Osvaldo Golijov, who declared: “Paola Prestini’s music is wrenching and tender and luminous and pure and exuberant: always vivid and always generous. Her compositional voice sings of today, but also of an ancient, primordial time, a time of revelations and prophecies.”

Trinity’s series at River To River Festival closes on July 1 with an atmospheric candlelight performance by the Trinity Choir and Trinity Youth Chorus at St. Paul’s Chapel that showcases the music of one of the world’s fastest-rising composers, New Yorker Nico Muhly. Muhly has been described by Gramophone as “one of the most talked-about musicians of his generation” and by the Washington Post as “the reigning It Boy of New York’s downtown music scene.” The event juxtaposes Muhly’s choral writing with music by the English Renaissance choral composers who have influenced him, such as John Taverner, John Sheppard and William Byrd. The centerpiece of the concert will be the world premiere of Muhly’s A Pentecost Anthem, commissioned by Trinity Wall Street, Beth Morrison Projects and River to River. The piece revisits Muhly’s fascination with complex English Renaissance choral music; it is an interest first seen in his 2004 piece, So To Speak, which was inspired by a Pentecost anthem by Thomas Tallis.  Alex Ross of the New Yorker described that work as “achiev[ing] a cool balance between ancient and modern modes, between the life of the mind and the noise of the street.”

Earlier in the summer, before participating in River To River, Trinity Choir performs contemporary works in a May 31 concert at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. The concert will feature Israeli-American cellist Matt Haimovitz and the music of Laura Elise Schwendinger, Du Yun and Luna Pearl Woolf, including Woolf’s highly regarded Après Moi, le Déluge. The work, recorded by Haimovitz on disc, has been called “the first major work of classical music to commemorate the flooding of New Orleans” (Arts Journal), and the New York Times praised it as “an unsentimental but moving tribute.”
About Trinity Wall Street
One of the oldest, largest and most vibrant of all Episcopal parishes, Trinity Wall Street is located in the heart of New York’s financial district, where it has created a dynamic home for great music. Now in their second season under noted conductor, composer and keyboardist Julian Wachner, the ensembles of Trinity Wall Street continue to present both sacred and secular music at the highest levels of musicianship and artistry. Serving as principal conductor of the Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Wachner also oversees all liturgical, professional and community Music and Arts programming at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel. The Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra offer a full season of concerts ranging from large-scale oratorios to intimate evenings of a cappella singing and chamber music.
About River To River Festival
The River To River® Festival is presented by lead partner Lower Manhattan Cultural Council in collaboration with Founding Partners Arts Brookfield, Battery Park City Authority, and The Seaport. Free admission to River To River events is supported by the festival’s underwriters. The Festival’s Founding and Title Sponsor is American Express. Major support for the 2012 festival is also provided by the Alliance for Downtown New York, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and HUD. Media support is provided by WNYC, WQXR, NBC 4 New York, and THIRTEEN. River To River is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. River To River is also supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, CBRE, Century 21 Department Store, The Moody’s Foundation, Pace University, NYC&Co, Theatermania, and TKTS Seaport. Additional support for certain projects in the River To River Festival has been provided by 55 Water,, Asian Cultural Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Center StageSM, The Clocktower Gallery & Radio, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Conseil des arts de Montréal, Culture Ireland, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, Harpo Foundation, Jerome Foundation, JetBlue, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, New England Foundation for the Arts, New York City Percent for Art Fund, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York Marriott Downtown, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Savanna, Time Equities Inc., U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and U.S. Regional Arts Organizations. With support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, LMCC is also partnering with Arup toward three primary goals: achieving operational sustainability, developing a framework for sustainable event management for the River To River Festival, and positively influencing public practice in the arts. Visit
Trinity Wall Street – selected upcoming performances in New York City:
May 31 at 7.30pm
Zankel Hall, Carnegie Hall
Trinity Choir and Matt Haimovitz (cello)
Conducted by Julian Wachner
Trinity Wall Street at River To River Festival 2012:
June 24 at 7.30pm
St. Paul’s Chapel (Broadway and Fulton Street)
Manado State University Choir
Directed by André de Quadros
June 25 at 7.30pm
Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University
Paola Prestini: Oceanic Verses (NY premiere of fully completed score)
NOVUS NY, Washington Chorus, Brooklyn Youth Chorus
Conducted by Julian Wachner, directed by Kevin Newbury
July 1 at 8.30pm
St. Paul’s Chapel (Broadway and Fulton Street)
Composer Portrait: The Choral Music of Nico Muhly
Trinity Choir, Trinity Youth Chorus
Conducted by Julian Wachner


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