‘Bonhoeffer’ with The Crossing

The invitation to record and perform Thomas Lloyd’s powerful oratorio ‘Bonhoeffer’ with The Crossing and Donald Nally this month was one I couldn’t have been happier to accept. The opportunity to work with a group I deeply admire, coupled with a chance to engage with a subject of such profundity, has made for an incredible start to the new season.

After two days of intense sessions, the recording is made, and now we look forward to performances next week, at the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral, and – crucially – at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where Bonhoeffer himself studied and taught. Bonhoeffer’s manner in the face of the violence of the late 1930s – and its treatment in this stunning work of art – gives us pause to reflect on our own response to the cruelties of our time.

Recording 'Bonhoeffer' with The Crossing, September 2015

Recording ‘Bonhoeffer’ with The Crossing, September 2015



I count myself as incredibly fortunate to spend so much time playing music by J.S.Bach. This past New Year’s Eve, I led the orchestra in Choral Arts Philadelphia‘s performance of the Christmas Oratorio – nearly 500 people packed the Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral to listen to Bach’s telling of the Christmas narrative. Similarly, large crowds gather at our monthly Bach cantata concerts, held at the beautiful St. Clement’s Episcopal Church.

I say this not to brag, but to communicate the fact that Bach’s choral music offers something to the hungry, the seeking, the hurt, the joyous. With this in mind, Bach@7 performances are offered to the people of Philadelphia on a pay-what-you-wish basis – all are welcome, regardless of their ability to pay.

Join us for upcoming performances:

Choral Arts Philadelphia and Philadelphia Bach Collegium

Combining Bach’s two audition Cantatas for the position
in Leipzig, where he was to spend the rest of his life, with
two works of Johannes Brahms, who was highly influenced
by Bach’s music.

Chorale Prelude on “O Lamm Gottes”
Fest und Gedenksprüche Opus 109 – Johannes Brahms
Cantata 22: Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwoelfe
Cantata 23: Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn

Lass Dich nur nichts nicht Dauren – Brahms

Celebrity Series” with Mezzo Soprano Jacqueline Horner (Anonymous4)
Geoffrey Burgess – Oboe
Rebecca Harris –  Violin

Two sumptuous Alto Cantatas with a member of
America’s most popular early music groups,
Jacqueline Horner of Anonymous4. 

Schlage doch, Gewuenschte Stunde BWV 53
Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C Minor BWV 1060
Cantata 170: Vergnuegte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust

Choral Arts Philadelphia and Philadelphia Bach Collegium 

Our Spring series ends with thoughts about Easter, ranging from
one of Bach’s earliest Cantatas based on Luther’s great Easter Hymn,
Heinrich Biber’s fantastical representation of the Resurrection
from the Rosary Sonatas combined with
choral superstar Eric Whitacre’s “Alleluia”

Alleluia – Eric Whitacre
Resurrection Sonata – Heinrich Biber
Cantata 4: Christ lag in Todesbanden

LiveConnections Bridge Sessions

I started performing in LiveConnections Bridge Sessions in 2010. Bridge Sessions are cross-genre educational and interactive performances for young people and special needs populations, performed at World Café Live in Philadelphia and Wilmington. From the artist’s perspective, they are deeply rich experiences – co-creating with artists working in other artistic genres is illuminating and inspiring.

Jospeh Conyers (assistant principal bass of the Philadelphia and director of Project440 – www.project440.org) and songwriter Andrew Lipke (www.andrewlipke.com) and I created a session called The Building Blocks of Music. The message of the session is that the ingredients of music are relatively simple – take a melody, a bass line and some harmony, and the possibilities are endless!

More recently, I co-created a session with movement artist Lela Aisha Jones (founder and director of FlyGround – www.flygroundera.com) and violinist Daniel Han (The Philadelphia Orchestra). Motion in Music tells the story of the connection between music and movement, and allows the audience to experience and create at that crucial meeting point.

Working on Bridge Sessions has often put me outside my comfort zone – musically, intellectually, creatively – but it has been in those moments that I have found great clarity and beauty. Likewise, the experience of watching my accomplished artistic partners work outside of their ‘creative homes’ is extraordinary – artists are naturally risk-takers, but how rare it is to consciously witness the risk be taken.

It is a wonderful thing to challenge oneself to go beyond, to reach ahead, up and sideways.  It is worth the risk to find out what is possible – you never know what you might find.

Read more about LiveConnections Bridge Sessions and other projects at: http://liveconnections.org

    1. Tempesta di Mare Artist Recital Series

      February 23 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
    2. Tempesta di Mare Artist Recital Series

      February 24 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
    3. Tempesta di Mare Artist Recital Series

      February 25 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    4. Bach@7 Cantata Series

      March 21 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    5. PhilaLandmarks Early Music Series presents the Franklin Quartet

      April 12 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm