Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC Presents A BREATH OF SPRING, 10th-Anniversary Concert
Conducted by Cynthia Powell, this is a joyous milestone concert featuring world premiere commission FROM THE FOUR WINDS and favorite works selected from Melodia’s decade-long repertoire.
Celebrating a decade of music for women’s voices
Conducted by Artistic Director CYNTHIA POWELL
Special guests all-women French horn quartet GENGHIS BARBIE
Sunday, April 14 at 4:00 pm
West End Collegiate Church
368 West End Avenue at 77th Street, New York City
*Reception to follow concert
Saturday, April 20 at 8:00 pm
Church of the Holy Apostles
296 Ninth Avenue at West 28th Street, New York City
*Reception to follow concert
The 10th-anniversary concert program includes
- World premiere From the Four Winds by NINA SINIAKOVA (1974 – )
- Four Russian Peasant Songs for Women’s Chorus and Four French Horns by IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882 – 1971)
- Rose Trilogy by ELEANOR DALEY (1955 – )
- Three Birthday Madrigals by JOHN RUTTER (1945 – )
- Tota Pulchra Es from Quatre Motets by MAURICE DURUFLÉ (1902 – 1986)
- Salut Printemps by CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862 – 1918)
(NEW YORK, NY) – Melodia Women’s Choir of New York City, conducted by Artistic Director Cynthia Powell, brings its 10th-anniversary season to a finale with A Breath of Spring, a joyous concert that brings together a world premiere commission for voices and four French horns with rare and favorite works selected from Melodia’s decade-long repertoire. Ranging across musical styles as broad and rich as Russian folk music to jazz-inspired works to experimental new sounds, Melodia continues this season to pioneer the depth and dynamism of works for women’s voices.
Melodia is especially excited to perform for audiences the world premiere work From the Four Winds by Belarusian-American composer and pianist Nina Siniakova, a winner of Melodia’s 10th-anniversary season composer competition. Siniakova’s musical style is reminiscent of the traditions of Bartok, Lutoslawsky, and Shostakovich, and also references folkloric and jazz trends. In From the Four Winds, Siniakova draws inspiration from Old and New Testament verses that reference four archangels standing in the four corners of the world holding the four winds. The result is an atmospheric and highly effective piece for women’s choir and four French horns, which will be performed in quadrophonic sound from the four corners of the concert space by Melodia with collaborating guest artist Genghis Barbie, a one-of-a-kind virtuoso French horn quartet. “The words light, faith, resurrection describe this work,” says Siniakova, who also employs lyrics in four languages throughout the piece: English, German, Greek, and Belarusian.
“We’re very excited to work on this challenging piece,” says Cynthia Powell, Melodia’s founding conductor and Artistic Director. “The tone clusters and choral effects use extended vocal techniques, with the sound of wind, whispers, and utterances coming from different sections of 2the choir, like the four corners of the earth, and with the horns positioned in four opposing areas of the concert hall, I believe the effect will be quite hair-raising!”
Special guests Genghis Barbie will also accompany Melodia in the seldom-performed Four Russian Peasant Songs for Women’s Chorus and Four French Horns by Igor Stravinsky. “These are wondrous works,” says Powell. “They exude a kind of rough and tumble jocularity, and are so quintessential Stravinsky. You can hear tiny snippets of his Petroushka, Persephone, and The Rite of Spring. Genghis Barbie also promise to bring what audiences have called their “shouting, cheering, standing-room-only” energy to several selections of their own arrangements for the concert’s instrumental interlude.
Also featured this season are works by Claude Debussy, Maurice Duruflé, Eleanor Daley, and John Rutter, who has written an effervescent trio of songs inspired by Shakespearean texts: It Was a Lover and His Lass, When Daisies Pied, and My True Love Hath My Heart.
Melodia Women’s Choir has been called “riveting” by the New York Times and was named one of the top choirs in New York by Time Out New York. Melodia has been heard on radio stations WQXR and WNYC, seen on NBC-TV, and has performed at Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, and the Surrogate’s Courthouse as guest artists at the Women’s History Month Celebration for the New York City Comptroller.
Performers include Melodia Women’s Choir, Artistic Director Cynthia Powell, Taisiya Pushkar (piano), and Genghis Barbie (French horn quartet).
Melodia Women’s Choir - Founded by Jenny Clarke, Executive Director, in 2003 and now celebrating its 10th anniversary season, Melodia Women’s Choir is a fresh voice on the New York choral scene. An ensemble of 28 singers, Melodia explores and performs rarely heard music for women’s voices in many different styles, and nurtures emerging women composers through commissions, residencies and performances. Under the direction of Cynthia Powell, founding conductor and Artistic Director, Melodia has performed at Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola in collaboration with Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, and the Surrogate’s Courthouse as guest artists at the Women’s History Month Celebration for the NYC Comptroller.
Cynthia Powell - Melodia’s Artistic Director and Conductor since its inception, Powell is an active conductor, pianist and organist in the New York area. She conducted a new choral version of Meredith Monk’s Book of Days at Merkin Hall in 2007, conducted choral portions of Monk’s Songs of Ascension at the BAM Next Wave Festival in 2009, and has toured with Monk’s opera Atlas and A Celebration Service in Europe, at the Spoleto USA Festival, the Walker Arts Center and Lincoln Center Festival. Powell also serves as Music Director at West End Collegiate Church, NYC, and is Artistic Director of the Stonewall Chorale.
Nina Siniakova – Composer and pianist Nina Siniakova was born in Minsk, Belarus, where she began playing piano at the age of four and composed her first piece by the age of six. She received her education at Minsk Glinka Music College, St. Petersburg State Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory, and Musikhochschule Cologne. Siniakova has been the recipient of stipends from The Industrial Building Bank St. Petersburg, the DAAD (German Foreign Exchange Service), and the winner of a Muses of St. Petersburg grant. Her music has been performed throughout Europe and the U.S. Her music is published by Compozitor in Russia and Four Fourth in Belarus. She currently resides in Queens, New York, and works as a pianist for the New York City Ballet.
Genghis Barbie – The leading post-post-feminist, all-female horn experience, Genghis Barbie is one of the most innovative and energizing chamber ensembles of its generation. With a combined 24 years of conservatory training, Genghis Barbie delivers a visceral and unadulterated musical adventure, performing everything from classical and contemporary to jazz and pop. www.genghisbarbie.com
For more information see http://melodiawomenschoir.org/.
For a press kit or high-resolution images of featured artists, please contact
Teri Duerr, H+D NYC
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