Bach Aria Group

March 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Fletcher Opera Theater

Founded in 1946, the Bach Aria Group is one of the longest running U.S. chamber music organizations and the only one world-wide whose sole charter is the performance and study of Bach’s music.

Bach Aria Group

l-r: Tara Helen O’Connor, flute; Beverly Hoch, soprano; Yehudi Wyner, harpsichord; Timothy Eddy, cello; David Britton, tenor; Daniel Phillips, violin

Pre-Concert Program by youth ensembles at 2:15 pm


Bach: Cantata 84: No. 3. Ich esse mit Freuden mein weniges Brot

Cantata 202: No. 3. Phoebus eilt

Cantata 99: No. 3. Erschüttre Dich

Cantata 41: No. 4. Wolferne du den edten Frieden

Cantata 120a: No. 3. Leit, O Gott

Cantata 21: No. 10. Erfreue dich Seele, erfreue dich, Herze

Cantata 110: No. 5. Ehre sei Gott in der Hohe (Duet)

The Musical Offering, S.1079: Trio Sonata in C Minor

Cantata 42: No. 4.Verzage Nicht (Duet)

Cantata 115: No. 4. Bete aber auch dabei

Cantata 30: No. 10. Eilt, ihr Stunden

Cantata 211: No. 4. Ei, wie schmeckt der Coffee

Cantata 97: No. 4.Ich traue seinen Gnaden

Cantata 68: No. 2. Mein Gläubiges Herz

Founded in 1946 by musicologist and philanthropist William H. Scheide, at a time when the cantata literature was known and appreciated by only a relatively small number of people, the Bach Aria Group was created to help combat the lack of awareness and appreciation. Scheide formed a 9-member ensemble of vocalists and instrumentalists to perform Bach cantata music and specifically the aria literature, which is the chamber music portion of the cantatas. In fulfilling its mission through touring, combined with the recording and broadcasting of its performances, the Bach Aria Group has enjoyed its role as a unique chamber music organization as well as a major force in developing Bach audiences around the world.

Bach’s arias are unique in music literature. They challenge both the vocalist and instrumentalists with their rigorous, virtuosic demands, while at the same time eliciting highly developed ensemble skills. Divergent vocal and instrumental capabilities are pitted against one another, necessitating just the right inflection and balance of timbres to unlock the music’s magic. In its programming policy the Bach Aria Group juxtaposes the beautiful and varied aria repertory with complete cantatas and instrumental chamber music. It is felt that by placing the arias in context with Bach’s instrumental and choral pieces, all the works are illuminated.

The Group sponsored the Bach Aria Festival and Institute, an annual summer event held at the State University of New York at Stony Brook in Long Island from 1981 to 1987. The Festival was very successful, attracting some of the most gifted musicians from across the USA. The talented fellows received coaching from members of the Bach Aria Group and guest artists and then joined them in performance at Festival concerts. In addition, the most prominent Bach scholars lectured on significant topics in Bach scholarship. The public shared in the dynamics of the interchange by attending open master-classes, rehearsals, coaching sessions as well as the concerts.

The Bach tricentennial was commemorated most notably with the one-hour television program In Search of Bach, made during a summer session at the Festival, which was broadcast nationally in the summer of 1985 on PBS.

Artists for the Raleigh concert are internationally recognized as soloists, teachers and members of other renowned chamber ensembles.

Beverly Hoch, soprano, has given hundreds of recitals and masterclasses world-wide. Appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center included several national tours. Beverly Hoch (rhymes with oak) has been guest soloist with over 150 orchestras. She has performed in New York’s Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls and The Metropolitan Museum of Art; London’s Royal Albert & Royal Festival Halls and Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center among many other venues. Ms. Hoch has sung over 25 operatic roles including leading ladies Lakmé, Rosina, Gilda, Queen of the Night; Adele in the Strasbourg Opera’s Die Fledermaus, Opera de Lyons Die Entführung as Blondchen and Ariadne auf Naxos as Zerbinetta across northern Germany.

Ms. Hoch’s recordings include Carmina Burana (Decca/Dutoit/Montreal Symphony), The Art of the Coloratura (IMP,Classics/ Hong Kong Philharmonic), Handel’s Imeneo (Vox/with Julianne Baird) and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Norrington London Classical Players with Dawn Upshaw). She was the soprano soloist in the first-ever performance of Handel’s Messiah presented in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, filmed as a documentary and later shown at the Cannes Film Festival. The soprano of the distinguished Bach Aria Group, she launched her career as a winner of the Young Concert Artists international auditions in New York, after appearing in the finals of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions one year earlier. In 2007, she was featured at the 50th Anniversary of College Music Society in Salt Lake City, performing “The Twilight Stood”, a cycle of Emily Dickinson poetry set by composer Leon Kirchner. In November of 2008 she was the guest lecturer and master teacher at the University of Missouri, in Columbia, where she also performed Poulenc’s  Gloria.

Ms. Hoch earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the Oklahoma City University, and her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Wichita State University. She had undergraduate studies at the Friends University (graduated 1971). Her major voice teachers were Ann Marie Obressa, Dr. Gorge Gibson, Inez Silberg, and Ellen Faull. Ms. Hoch has been teaching at Texas Woman’s University for 10 years.

Tenor David Britton lived and worked in New York City for two decades as a professional singer and sang with most of the major symphony orchestras and opera companies in the United States. A frequent guest artist with Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, he was also a long-time tenor soloist with New York’s famed Bach Aria Group and was a featured artist with the New York Pro Musica Antiqua, the Waverly Consort and many other chamber, early music and Baroque ensembles.

He’s soloed with conductors: Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Charles Dutoit, Antal Dorati, Gerard Schwartz, Raphael Frübeck de Burgos, Sir David Wilcocks and Sir Raymond Leppard and others. His repertoire includes sixty-four opera roles, thirty-four operetta and musical theater roles and hundreds of cantatas, oratorios and orchestra works.

His U. S. orchestra appearances include: The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Houston Symphony and the St. Paul and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras. David has performed roles with the Juilliard American Opera Center, Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera, The San Francisco Opera and the opera companies of Philadelphia, Dallas, New Orleans and and many others.

Abroad, he’s had multiple engagements with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, the Mexico City Symphony, the Caracas Opera, Opéra de Lyon, France, in Paris, the French National Orchestra, the Italian Spoleto and Veneto Festivals and the North German Radio Orchestra. He is a recording artist with EMI, Angel and Musical Heritage.

He received his music education at the University of North Texas, the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School.

With his wife, New York Artist and contralto Kathryn Carter, he is parent to seven children internationally adopted from Korea, Russia and the Philippines.

Violinist Daniel Phillips enjoys a versatile career as an established chamber musician, solo artist and teacher. Mr. Phillips has performed as soloist with many of the country’s leading symphonies, including Pittsburgh, Houston, New Jersey, Phoenix, San Antonio and Yakima. He appears regularly at the Spoleto, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, and the International Musicians Seminar in Cornwall, England. Currently violin soloist with the renowned Bach Aria Group, he has toured and recorded in a string quartet for SONY, with Gidon Kremer, Kim Kashkashian, and Yo-Yo Ma. Recent activities apart from the Orion String Quartet include a collaboration with pianist Robert Levin and cellist Steven Isserlis at London’s Barbican Hall, a performance of Kurtag’s monumental work “Kafka Fragments” with soprano Susan Narucki at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the world premiere of Alexander Goehr’s Suite for violin and piano with Peter Serkin and a Dvorak-Brahms series in the Konzerthauses of Berlin and Vienna. Daniel Phillips is Professor of Violin at the Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College. Violin: Antonius Stradivarius (1702)

Cellist Timothy Eddy has earned distinction as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, chamber musician, recording artist, and teacher of cello and chamber music. He has performed with numerous symphonies including Dallas, Colorado, Jacksonville, North Carolina and Stamford, and has appeared at the Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Aspen, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Lockenhaus, Spoleto and Sarasota music festivals. He has won prizes in numerous national and international competitions, including the 1975 Gaspar Cassado International Violoncello Competition in Italy. Mr. Eddy is currently Professor of Cello at the Juilliard School and New York’s Mannes College of Music, and he was frequently a faculty member at the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Workshops at Carnegie Hall. A former member of the Galimir Quartet, the New York Philomusica and the Bach Aria Group, he collaborates regularly in recital with pianist Gilbert Kalish. He has recorded a wide range of repertoire from Baroque to avant-garde for the Angel, Arabesque, Columbia, CRI, Delos, Musical Heritage, New World, Nonesuch, Vanguard, Vox, and Sony Classical labels. Cello: Matteo Goffriller (1728)

Flutist Tara Helen O’Connor is a charismatic performer sought after for her unusual artistic depth, brilliant technique and colorful tone in music of every era. Tara is a member of the innovative woodwind quintet Windscape, a founding member of the 1995 Naumburg Award winning New Millennium Ensemble, and the flute soloist of the world renowned Bach Aria Group.

A 2001 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, she also received two Grammy nominations in January of 2003 for Osvaldo Golijov’s recording entitled “Yiddishbbuk”. Tara has recorded for Deutsche Gramophon, EMI Classics, Arcadia, CRI, Koch, and Bridge Records. She was the first wind player to be chosen to participate in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Centers Chamber Music Society Two program for emerging artists.

Tara now performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Orpheus, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto USA, Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire and the Brandenburg Ensemble. An enthusiastic chamber musician and soloist, Tara has collaborated with such artists as Jaime Laredo, Peter Serkin, David Shifrin, Dawn Upshaw, Ida Kavafian,  Ransom Wilson, Paula Robison,  Charles Wadsworth, the Orion String Quartet, the Saint Lawrence Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. She has been featured on A&E’s Breakfast for the Arts and has appeared on a “Live from Lincoln Center” broadcast.

Tara received a Doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and she is professor of flute at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music. An avid photographer, she has photo credits in Time Out, Strad, and Chamber Music America magazines.

Yehudi Wyner is an American composer, pianist, conductor, and music educator.

Wyner, who grew up in New York City, was raised in a musical family. His father, Lazar Weiner, was an eminent composer of Yiddish art songs. Wyner attended Juilliard, Yale, and Harvard. He has written music in a variety of genres, including compositions for orchestra, chamber ensembles, solo voice, and solo instruments, as well as theatrical music and settings of the Jewish liturgy. Among his best-known works are the Friday Evening Service (1963) for cantor and chorus, and On This Most Voluptuous Night (1982) for soprano and chamber ensemble.

Wyner taught for fourteen years at Yale, where he was head of the composition faculty. He has also taught at SUNY Purchase, Cornell, Brandeis, and Harvard.

In 2006, Wyner won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his piano concerto Chiavi in Mano.