Lawrence Brownlee, tenor
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2021 • 8 pm
Piano: Myra Huang
Lawrence Brownlee is a leading figure in opera, both as a singer on the world's top stages, and as a voice for activism and diversity in the industry. Captivating audiences and critics around the globe, he has been hailed as “an international star in the bel canto operatic repertory” (The New York Times), “one of the world’s leading bel canto stars” (The Guardian).
During the challenges of COVID-19, Brownlee has emerged as a pivotal voice in classical music’s shift toward digital programming and the resurgence of conversations around racial justice.
Helen Sung, jazz piano
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2021 • 8 PM
Acclaimed pianist/composer Helen Sung presents Quartet+, her latest project and upcoming release on Sunnyside Records (September 2021). Having lived much of her life at the intersection of different worlds — classical and jazz, and as the American-born daughter of Chinese immigrants — Helen’s desire to harmonize these worlds with joy and humanity is at the heart of Quartet+, which celebrates women’s artistry and their music.
Quartet+ vividly blends the colors and textures of the jazz and classical worlds, taking the listener on a ride through musical time and space with new original compositions and arrangements of works by landmark women including Geri Allen, Mary Lou Williams, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Carla Bley, and Marian McPartland. In a delightful meeting of the minds, Amherst’s own Wisteria Quartet joins Sung’s quartet on stage to bring you Quartet+.
Boston Modern Orchestra Project: Music of Amherst Composers
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2021 • 8 PM
Martin Brody The Trick of Singularity World Premiere
Eric Sawyer Ways of Being World Premiere
Scott Wheeler Pocket Concerto
Lew Spratlan Chamber Symphony World Premiere
In 1996, Gil Rose set out to remedy a widening disconnect between contemporary audiences and contemporary music. Today Grammy award-winning Boston Modern Orchestra Project remains dedicated to its mission and is the leading orchestra for commissioning, performing, and recording modern orchestral music. "Chamber Symphony," by Lewis Spratlan, is presented as part of the composer's 80th birthday celebration, a year later. Lew Spratlan taught at Amherst College from 1970 until his retirement in 2006.
Catalyst Quartet with Anthony McGill, clarinet
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2021 • 3 PM
Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson: String Quartet No. 1 "Calvary" Florence B. Price: Five Folksongs in Counterpoint Samuel Coleridge-Taylor: Clarinet Quintet in f# minor
Hailed by The New York Times at its Carnegie Hall debut in 2020 as “invariably energetic and finely burnished… playing with earthy vigor,” the Grammy Award-winning Catalyst Quartet celebrated the 10th Anniversary of its founding by the Sphinx Competition. The ensemble believes in the unity that can be achieved through music, and imagines programs and projects with this in mind, redefining and reimagining the classical music experience.
Star clarinetist Anthony McGill returns to the Buckley stage to team up with the Catalyst Quartet. Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (New York Times), Anthony McGill is one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. In addition to his dynamic international solo and chamber music career, McGill is principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic—the first African-American principal player in the organization's history. In 2020, he was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize, one of classical music’s most significant awards given in recognition of soloists who represent the highest level of musical excellence.
Stewart Goodyear, piano
FRIDAY, March 25, 2022 • 8 PM
Jennifer Higdon: Secret and Glass Gardens
Anthony Davis: Middle Passage
Stewart Goodyear: Phoenix
Debussy: La Cathedral Engloutie; Masques, L'Isle Joyeuse Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
Proclaimed “a phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best pianists of his generation” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, and composer.
Mr. Goodyear has performed with major orchestras of the world, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Bournemouth Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, MDR Symphony Orchestra (Leipzig), Montreal Symphony, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Nathaniel Dett Chorale: Concert of Afro-Centric Music
Friday, April 1, 2022 • 8 PM
The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s first professional choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all styles, including classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk and blues. The twenty-one classically trained outstanding vocalists of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale have shared the stage with internationally recognized artists such as Juno Award-winning jazz pianist Joe Sealy, singers Molly Johnson, and Jackie Richardson, and opera star Kathleen Battle and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble has performed for such luminaries as opera singer Jessye Norman and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell. The Chorale has performed at events honoring world leaders Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, personality Muhammad Ali, and pianist Oscar Peterson, and was the only Canadian ensemble invited to perform as part of the celebrations surrounding the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009.
The multi-faceted vocalists of the Chorale, whose talent stretches beyond the traditional expectations of a classical chamber choir, seek to broaden their vision to include all styles and genres of music, from classical to jazz, folk, blues, and popular music, as appropriate to the traditions of the African Diaspora.