Wednesday, October 14, 2015

PRAYER FOR PEACE Concert this Saturday

My friend Luna Kaufman is throwing a little concert, at this little hole-in-the-wall uptown, called Carnegie Hall. Actually this is such a big deal, and I'm so excited, because I have always heard about Carnegie Hall, but I in my many years of NYC living, I have never been inside. Come with us? It's this Saturday Night, at 8 PM. Wear something nice. It's serious dude.

Luna survived the Holocaust, turned around, and dedicated her life to inter-faith understanding.

"There is such a multitude of religions in this country. We are all people working toward a common goal."

I have hung out with her, uptown. I learned a little Yiddish. "These soldiers are dying, for what? This SCHMATA [trans."rags" her term for military uniforms.]

She's friends with Thomas Keane, and toured the Holocaust sites with him. The liberal NJ Governor, is the same one who had the guts to denounce the 9/11 Commission process, after he ran the investigation that was "set up to fail." Come out Saturday, and I will introduce you. Oh, and yes this is the same Luna Kaufman I wrote the piece for Huffington Post about, back in 2010.

MidAtlantic Opera and Seton Hall University present
A Prayer for Peace
Saturday, October 17, 2015 - 8 PM
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Third Concert in the Peace Trilogy Concert Series Featuring
Works by Ranjbaran, Saygun, Bernstein, and Vaughan Williams

Performed by the MidAtlantic Opera Chorus and Orchestra and Seton Hall University Choir
Conducted by Jason C. Tramm and Featuring
Soloists Mihai Marica, Rochelle Bard, Sara Murphy, Ray Chenez, Theodore Chletsos, and Kevin Short

Net Proceeds to Be Donated to UNHRC for Refugee Relief
MidAtlantic Opera and Seton Hall University will present the third concert in conductor Jason C. Tramm’s Peace Trilogy Concert series, entitled A Prayer for Peace, on Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 8 pm in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall.
Ticket prices range from $10 - $90. Order tickets online at, by phone at CarnegieCharge (212-247-7800) or at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue in New York City. Student and senior discounts are available at the box office only.  Group ticket discounting is available to your organization by calling 212-903-9705 Monday-Friday, 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM or Online One-third of the net proceeds will be donated to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for refugee relief.

The MidAtlantic Opera Chorus and Orchestra and Seton Hall University Choir will be conducted byJason C. Tramm. Soloists include: cellist Mihai Marica; soprano Rochelle Bard; mezzo-soprano Sara Murphy; countertenor Ray Chenez; tenor Theodore Chletsos; and bass-baritone Kevin Short.
A Prayer for Peace will feature classical music selections from composers of Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths whose music transcends its individual context and gives voice to the composers’ visions of peace in response to conflict and violence. The program includes the Elegy for cello and strings by Behzad Ranjbaran, selections from Ahmed Adnan Saygun’s rarely performed Yunus Emre oratorio, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Dona Nobis Pacem. Each composition expresses a universally resonant message, possessing the power to transcend time and place, uniting audiences in “A Prayer for Peace.”
Leonard Bernstein eloquently stated, “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” In response to current world violence and inspired by Bernstein's mandate, Maestro Jason C. Tramm has fashioned a concert performance designed to underscore humanity's universal connection through music.
A Prayer for Peace is the third in a series of “Peace Trilogy” Concerts presented by Dr. Tramm during the 2015-16 season. The first and second concerts in the trilogy, Prince of Peace and Grace and Peace took place on July 12th and August 23rd in the Great Auditorium at Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Tramm has fashioned a trilogy of concert performances designed to underscore humanity’s universal connection through music.
Behzad Ranjbaran, born in Tehran in 1955, is known particularly for his orchestral and chamber compositions. His works have been recorded on the Naxos, Delos, Albany, and Cala labels. Based in the U.S., he is a long-standing member of the Juilliard School faculty and is also Composer-in-Residence at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His Elegy for solo cello and strings is a transcription of the lyrical second movement of his Cello Concerto (1998). The sinuous melodic line of the principal theme is strongly influenced by the melismatic figuration common to Persian vocal music.  Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society CMS Two artist Mihai Marica will perform on the cello.
Ahmed Adnan Saygun (1907-1991) was one of the most important Turkish composers of the 20th century. In 1936, he travelled with Béla Bartók across Turkey collecting, annotating, and transcribing local folk music. This interest is reflected in the score of his oratorio Yunus Emre (1946), a humanistic representation of the eponymous thirteenth century Sufi mystic and poet, scored for four vocal soloists, mixed chorus and orchestra. His other large-scale compositions include five symphonies and five operas. He was also a celebrated teacher and worked to establish several new music conservatories in Turkey. Three movements from Yunus Emre will be performed at this concert.
Leonard Bernstein composed his Chichester Psalms for the Chichester Cathedral’s 1965 music festival during a sabbatical year from his duties as music director of the New York Philharmonic. Each of the three movements uses a pair of psalm texts set in the original Hebrew. The second movement, which includes a setting of the 23rd Psalm for countertenor solo, uses material from a musical version of Thornton Wilder’sThe Skin of Our Teeth (which was never completed), with a violent contrasting middle section for men’s chorus comprised of excised material originally composed for the Jets in West Side Story.
Ralph Vaughan Williams composed Dona Nobis Pacem in 1936, as Europe veered toward World War II, for the centenary of the Huddersfield Choral Society. The oratorio is scored for large orchestra and chorus with soprano and baritone soloists, and uses settings of texts from the Latin liturgy as well as three poems by Walt Whitman and an anti-war speech given in the British Parliament by the 19th century Quaker orator John Bright. One of the Whitman movements is a setting of the “Dirge for Two Veterans,” originally composed in 1911, on the brink of the previous World War.
Romanian-born cellist Mihai Marica is a first prize winner of the Dr. Luis Sigall International Competition in Viña del Mar, Chile, and the Irving M. Klein International Competition. He has performed with the Symphony Orchestra of Chile, the Hermitage State Orchestra of St. Petersburg in Russia, and the Louisville Orchestra, among others, and in recital in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Holland, South Korea, Japan, Chile, and Canada. He is a member of the award-winning Amphion String Quartet and is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two program.
A specialist in the bel canto repertoire, soprano Rochelle Bard recently sang the title role of Norma with Knoxville Opera and will sing Maria Stuarda there in 2017. Her Verdi roles include Violetta in La Traviata and Leonora in Il Trovatore. Other roles range from the four heroines in Les Contes d’Hoffmann through the title roles in Lucia di Lammermoor and The Merry Widow. Her extensive concert repertoire includes Messiah and the Poulenc Gloria. She has won major awards in the Classical Singer Competition and from the Gerda Lissner Foundation.
Highlights of mezzo-soprano Sara Murphy‘s past season include works of Ligeti, Schnittke, and Hindemith, all with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra; Messiah and the Verdi Requiem with Oratorio Society of New York conducted by Kent Tritle; and a return to the Cincinnati May Festival in recital. In 2013, she debuted at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under James Conlon. Next season she returns to the May Festival in Elijah and Otello, and performs Mahler and Messiah (again at Carnegie Hall) with the Oratorio Society of New York.
Winner of the prestigious 2014 George London Award, countertenor Ray Chenez is rapidly establishing a major international career. He recently made his European debut in the role of Marzia in Leonardo Vinci’sCatone in Utica at Versailles, Wiesbaden, Bucharest, and Bergen, conducted by Riccardo Minasi and alongside star countertenors Max Emanuel Cencic and Franco Fagioli, a role he will reprise this coming season in Vienna. He is also slated to make debuts at the Opéra National de Lorraine à Nancy (in Rossi’sOrfeo) and with Opera Omaha (in Handel’s Semele).
Theodore Chletsos has performed many roles in the standard tenor repertoire with regional companies across the United States, as well as in such contemporary works as Ricky Ian Gordon’s Grapes of Wrath, Laurent Petitgirard’s Joseph Merrick, dit Elephant Man, Michael Ching’s Buoso’s Ghost, and Samuel Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra. He has a large concert repertoire ranging from Bach and Handel to Verdi and Menotti and has won numerous awards, including the Shoshana Foundation’s Richard F. Gold Career Grant.
Bass-baritone Kevin Short continues to thrill audiences around the globe in a wide range of repertoire ranging from Monteverdi and Mozart to Verdi and Stravinsky with the most prominent opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Santa Fe Opera, the Opéra Comique in Paris, and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. He also has a vast concert repertoire which he has sung with major orchestras and festivals including the Czech Philharmonic, the orchestras of Boston and Philadelphia, and the Saito Kinen Festival in Japan.
Jason C. Tramm’s work in the symphonic, operatic, and choral repertoire has been acclaimed both nationally and internationally. He is currently Artistic Director of the MidAtlantic Opera, Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Activities at Seton Hall University’s College of Communication and the Arts, and Director of Music Ministries for the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. From 2008–2012 he served as Artistic Director of the New Jersey State Opera, where his tenure included a celebrated performance ofPorgy and Bess at Newark’s Symphony Hall. He was recently appointed Artistic Director of the NJ-based Adelphi Orchestra.
In 2003, Jason joined the ranks of Metropolitan Opera stars Renée Fleming and Stephanie Blythe when he was honored with the Rising Star Award from the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association. A frequent guest conductor, Tramm has led operatic and symphonic performances, and made recordings, in Italy, Romania, Albania, and Hungary. This concert, the third in his Peace Trilogy series, continues his commitment to building bridges and uniting people of all ages, cultures, races, socioeconomic standing and beliefs through the universal language and power of music.

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