Trinity Church Wall Street Announces Return of Bach, Pärt Performances, and Alchemy Series with New York Baroque Incorporated

Trinity Church Wall Street

Trinity Church Wall Street has an exciting concert lineup this spring, featuring a newly renamed Bach series, the celebration of a brand-new venue, and a variety of choral performances!

The Bach at One series returns under the new name of Bach + One to the Trinity Church Wall Street in New York for an exciting presentation of Bach’s cantatas in catalogue order. The series will feature a Bach cantata each night alongside a work by one of Bach’s contemporaries in complement to one another. This midday concert series will take place in the St. Paul’s Chapel.

After completing a five-year survey of Bach cantatas by the The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and The Trinity Baroque Orchestra, led by Wachner, the new Bach + One series will present in catalogue order from the beginning. The cantatas will be paired with various concerti grossi and solo concertos by those with a connection to Bach. Johann David Heinichen, George Frideric Handel, Johann Friedrich Fasch and Georg Philipp Telemann each have a connection to Bach in some way. Heinichen was a music teacher for one of Bach’s important patrons, and his own musical studies were at the Thomasschule in Leipzig, where Bach became Cantor in 1723. Handel and Bach never met, but Bach famously tried and failed to find his famous contemporary in Halle in 1719. When the Thomasschule post opened up, Bach’s esteemed colleague Fasch was invited to apply, but chose to withdraw his name before Bach was hired. And Telemann and Bach became close friends in Leipzig; the slightly older composer was godfather and namesake to Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel.

Also in St. Paul’s Chapel, the early music ensemble New York Baroque Incorporated (NYBI) will present the “Alchemy Series”: four programs focusing on the themes of the four elements Water, Air, Earth and Fire (April 4, 25; May 2, 22). Spring programming at Trinity will also include weekly improvised Compline services and the Pipes at One concerts, which will feature a variety of guest organists and Trinity’s own Director of Music Julian Wachner and Associate Organists Avi Stein and Janet Yieh, as well as organ students from throughout the U.S. and Canada featured on the first Friday of each month. Additional concerts feature the Trinity Youth Chorus and Trinity’s semi-professional adult choir, Downtown Voices. The concerts of Trinity have been described by the New York Times as “indispensable and unmissable,” and are professionally filmed, streamed live and available to a wide audience on demand at trinitywallstreet.org.

In addition to the newly renamed Bach + One series, Trinity’s music program aims to have an increased presence in the broader community this season after the celebration of their innovative and architecturally spectacular new venue, The Shed at Hudson Yards. In this venue, The Choir of Trinity Wall Street will present two months of live performances in the exhibit Reich Richter Pärt from April 6 to June 2.

The Choir of Trinity Wall Street performs under the direction of Julian Wachner. This year, they will perform Arvo Pärt’s Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima which were composed in response to the paintings of Gerhard Richter as part of the Reich Richter Pärt exhibit for the inaugural season of the much anticipated Manhattan venue, The Shed at Hudson Yards. The world premiere event will include two immersive performances-one is a collaboration between composer Steve Reich and painter Gerhard Richter, the other by Richter and composer Arvo Pärt- to explore the sensory combinations of visual art and music. Other participants in Reich Richter Pärt are filmmaker Corinna Belz, Ensemble Signal, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

New York Baroque Incorporated is headed by Artistic and Executive Director Wen Yang. The ensemble brings its four-concert “Alchemy Series” to St. Paul’s Chapel alongside guest artists soprano Teresa Wakim and bass Dashon Burton. The ensemble will perform a pan-European selection of works themed to the classical elements: Water, Air, Earth and Fire.

Trinity now offers Pipes at One concerts year-round in St. Paul’s Chapel on the three-manual Noack organ that was introduced to the venue in the spring of 2018. These programs showcase leading organists and rising stars from around the country.Pipes at One will feature varied organ programs played by undergraduate and graduate students from the top music conservatories in North America on the first Friday of each month in 2019.

Downtown Voices and conductor Stephen Sands perform twice this spring. The first concert features Dvořák’s rarely performed Mass in D, in its original setting for organ and mixed choir, along with Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia and Janáček’s Otče náš (Our Father), another rarity, on April 28. The season will close by the group joining with resident contemporary ensemble NOVUS NY for a presentation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. The program is completed with Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, a work that requires two pianists and two percussionists andhas become one of Bartók’s most frequently performed compositions. This concert will take place on June 16.

More information on the 2019 offerings at Trinity Church Wall Street can be found on its website.

— Darby Swab