Gotham Early Music Scene (GEMS), as part of its milestone Fifth Anniversary celebration, has taken over the presentation and management of Midtown Concerts, a weekly series of 35-minute early music concerts in midtown Manhattan featuring soloists and ensembles from the U.S. and abroad. Admission is free. The first four months of concerts have just been announced, to be held every Thursday (except Thanksgiving Day) beginning on October 11, 2012, at 1:15 p.m. at Saint Peter's Lutheran Church at the Citigroup Center, Lexington Avenue at 54th Street.
GEMS Executive Director Gene Murrow states, "After fifteen years of managing the Midtown Concerts series, founder Gwendolyn Toth and the ARTEK Ensemble were ready to transfer the project to a service organization like GEMS. It's a perfect fit with our mission, as the series is intended to showcase a wide variety of early music ensembles and educate as well as entertain the general public. The celebrations surrounding our fifth anniversary year will focus new attention on the expanded series on Thursdays in a beautiful new venue."
Artists appearing on the series are chosen by competitive application. New for this year are a large number of high-quality emerging ensembles, including some formed by recent graduates of The Juilliard School's Historical Performance Program. Two special holiday programs are included: A Renaissance Christmas presented by My Lord Chamberlain's Consort on December 13, and Christmas in the High Renaissance by the a cappella vocal ensemble Vox Fidelis on December 27.
Midtown Concerts offers workers in midtown as well as the general public the opportunity to enjoy high-quality performances of music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods in a convenient, comfortable, acoustically superb venue. Tickets are not necessary; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Free-will donations are gratefully accepted at the door.
Midtown Concerts is being presented with support from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and private donations. More information can be found at www.midtownconcerts.org or www.gemsny.org, or by calling 212/866-0468.
Complete Schedule, October 2012 – January 2013
Saint Peter's Lutheran Church at the Citigroup Center
619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street) | New York, NY 10022
All concerts are at 1:15 p.m.
October 11, 2012
Artis Wodehouse: 19th Century Gems for the Mustel Harmonium
October 18, 2012
Tracy Cowart and Richard Kolb: Roman Voices –
Arias and Cantatas from Mid-17th Century Rome
Mezzo-Soprano and Theorbo
October 25, 2012
Natascha Reich: Between Two Worlds
November 1, 2012
PHOENIXtail: Ayres and Sonatas of England
Quartet: Harpsichord, Cello, Oboe, Violin
November 8, 2012
Sonia Lee: Harpsichord Music of the Italian Baroque – Toccatas, Dances and Variations
November 15, 2012
Grenser Trio: Beethoven with a Twist – His Septet for Three
Trio: Clarinet, Cello, Fortepiano
November 29, 2012
La Tour Baroque Duo: The Scotch Humour
Recorder and Harpsichord
December 6, 2012
Sonnambula: Armada – Renaissance Music from England and Spain
December 13, 2012
My Lord Chamberlain's Consort: A Renaissance Christmas
Quintet: Tenor, Viol, Lute, Cittern, Soprano, Harp
December 20, 2012
Music's Quill: Beauty Sat Bathing
Tenor and Lute
December 27, 2012
Vox Fidelis: Christmas in the High Renaissance
A Cappella Voices
January 3, 2013
Emericus Ensemble: Mundus Novus
Voice, Guitar, Dancer
January 10, 2013
Lyra Consort: The Little Consorts Part II – English Chamber Works with Lyra and Division Viol
January 17, 2013
Dryden Ensemble: Mozart's Birthday
Oboe, Strings, Fortepiano
January 24, 2013
Kristina Giles and Marie Blair: An Afternoon of Baroque Favorites
Violin and Harpsichord
January 31, 2013
Anima: Journey of Orpheus
Quartet: Soprano, Violin, Harp, Lirone/Gamba
Programs for February through June will be announced at a later date.