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Jeffrey Thomas • Artistic Director

2013–14 San Francisco • Belvedere • Berkeley • Davis


JEFFREY THOMAS MUSIC DIRECTOR

Celebrating 25 years of great music. “Thank goodness for ABS” San Francisco Classical Voice The American Bach Soloists are grateful for the support of these and other Foundations, Corporations, Government Agencies, and Individual Sponsors.

Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation Nakamichi Foundation American Bach Soloists are Artists-in-Residence at St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere.


We’ve reached a milestone at a time when our concert and educational programs are robust, our artists are at the top of the heap, and our audiences are more enthusiastic than ever. A quarter-century of superb concerts featuring the timeless and inimitable music of Bach and his contemporaries … Sold-out houses performance after performance … The world’s most acclaimed early music specialists performing side-by-side with the new generation of virtuosi … Join us for the 25th annual series of concerts by the American Bach Soloists, a season celebrating the unparalleled music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

americanbach.org


HANDEL’S MESSIAH ~ “ABS’s fine choral and instrumental ensembles and its magnificent vocal soloists” (SFCV) will return to San Francisco’s awe-inspiring Grace Cathedral in December to continue their annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. This famous San Francisco holiday event is performed to sold-out audiences year after year. Following last year’s greatest attendance marks in the history of this beloved tradition, be sure to purchase your tickets early. AN ABS CHRISTMAS ~ ABS’s instantly sold-out 2012 Baroque Christmas concert at St. Stephen’s Church was such a tremendous success that another special program has been added to the schedule in the new season. Presented in the beautiful, candlelit space where ABS was founded in 1989, this year’s event will feature holiday-themed works along with Bach’s jubilant Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen featuring trumpet virtuoso John Thiessen and soprano Shawnette Sulker, praised by Opera News for the “natural warmth and charm” of her singing, and noted for “…displaying a bright, superbly controlled soprano with perfectly placed coloratura.” BACH’S MAGNIFICAT ~ The heart and soul of the 2014 subscription season are three extraordinary concert programs featuring masterworks by ABS’s namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach. In January, heraldic trumpets will usher in Bach’s Magnificat, one of his most well-known and popular works. Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! (“Sound, you drums! Ring forth, trumpets!”) is a grand secular cantata featuring music that became part of Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio.” The virtuoso Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor will feature flutist Sandra Miller, whose playing is noted for its “mellow, quietly penetrating tone” (The New York Times). The program closes with a fantastically extroverted cantata composed for Leipzig’s lavish celebrations of the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels in 1724. Bringing back a hallmark of ABS’s cantata performances over the years, the audience will be invited to sing along on the final chorale. BACH’S HERCULES ~ The 25th Season Bach Celebration continues in February with the composer’s Missa Brevis in G Major, the Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major—a tour de force for the ensemble’s oboes and bassoon—and Herkules auf dem Scheidewege (“Hercules at the Crossroads”), composed to celebrate the 11th birthday of Frederick Christian. The young prince went on to rule Saxony with extraordinary grace, diplomacy, and civility, and this cantata praised, by example, both his wisdom and musical gifts. Bach later reused the opening chorus, arias, and duets in the “Christmas Oratorio.” BACH’S LEGACY ~ All of the 25th Season programs will feature the outstanding American Bach Choir, and in April their standard-setting excellence will be on display in a program of motets and choral works by J. S. Bach, including the exquisite cantata Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, one of his earliest, composed at the age of 22. Bach’s motet settings, for double chorus and instruments, became the inspiration for future generations of composers. Beautiful choral works by four of Bach’s most ardent followers—Mendelssohn, Brahms, Sandström, and Nystedt—will connect Bach’s world with the epochs of the Classical, Romantic, and 20th-Century eras. BACH’S INSPIRATION ~ In July, the 25th Season will be crowned by the 2014 American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy, showcasing works by composers who greatly influenced Bach’s compositional style. It’s going to be a sensational year!


SHAWNETTE SULKER

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen Ehre sei dir, Gott, gesungen Holiday choral works by Britten, Conte, Howells, Rutter, Vaughan Williams, & Whitacre

JOHN THIESSEN

An ABS Christmas

Shawnette Sulker soprano John Thiessen trumpet with the American Bach Choir

BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church Saturday December 14 2013 8:00 pm


Handel’s Messiah

Shawnette Sulker soprano Eric Jurenas countertenor Aaron Sheehan tenor Mischa Bouvier baritone with the American Bach Choir

ERIC JURENAS

AARON SHEEHAN MISCHA BOUVIER

“What stood out above all, in this annual rite that drew a huge crowd, was the sense of being addressed directly, personally, confidingly. Conductor Jeffrey Thomas brought it all together, melding his ABS forces with precision and intuitive responsiveness to Handel’s capacious 1742 masterwork.” Steven Winn, SFCV

A third performance of this enduring masterpiece will be performed in the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts at UC Davis on December 15.

SAN FRANCISCO Grace Cathedral Wednesday December 11 2013 7:30 pm Thursday December 12 2013 7:30 pm

These performances are generously sponsored in part by Kim & Judith Maxwell.


Bach’s Magnificat

Clara Rottsolk soprano Eric Jurenas countertenor Guy Cutting tenor (debut) William Sharp baritone Sandra Miller flute with the American Bach Choir CLARA ROTTSOLK

GUY CUTTING

SANDRA MILLER

Magnificat Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir

“... because of ABS’s fine choral and instrumental ensembles and its magnificent vocal soloists ... this glorious mini-oratorio became the dazzling finale to a performance that deserved every bit of the standing ovation it received.” Niels Swinkels, SFCV

Pre-Concert Insights

one hour before the concert

BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church Friday January 24 2014 8:00 pm BERKELEY First Congregational Church Saturday January 25 2014 8:00 pm SAN FRANCISCO St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Sunday January 26 2014 4:00 pm

Steven Lehning

DAVIS Davis Community Church Monday January 27 2014 7:00 pm

These performances are generously sponsored in part by Patricia & George Locke.


KATHRYN MUELLER

DEREK CHESTER

Bach’s Hercules

Kathryn Mueller soprano Ian Howell countertenor Derek Chester tenor Jesse Blumberg baritone with the American Bach Choir

IAN HOWELL

Missa Brevis in G Major Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C Major Herkules auf dem Scheidewege JESSE BLUMBERG

“The American Bach Soloists frequently receive plaudits for their moving performances of well-known masterpieces. Yet Music Director Jeffrey Thomas also has some tricks up his sleeve when it comes to programming … the whole was a delightful grab bag, delivered with ABS’s usual expertise and élan.” Jonathan Rhodes Lee, SFCV

Pre-Concert Insights

one hour before the concert

BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church Friday February 21 2014 8:00 pm BERKELEY First Congregational Church Saturday February 22 2014 8:00 pm SAN FRANCISCO St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Sunday February 23 2014 4:00 pm

Robert Mealy

DAVIS Davis Community Church Monday February 24 2014 7:00 pm

These performances are generously sponsored in part by Jan Goldberg.


Bach’s Legacy Motets and Choral Works by Bach and his followers Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir Komm, Jesu, komm & Ich lasse dich nicht Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf Mendelssohn: Sechs Sprüche Brahms: Fest- und Gedenksprüche Sandström: Komm, Jesu, komm Nystedt: Immortal Bach

“The chorus, it goes without saying, was spectacular. Its finesse is a local legend by now.” Michael Zweibach, SFCV “The unashamed earnestness of their presentation was a powerful example of how persuasive and even seductive this music can be when under the care of great performers.” Jonathan Rhodes Lee, SFCV Pre-Concert Insights

one hour before the concert

BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church Friday April 25 2014 8:00 pm BERKELEY First Congregational Church Saturday April 26 2014 8:00 pm SAN FRANCISCO St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Sunday April 27 2014 4:00 pm

Jeffrey Thomas

DAVIS Davis Community Church Monday April 28 2014 7:00 pm

These performances are generously sponsored in part by Hugh Davies & Kaneez Munjee.


Bach’s Inspiration • July 11–20 2014 Tracing the influences of Italian, French, and North German composers on J. S. Bach, the 2014 American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy will feature works by Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Buxtehude, and Bach’s forebears. Pergolesi: Stabat Mater (arranged by Bach) Bach: Concerto for Three Harpsichords Vivaldi: Concerto for Four Violins Bach: Mass in B Minor Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 4 in D Major Distinguished Artist Series: Mary Wilson Free Public Master Classes & Lectures Tickets go on sale February 1 2014.

MARY WILSON

Look for our next CD release in December 2013

Mary Wilson sings Handel

ABS will present three Master Classes at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. These events are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit americanbach.org/education. John Thiessen trumpet Monday January 20 2014 7:30 p.m.

Ian Howell countertenor Monday February 17 2014 7:30 p.m. Jeffrey Thomas conductor Monday April 21 2014 7:30 p.m.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music 50 Oak Street at Van Ness The ABS Master Classes are generously sponsored by Judith Flynn.

Master Classes

Silete venti ~ Gloria ~ Laudate, pueri, Dominum


Season-at-a-Glance

HANDEL’s MESSIAH

Wednesday December 11 2013 7:30 pm – SAN FRANCISCO Grace Cathedral Thursday December 12 2013 7:30 pm – SAN FRANCISCO Grace Cathedral

AN ABS CHRISTMAS AT ST. STEPHEN’s

Saturday December 14 2013 8:00 pm – BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church

BACH’s MAGNIFICAT

Friday January 24 2014 8:00 pm – BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church Saturday January 25 2014 8:00 pm – BERKELEY First Congregational Church Sunday January 26 2014 4:00 pm – SAN FRANCISCO St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Monday January 27 2014 7:00 pm – DAVIS Davis Community Church

BACH’s HERCULES

Friday February 21 2014 8:00 pm – BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church Saturday February 22 2014 8:00 pm – BERKELEY First Congregational Church Sunday February 23 2014 4:00 pm – SAN FRANCISCO St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Monday February 24 2014 7:00 pm – DAVIS Davis Community Church

BACH’s LEGACY

Friday April 25 2014 8:00 pm – BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church Saturday April 26 2014 8:00 pm – BERKELEY First Congregational Church Sunday April 27 2014 4:00 pm – SAN FRANCISCO St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Monday April 28 2014 7:00 pm – DAVIS Davis Community Church

2014 FESTIVAL & ACADEMY

Support ABS

Tickets go on sale February 1 2014. Friday July 11 through Sunday July 20 2014 – San Francisco Conservatory of Music

The American Bach Soloists engage and inspire audiences through historically informed performances, recordings, and educational programs that emphasize the music of the Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic eras. Ticket sales cover less than half the cost of bringing ABS to our community. ABS is proud to receive significant foundation and government support, but the bulk of our contributed income comes from generous donations from individuals like you. Won’t you please consider including a tax-deductible donation to help us bridge the gap? Become an ABS donor and enjoy special benefits. For more information, please call (415) 621-7900 or visit americanbach.org/support. Thank you!

americanbach.org (415) 621-7900


SUBSCRIBERS receive these benefits: ··Great Seats at Excellent Performances ··Financial Savings ··Free Ticket Exchange and Replacement ··Family and Friends Discounts ··Exclusive Perks ··More information at americanbach.org/subscribe

Order online to select your seats: americanbach.org/subscribe Order by phone: (415) 621-7900 Mail this form to: American Bach Soloists 44 Page Street Suite 403 San Francisco CA 94102-5975

Name Address City

State

Phone (Day)

(Eve)

Zip

Email SUBSCRIPTION SERIES 15% discount

Section AA* Section A Qty. / Price Qty./Price

Section B Qty./Price

Section C Qty./Price

Total

4 Concerts (with MESSIAH)

x $243

x $229

x $169

x $85

=

3 Concerts (no MESSIAH)

n/a

x $163

x $125

x $64

=

For “An ABS Christmas” please call (415) 621-7900 for availability. ADD-ON SINGLE TICKETS Section AA* Section A only with subscriptions

Section B

Section C

Total

Messiah (Grace Cathedral)

x $80

x $66

x $44

x $21

=

All Others

n/a

x $54

x $42

x $21

=

 Check here to request balcony seating. * Section AA: first five rows in Grace Cathedral only.

SUBTOTAL FOR TICKETS

=

SELECT PERFORMANCE DATES & VENUES Indicate # of seats next to each applicable date Messiah

_____12/11 SF

_____12/12 SF

Magnificat

_____1/24 Belvedere

_____1/25 Berkeley

_____1/26 SF

_____1/27 Davis

Hercules

_____2/21 Belvedere

_____2/22 Berkeley

_____2/23 SF

_____2/24 Davis

Legacy

_____4/25 Belvedere

_____4/26 Berkeley

_____4/27 SF

_____4/28 Davis

TICKETS from above

=

Tax-Deductible Contribution

+

NO Handling Charge for Subscribers TOTAL PAYMENT

+ $0.00 =

 Check enclosed and made payable to American Bach Soloists Charge my  Visa  MasterCard  American Express  Discover

Card #

Exp.

month

/

year

Subscriptions

SINGLE TICKETS FORM ON REVERSE


Single Tickets

SINGLE TICKET PURCHASERS can save by ordering online at least 48 hours in advance. Sales at the door are not eligible for these discounts. ··Automatic 5% discounts at checkout ··No service charges or per ticket fees ··Choose your seats from online maps. ··Visit americanbach.org/tickets Order by phone: (415) 621-7900 Phone orders are subject to a $4 handling fee. Mail this form to: American Bach Soloists 44 Page Street Suite 403 San Francisco CA 94102-5975 Name Address City

State

Phone (Day)

(Eve)

Zip

Email

MESSIAH Choose date

Section AA

 Wed 12/11  Thu 12/12

x $94

Section A

Section B

Section C

x $78

x $52

x $25

Total =

For “An ABS Christmas” please call (415) 621-7900 for availability. JANUARY through APRIL Indicate dates

Balcony?

Section A

Section B

Section C

Total

x $64

x $49

x $25

=

x $64

x $49

x $25

=

x $64

x $49

x $25

=

Students (30 and under with Valid ID) please purchase online.

SUBTOTAL FOR TICKETS

=

Tax-Deductible Contribution

+

(order ONLINE for no handling charge and 5% off: americanbach.org/tickets)

Handling Charge

+ $4.00

TOTAL PAYMENT

=

 Check enclosed and made payable to American Bach Soloists Charge my  Visa  MasterCard  American Express  Discover Exp.

month

/

year

Card #


Venues SAN FRANCISCO Grace Cathedral 1100 California Street

STAGE SECTION A SECTION B SECTION C

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church 1111 O’Farrell Street

AA AA Premium Section

Grace Cathedral

BELVEDERE St. Stephen’s Church 3 Bayview Avenue BERKELEY First Congregational Church 2345 Channing Way at Dana

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

DAVIS Davis Community Church 412 C Street at Fourth For more venue information, including seating diagrams, maps, and directions, please visit americanbach.org/venues. All seats are reserved. All sales are final. Programs and artists are subject to change.

St. Stephen’s Church

Balcony seating is not available in Grace Cathedral or sections B and C in Belvedere. To request balcony seating, please check the box on the order form. Section C in St. Stephen’s Church (Belvedere) includes some seats with partially obstructed views. We respect your privacy. ABS will never share or sell your email or telephone information to any third party.

First Congregational Church

For information about our Free Tickets for K-12 Music Educators Program, please visit americanbach.org/education. Photo credits: Ken Howard (ensemble and back cover); Gene Kosoy (Jeffrey Thomas p. 2)

American Bach Soloists 44 Page Street Suite 403 San Francisco CA 94102-5975 phone (415) 621-7900 | fax (415) 621-7920 americanbach.org | info@americanbach.org

Davis Community Church


americanbach.org

AMERICAN BACH SOLOISTS 44 PAGE STREET SUITE 403 SAN FRANCISCO CA 94102-5975

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American Bach Soloists 25th Season Brochure