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New York Polyphony: Palestrina’s Marcellus Mass

Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts  

continues its 2016-2017 Early Music series with 

Palestrina’s Marcellus Mass


New York Polyphony  

Tim Keeler, countertenor
Andrew Fuchs, tenor
Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone

Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8:00 p.m.
Church of St. Mary the Virgin (145 W. 46th Street)

Tickets: $35-$45 • Students with valid ID: $7-$27 

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: 

“The vocalists of New York Polyphony are always a joy to work with. Year after year, they bring a vibrant new program to Miller’s Early Music series. I’m inspired by the nuanced ways they bring together old and new repertoire, and this evening’s concert celebrating their 10th anniversary promises much to explore. ”  


Early Music
Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Palestrina’s Marcellus Mass

Church of St. Mary the Virgin (145 W. 46th Street) 

Since forming a decade ago, New York Polyphony has become an admired addition to the international early music scene—and a regular on Miller’s series. Together with several special guests, they take on a landmark work: Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli, or Pope Marcellus Mass, a stalwart of many a music appreciation curriculum, and a splendid example of polyphony that is both technically impeccable and glorious to hear. They round out the program with the premiere of a new work composed for them by Ivan Moody, a protégé of respected choral composer Sir John Tavener.

New York Polyphony
     Geoffrey Williams, countertenor
     Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenor
     Christopher Dylan Herbert, baritone
     Craig Phillips, bass 
Tim Keeler, countertenor
Andrew Fuchs, tenor
Jonathan Woody, bass-baritone

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Missa Papae Marcelli
Ivan Moody: Vespers Sequence world premiere


Praised for a “rich, natural sound that’s larger and more complex than the sum of its parts,” (National Public Radio) New York Polyphony is regarded as one of the finest vocal chamber ensembles in the world. The four men, “singers of superb musicianship and vocal allure,” (The New Yorker) apply a modern touch to repertoire that ranges from austere medieval melodies to cutting-edge contemporary compositions. Their dedication to innovative programming, as well as a focus on rare and rediscovered Renaissance and medieval works, has not only earned New York Polyphony critical acclaim, but also helped to move early music into the classical mainstream.

Commissioning new works has been central to the mission of New York Polyphony since their founding in 2006. Both in performance and on recording, the ensemble has demonstrated a commitment to presenting contemporary compositions that explore the boundaries between ancient and modern music. They have forged relationships with numerous composers, including established artists such as Richard Rodney Bennett, Jonathan Berger and Jackson Hill, emerging talents Bora Yoon and Gregory Brown, and prominent figures such as Gabriel Jackson and Ivan Moody. Most recently, New York Polyphony premiered “Amid a crowd of stars” composed for the ensemble and the Trinity University Chamber Singers by Norwegian composer Andrew Smith.

The ensemble’s growing discography includes two GRAMMY®-nominated releases and albums that have topped the “best of” lists of The New Yorker, Gramophone, and BBC Music Magazine. Called a “spacious, radiant retreat” by The New York Times, their current release, Sing thee Nowell, scored New York Polyphony its second GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Chamber Music/ Small Ensemble Performance category.

With the 2013 release of Times go by Turns, the ensemble’s fourth album, New York Polyphony continued “to claim a spot as one of the finest small vocal groups performing today.” (Audiophile Audition) Commended as “a complex, clear-eyed yet still painfully beautiful tapestry,” (Gramophone) Times go by Turns amassed substantial critical acclaim. In addition to being named one of iTunes 10 Best Classical Releases of 2013, the album garnered a GRAMMY® nomination.

New York Polyphony has toured extensively, participating in major concert series and festivals around the world. Highlights include Miller Theatre at Columbia University Early Music Series; Rheingau Musik Festival, Thüringer Bachwochen (Germany); Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht (Netherlands); Stiftskonzerte Oberösterreich (Austria); Festival de Música de Morelia (Mexico); Elora Festival (Canada); and Choral at Cadogan Hall in London. They have been featured on Performance Today for American Public Media, Footprints to Paradise: A Medieval Christmas for Public Radio International, and BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. In December 2011, New York Polyphony made its national television debut on The Martha Stewart Show.

Recent engagements include debut performances at London’s Wigmore Hall and The Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, residencies at Dartmouth College and Stanford University, and appearances under the aegis of the Utrecht Early Music Festival.​

Countertenor and conductor Tim Keeler is sought after as both a performer and an educator. He sings regularly with Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and is a member of the acclaimed Choir of Trinity Wall Street. He has performed with Ekmeles, Audivi, Voices of Ascension, the Choir of Men and Boys at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue, and the British vocal ensemble Gallicantus. He is artistic director of Trident, a new all-male vocal ensemble based in New York, and he teaches music theory at the Special Music School, where he inculcates high schoolers with the joys of sight singing. He holds degrees in music theory and conducting from Princeton, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Michigan.

Tenor Andrew Fuchs is a native of Kansas City, MO. He recently made his Lincoln Center debut in Bach’s Magnificat with the American Classical Orchestra. This season, Andrew joins the Choir of Trinity Wall Street where he will be a frequent soloist at their “Bach at One” concerts, performing numerous cantatas with the choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra.

Recent performances include Steve Reich’s Three Tales with Ensemble Signal at Disney Hall, Brahms’s Liebeslieder and Neue Liebeslieder WaltzesMisael in Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace, soloist with Berkshire Choral International (Purcell and Mozart), performing and recording Palestrina’s Missa Papae Marcelli as a guest of New York Polyphony, Evangelist excerpts from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, performances with ARTEK in NYC, Texas and Mississippi of Monteverdi’s Seventh Book of Madrigals, a world premiere by Glen Roven at Spectrum, Yotam Haber’s We Were All, and a joint-recital with soprano Kristina Bachrach.​

Bass-baritone Jonathan Woody, a native of Upper Marlboro, MD, maintains an active performing schedule as a singer in ensemble, in concert, and on the operatic stage, and specializes in early and new music. Jonathan is a member of the Grammy-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street in New York City and performs regularly with ensembles across the United States including the Clarion Music Society, Musica Sacra, Antioch Chamber Ensemble, Spire Chamber Ensemble and the Santa Fe Desert Chorale. He has shared the stages of the Barclays Center, Alice Tully Hall & Avery Fischer Hall at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Walt Disney Concert Hall with such groups as the New York Philharmonic, the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, Les Violons du Roy and La Chapelle de Québec, Montreal’s Theatre of Early Music, the Washington Bach Consort, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Cathedral Choral Society, the Gentlemen of St. Thomas, Fifth Avenue, and Washington’s Bach Sinfonia.


Upcoming concerts in Miller Theatre’s Early Music series
Single tickets: $30-$55

Stile Antico
The Voice of Melody
Saturday, February 25, 2017, 8:00 p.m.

Orlando Consort
Rediscovering Compére
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 8:00 p.m.


Miller Theatre’s 2016-17 season is supported by an award from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature

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