Alexander Technique Masterclass for Instrumentalists and Singers with William Conable @ Nelson Music Room, East Duke Building, Duke University
Jan 18 @ 7:30 pm

The public is invited to attend this free class. William Conable enjoys worldwide renown as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, a method for improving freedom and ease of movement and physical coordination which is of special interest to musicians and other performing artists. He is Emeritus Professor of Music at the Ohio State University, and has appeared as cello soloist with the Columbus, Youngstown, Springfield, Knox County, and Welsh Hills Symphonies.

Women’s Voices Chorus Winter Concert: Only Light, Only Love @ First Presbyterian Church
Jan 20 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

WVC’s winter concert features music about light, love, and freedom. The centerpiece of the concert is based on the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The concert will also feature freedom songs from around the globe, compositions and texts by contemporary female composers and poets, and other songs of hope and love.

Rare Music Lecture/Recital: Rebecca Cypess, harpsichord & fortepiano, with Sophie Caplin, soprano @ Biddle Music Building, Room 104, Duke University
Jan 23 @ 7:00 pm

“Musical Salons of the Enlightenment: Women and the Circulation of Taste” presents the sounds of salons of late eighteenth-century Europe, bringing together rare examples of musical works composed by salon hostesses and other pieces composed by the professional musicians in their circles. Featuring Duke Music alumna Sophie Caplin, soprano. Musicologist & historical keyboardist Rebecca Cypess is an associate professor of music at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Presented by DUMIC (Duke University Musical Instrument Collections).

The Crossing Presents the Little Match Girl Passion @ Baldwin Auditorium
Feb 9 @ 8:00 pm

Hailed as “ardently angelic” (Los Angeles Times), “superb” (The New Yorker), and “something of a miracle” (The Philadelphia Enquirer), The Crossing is a GRAMMY-winning Philadelphia chamber choir dedicated to vivid new music. Devoted to completely reimagining the experience of choral music for composers, singers, and listeners alike, the ensemble has commissioned an astounding sixty pieces in just over a decade, one of them a 2018 Pulitzer Prize finalist. The Crossing makes work that is boldly relevant and insistently beautiful.

At Duke Performances, twelve singers from The Crossing, led by conductor Donald Nally, offer Durham audiences the opportunity to hear composer David Lang’s extraordinary Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, The Little Match Girl Passion. Recasting Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of the suffering and death of a homeless child in the form of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Lang compares the Little Match Girl’s experience to that of Jesus, elevating her sorrow to a higher plane. Like Bach, Lang interpolates the reactions of the crowd and statements of shock and remorse, placing the audience inside the action. Setting the stage are a series of short commissioned pieces, including David Lang’s spare and shimmering make peace, a setting of the Jewish prayer of mourning.


  • Louis Andriessen: Ahiana Weeping
  • Ēriks Ešenvalds: Translation
  • David Lang: make peace
  • Gabriel Jackson: Yes, I Am Your Angel
  • Ted Hearne: What It Might Say
  • David Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion
Duke Chapel Bach Cantata Series Concert #4 @ Duke Chapel
Feb 17 @ 5:15 pm

This concert features J. S. Bach’s exquisite funeral cantata, Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (God’s time is best), known also as the Actus tragicus, BWV 106. It will be performed alongside cantatas by composers G. P. Telemann (Du aber Daniel, TWV 4:17) and C. L. Boxberg (Bestelle dein Haus).

The program is directed by Dr. Philip Cave, the Chapel’s associate conductor for Chapel Music. Soloists and a chorus of Duke Bach Ensemble are accompanied on period instruments by the Mallarmé Chamber Players.

Admission is free. Parking is available for $5 in the Bryan Center Parking Garage at 125 Science Drive. ADA parking is available at the same address in the Bryan Center Surface Lot.

Come early at 4:00 p.m. to attend a Choral Evensong worship service with traditional prayers from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer and music from the Duke Evensong Singers.

In the Embrace of the Tango @ Levin Jewish Community Center
Feb 24 @ 3:00 pm

Perhaps no dance form other than Salomé with her seven veils is as alluring and sensuous as the tango! Originating in lower-class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires and Montevideo at the turn of the 20th century, the tango was fruitfully influenced by an admixture of cultural traditions, including the violin technique of various Jewish new immigrants. The Triangle Jewish Chorale and the Lorena Guillen Tango Ensemble are proud to present a representative sampling of tango music, from classics of the repertoire by Jewish-Argentinian composers to tango songs created for the New York Yiddish theater and pre-WW2 European versions inspired by the recently exported Argentinian tango.

A tango dance demonstration/lesson by Alicia and Eduardo is at 2:30 pm in the lobby, followed by the concert at 3:00 pm in the hall.

Winter Concert with the Choral Society of Durham @ Baldwin Auditorium
Mar 3 @ 3:00 pm

Itaipú by Philip Glass
Deep Field by Eric Whitacre

Philip Glass, Itaipú, was commissioned anonymously for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and premiered November 2, 1989 by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Robert Shaw. It calls for an SATB choir and orchestra. It runs about 38 minutes.
According to notes from the publisher, Dunvagen Music Publishers, it is a “Symphonic portrait in four movements: Mato Grosso – The Lake – The Dam – To the Sea.” The text is the Creation Myth of the Guarani (sung in traditional Guarani). Online reference, says that “the Guarani are a South American Indian group living mainly in Paraguay and speaking a language also called Guarani. Smaller
groups also live in Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil.” Nick Jones notes on the publisher’s web page that “[L]ike The Light and The Canyon, Itaipu originated as Glass’ response both to nature and to a modern technological wonder, in this case the massive hydro-electric dam (…) that was then taking shape at Itaipu on the Parana River, which forms the border between Brazil and Peru. (…)While the music itself hymns the wonder wrought by nature and by humankind, the exotic text recounts the creation of the world, the actions of the gods and how the first people came to this place.”

Deep Field was composed by Eric Whitacre in 2015 on a joint commission of the Minnesota Orchestra BBC Radio 3 and the Dallas Winds. It is scored for SATB choir and orchestra and runs about 20 minutes. Its World premiere took place May 8, 2015 at Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN by the Minnesota Orchestra and Chorale and was conducted by the composer. The European premier was August 9, 2015 at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London, by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Singers. It was conducted by the composer. It has since been performed a number of times in Europe but has so far only received one other US
performance – at Chapman Hall at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Tulsa OK by the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Eric Whitacre, conductor on January 13, 2018. The composer’s web site says that the piece was “inspired by the iconic Hubble Field Deep Field images.” The work was originally written for orchestra, chorus & electronica and later transcribed for concert band. The site goes on to explain that the “Hubble Deep Field” captured by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1995 is an “image that covers a speck of the sky only about the width of a dime seen from 75 feet away. The exposure lasted 10 consecutive days, or approximately 150 orbits. Though the field is a very small sample of the heavens, it is considered representative of the typical distribution of galaxies in space, because the universe, statistically, looks largely the same in all directions. Gazing into this small field, Hubble uncovered a bewildering assortment of at least 1,500 galaxies at various stages of evolution.”

A Performance Note on the score says, “A smart-phone App playing the Deep Field electronica may be triggered by audience members from bar 217 to the end of the piece, as cued by the conductor. This should be downloaded in advance of the performance and is available via the App Store and Google Play. Search “Deep Field” in the respective store to locate the App and download.”

This concert will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at Duke University’s Baldwin Auditorium and will feature the Choral Society of Durham and the Durham Medical Orchestra.

Choral Society of Durham’s Chamber Choir Spring Concerts @ Duke Chapel
Apr 7 @ 3:00 pm

Mass of the Children by John Rutter

Liner notes to the Naxos (2006) recording of Mass of the Children, Shadows, & Wedding Canticle by John Rutter, state that the work was written late in 2002 and was first performed in February 2003 at Carnegie Hall. Rutter, writing of his inspiration for the work, says, “The seed of the work probably lay in the inspiring experience I had back in 1963 singing as a member of the boys choir in the first recording of
Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. The effect of combining children’s and adult’s voices is unique, and I wanted to write a work that would bring them together in a more joyful context than a Requiem.” He goes on to say that he based the structure on the Missa Brevis but added a number of English texts to it that are sung by the soloists or the children.

The work runs about 35 minutes and is scored for mixed choir, children’s choir, soprano and baritone soloists, chamber ensemble and organ. The Chamber Choir’s performances with the Raleigh Boychoir will take place Saturday, April 6 at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh and Sunday, April 7 at Duke Chapel, Durham.

Spring Concert with the Choral Society of Durham @ Duke Chapel
May 4 @ 7:30 pm

Sacred Service (Avodath Hakodesh) by Ernest Bloch

Ernest Bloch’s Sacred Service was composed “for a Reform congregation in San Francisco in the 1930s,” according to a review, “A Rare Jewish Bid for the Classically Sacred Concert,” by Allen Kozinn published February 13, 2008, in The New York Times. Kozinn goes on to say that “he scored it ambitiously for a large chorus, soloists and orchestra, in the hope that it would be performed in concert as
well.” The score runs 50 minutes and is based on the Sabbath morning service that uses a Reform version commonly in use in the 1930s. The reviewer explains that the music is newly composed with a hint of Hebrew Chant and that it maintains the distinction between cantorial and congregational singing with the use of a Baritone singing the cantorial role.

This concert will take place on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Duke Chapel and will feature the Choral Society of Durham with Orchestra.

Masks and Fairytales with the Concert Singers of Cary @ Carolina Theater in Durham
May 5 @ 3:00 pm

Mendelssohn Psalm 42

Debussy La Damoiselle élue

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