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Basically Brandenburg with the Symphony Space All-Stars
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 12/20/2009 at Symphony Space.

Bach is Back! Chosen from among New York City's finest musicians, the triumphant Symphony Space All-Stars celebrate the holidays with a festive and joyous performance of the complete Brandenburg Concertos of J.S. Bach. Among Bach's most often-performed and best-loved works, the six joyful, exuberant Concertos make for a holiday treat for friends and family alike!




Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047

I. Allegro

II. Andante

III. Allegro assai

Eugenia Zukerman, flute; Robert Ingliss, oboe; Alan R. Kay, E-flat clarinet; Laurie Smukler, Calvin Wiersma, Emily Smith, violin; Ira Weller, viola; Julia Lichten, violoncello; Timothy Cobb, bass; Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord.


Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049

I. Allegro

II. Andante

III. Presto

Calvin Wiersma, violin; Eugenia Zukerman, flute; Tara Helen O'Connor, flute; Laurie Smukler, Emily Smith, violin; Elizabeth Weisser, viola; Jullia Lichten, violoncello; Timothy Cobb, bass; Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord.


Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

I. Allegro

II. Affettuoso

III. Allegro

Tara Helen O'Connor, flute; Laurie Smukler, violin; Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord; Daniel Phillips, Violin; Elizabeth Weisser, viola; David Geber, violoncello; Tim Cobb, bass.


Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046

I. Allegro

II. Adagio

III. Allegro

IV. Menuet - Trio I - Menuet da capo - Polacca - Menuet da capo - Trio II - Menuet da capo

Robert Ingliss, Andrew Parker, Steven Kramer, oboe; Marc Goldberg, bassoon; Ann Ellsworth, Steve Sherts, horn; Daniel Phillips, violino piccolo; Laurie Smukler, Calvin Wiersma, violin; Ira Weller, viola; Melissa Meell, violoncello; Timothy Cobb, bass; Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord.


Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051

I. Allegro

II. Adagio ma non troppo

III. Allegro

Calvin Wiersma, Ira Weller, viola; David Geber, Melissa Meell, viola da gamba, violonello; Julia Lichten, violoncello (Continuo); Timothy Cobb, bass; Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord.


Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G major, BWV 1048

I. Allegro

II. Adagio

III. Allegro

Daniel Phillips, Laurie Smukler, Emily Smith, violin; Ira Weller, Elizabeth Weisser, Calvin Wiersma, viola; Melissa Meell, Julia Lichten, David Geber, violoncello; Timothy Cobb, bass; Bradley Brookshire, harpsichord.

+ About the Artists

Bradley Brookshire has emerged as one of the most noted Bach interpreters of his generation. His distinctive approach to Bach's harpsichord music has led to sustained critical acclaim by The New York Times, Goldberg Magazine, Stereophile Magazine, and The American Record Guide, among others. As a soloist, continuo player, and chamber music partner, Mr. Brookshire has appeared with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the English Chamber Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera, the Shanghai String Quartet, with many other leading artists, including David Daniels and Bejun Mehta. A member of the Purchase College (SUNY) faculty since 1998, Mr. Brookshire holds the position of Director of Graduate Studies in the Conservatory of Music, where he leads the Purchase College Camerata and teaches graduate courses in musicology and counterpoint. The State University of New York honored him with the Chancellor's Award in 2004.

Timothy Cobb appears on stages such as Bargemusic, the Bridgehampton Festival, Caramoor, the Boston Chamber Music Society, the Lyric Chamber Music Society, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, Mostly Mozart, La Musica Festival, the Sarasota Music Festival, the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Appointed associate principal bass of the Met Orchestra in 1986, Mr. Cobb was granted a leave of absence by Maestro Solti to perform with the Metropolitan Opera, where he elected to stay. Mr. Cobb has enjoyed invitations to perform in the "world" orchestra created by Maestro Solti, (subsequently led by Maestro Valery Gergiev), and in Japan as principal bass of the new "super orchestra," a gathering of musicians from major orchestras around the world. He was recently appointed principal bass of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra led by Maestro Gerard Schwarz, and is solo bassist for the Harmonie Ensemble, a New York-based woodwind ensemble, as well as the solo bassist for the St. Barth's International Music Festival, St. Barthelemy, and French West Indies, where he performs for a week in January each year.

Ann Ellsworth is the solo horn player for the GRAMMY Award-nominated Absolute Ensemble and has been a member of the Esbjerg Ensemble, Manhattan Brass, Baltimore Opera, Phoenix Symphony, and Philharmonica del Bajio. As Artist in Residence at the Lang College of the New School, she led many ground-breaking interdisciplinary events involving improvisation, dance, videography, and landscape architecture. Ms. Ellsworth is committed to early music and has presented a lecture recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art using original instruments from their collection. As an advocate of new music, she is a founding member of the New Music and Culture Symposium and has premiered six new works in the past three years. She has held faculty positions at numerous schools in the New York City area and joined the Stonybrook faculty in September 2009.

David Geber has been the recipient of numerous cello and chamber music awards including the Walter W. Naumburg Award and the Coleman Chamber Music Prize. He has appeared as soloist at Tanglewood and Aspen, as well as with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Montreal Symphony. A strong supporter of new music, he has premiered numerous works for cello as well as varied chamber music combinations. As a founding member of the American String Quartet, he concertized with that ensemble for 28 years, giving up to 100 annual concerts and performing regularly in most major musical centers of the world. In 2002, Mr. Geber retired from the Quartet, in order to direct more attention to music administration and teaching. He maintains summer teacher and performing affiliations with the Aspen Music Festival and School, The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Mr. Geber frequently gives recitals and master classes in North America, and has adjudicated for major international string competitions including Bordeaux, Evian, and Naumburg.

Marc Goldberg is currently a member of the NY Woodwind Quintet, principal bassoonist of Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and a member of the American Symphony Orchestra. Previously with the NY Philharmonic as associate principal bassoon from 2000-2002, and the NYC Opera, acting as principal bassoon from 2004-2005, he has also appeared across four continents with the Metropolitan Opera, the BSO, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Orpheus. He holds BM and MM degrees from the Juilliard School, where he was a student of Harold Goltzer. Mr. Goldberg is on the faculty of the Juilliard School, Mannes College, the Hartt School, Columbia University, and the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Robert Ingliss was recently named Principal Oboe of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and in 2010 he will be returning for a sixth season as principal oboist with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He is also principal of the Riverside Symphony and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and has occupied the same position with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Mexico City Philharmonic. Mr. Ingliss tours worldwide with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, where he has appeared as soloist on several occasions. An avid proponent of contemporary music, Mr. Ingliss has premiered works by composers such as Babbitt, Carter, Dalbavie, and Eckardt among others, and is a member of Cygnus Ensemble, Ensemble 21, and the Manhattan Sinfonietta. Mr. Ingliss is on the faculties of Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College and SUNY-Purchase.

Alan R. Kay was honored with membership in the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 2002 and serves as principal clarinet with New York's Riverside Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and American Ballet Theater. Mr. Kay's honors include the C.D. Jackson Award at Tanglewood, a Presidential Scholars Teacher Recognition Award, Juilliard's 1980 Clarinet Competition, and the 1989 Young Concert Artists Award with the piano and wind sextet Hexagon, later featured in the prizewinning documentary film, Debut. Mr. Kay is a founding member of Windscape and Hexagon; he appears frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and as a guest of numerous string quartets and chamber ensembles, including the Mendelssohn, Rossetti, Mirò, and Shanghai Quartets. Mr. Kay taught at the Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany in 2004 and teaches at the Manhattan, Hartt, and Juilliard Schools.

Steven Kramer is currently pursuing a Masters of Music at the Yale School of Music, studying with Stephen Taylor, and also has a B.A. from Columbia University, where he studied with Robert Ingliss. His previous teachers include John Mack, and Frank Rosenwein. Mr. Kramer plays principal oboe with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, in which he recently performed at the Festival del Sole in Napa, CA, and the Music Festival of the Americas in Stowe, VT. Mr. Kramer has also performed as a soloist with the Columbia University Bach Society Orchestra and the Festival Orchestra of the Viana do Castello Music Festival in Portugal.

Julia Lichten enjoys a varied career as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, and teacher and coach in the New York area. A member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra since 1995, she has toured as a soloist with Orpheus, as well as with Musicians from Marlboro and the American Chamber Players. An active recitalist, she has performed in such venues as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton universities and toured Europe under State Department sponsorship as an "Artistic Ambassador." Ms. Lichten is a member of the cello faculties at Manhattan School of Music and the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College.

Melissa Meell has the rare distinction of twice winning the prestigious Walter W. Naumburg Chamber Music Award. As a result, Ms. Meell has played in every major concert hall in the world and commissioned, premiered, and recorded many chamber works. Ms. Meell has been a member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for eight years, appearing as a member and a soloist, and has collaborated with the country's finest ensembles including Musicians from Marlboro and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the New York area Ms. Meell performs regularly with the New York Philomusica Chamber Ensemble with which she has recordings including the chamber music of Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms.

Andrew Parker is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance. In addition to his experience as a teacher and chamber music coach, Mr. Parket has performed with many orchestras in the U.S., including the Florida Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Flint Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Great Falls Symphony, and the Plymouth Symphony, in which he is currently Principal Oboe. Mr. Parker has also taught at various international music festivals including the FEMUSC festival in Brazil, Hartwick in New York, and the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont. Mr. Parker received his bachelor's degree at the Eastman School of Music and his master's degree at Yale University.

Tara Helen O'Connor is a founding member of the Naumburg Award-winning New Millennium Ensemble, a member of the virtuoso woodwind quintet Windscape, the chamber ensemble Andalucian Dogs, and is the flute soloist of the Bach Aria Group. She received two GRAMMY Award nominations in 2003 for her recording of Osvaldo Golijov's Yiddishbbuk. Ms. O'Connor is professor of flute and head of the wind department at Purchase College Conservatory of Music and is on faculty at the Bard College Conservatory of Music and Manhattan School of Music.

Daniel Phillips enjoys a versatile career as an established chamber musician, solo artist, and teacher. He was a winner of the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1976, and has performed as soloist with many American symphonies. Mr. Phillips is a founding member of the 22 year-old Orion String Quartet, which tours internationally, and has residencies at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the Mannes College of Music. Check out the quartet's website,, for a complete look at its accomplishments and busy touring schedule. He is professor of violin at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY.

Steven Sherts is a freelance French horn player in the New York metropolitan area. He performs regularly in the Broadway shows Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, and Mary Poppins. He has also performed with the New York City Ballet, the Opera Orchestra of New York, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, Allentown Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, the Stamford Symphony Orchestra, as well as other orchestras in the area. Mr. Sherts is a graduate of the Hartt School and SUNY Purchase.

Emily Daggett Smith is a celebrated young violinist and chamber musician. In 2009, Ms. Smith won first prize at the Juilliard concerto competition and made her New York debut in Alice Tully Hall, playing the Beethoven violin concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra, under the direction of Emmanuel Villaume. In 2008, she was appointed concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and has led the ensemble under the direction of Michael Tilson-Thomas, Nicholas McGegan, and James DePriest. She has traveled with the orchestra to Beijing and Shanghai, as well as across the United States, performing in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Disney Hall in LA, and Symphony Hall in Boston.

Laurie Smukler is an active performer as soloist and recitalist, and has established a reputation as one of the finest chamber musicians in the country. In New York she performs regularly with the Festival Chamber Music Society at Merkin Hall, the Bard Music Festival at Tully Hall, and on the Collection in Concert series at the Pierpont Morgan Library. Dedicated to teaching as well as to performing, she is professor of violin and head of the string area at the SUNY Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, as well as a member of the faculty at Manhattan School of Music. As a chamber musician, Ms. Smukler was the founding first violinist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet, and she is currently the first violinist of the Bard Festival String Quartet.

Ira Weller is a member of the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, in addition to the Purchase Conservatory String Quartet and the Bard Festival String Quartet, both of which perform widely around the East Coast. His vital interest in contemporary music has led to premieres of works by Rorem, Laderman, Dello Joio, Picker, Ran, and Zwilich. Mr. Weller is on the viola faculty of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, Mannes College of Music, and the Conservatory of Music at Bard College.

Elizabeth Weisser has performed throughout the United States and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician. Interested in the relationship between performers and audiences, Ms. Weisser has actively pursued performance and music education in a wide variety of venues and contexts. She was a founding member of the Enesco Quartet there, which performed in several tours in the Midwest, the South and in Norway. Ms. Weisser also performed extensively with the Contemporary Music Ensemble, working with composers such as Lewis Nielson, James Dillon, and John Adams and performing with artists such as Steve Drury and Ursula Oppens.

Calvin Wiersma has appeared throughout the world as a soloist and chamber musician, including solo recitals in Boston, New York, and Chicago, and appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, The Concerto Company of Boston, and the Lawrence Symphony, among others. In addition to his current membership with the Manhattan String Quartet, Mr. Wiersma was a founding member of the Meliora Quartet, winner of the Naumberg, Fischoff, Coleman, and Cleveland Quartet competitions; and the Quartet-in-Residence of the Spoleto Festivals of the United States, Italy, and Australia; and was also a founding member of the Figaro Trio. A former member of New York Philomusica and frequent performer at Bargemusic, he has also performed with the Da Camera Society of Houston, the Sea Cliff Chamber Players, The Festival Chamber Music Society, The Chamber Music Society of New Hope, the Carnegie Chamber Players, and Close Encounters with Music.

Eugenia Zukerman is an internationally renowned recitalist and soloist, hailed by the press as "one of the finest flutists of our time." Honored by Young Concert Artists and by The Open University of Israel for her lifetime achievement in music, Ms. Zukerman continues in the 2009-10 season to travel across the United States with her diversified schedule as a flutist, writer, artistic director, television/web journalist, and educator. Artistic Director of the Vail Valley Music Festival since 1998, she has contributed significantly to its growth and development on national as well as international levels.

+ About the Music

In 1721, during Bach's third year as Kapellmeister at the court of Cöthen (where he served from 1717 to 1723), he presented a gift of six manuscripts to the Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg. It was during this appointment that Bach wrote much of his instrumental ensemble music and, having grown restless with life in the small German court, Bach presented the works as a job application-one that did not prove successful. In all likelihood the pieces were written between 1718 and 1720 when he would have been 33 to 35 years old. We can gather that the pieces were not intended as a set; more likely, they were an attempt by the composer to write for varying instrument combinations. The dedication page merely indicates that the six pieces are for several instruments. It wasn't until some 150 years later that Bach's biographer Philipp Spitta referred to the pieces as the Brandenburg Concertos-a title that stuck.

Four of the concertos are in the classical three-movement concerto form (fast-slow-fast) that was gaining acceptance at that time, as opposed to the older four-movement scheme-which eventually came back to popularity in the Classical and Romantic periods. The exceptions to this are Concerto No. 1, which has an additional dance-suite (a menuet with three trios) at the end; and No. 3, for which he didn't write a middle movement, but only two chords, on which performers now improvise a cadenza.

Typical to the period, Bach wrote no specific harpsichord parts for any of these concertos, with the fifth concerto being the exception, containing a very virtuosic harpsichord part that he wrote for himself. As Bach tended to like to play the viola part, this concerto has only one ensemble violin part, as the second violinist would have had to play the viola part while Bach played the harpsichord.

The concertos were published for the first time in 1850, a century after the composer's death.

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