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Basically Brandenburg with the Symphony Space All-Stars 2011
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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 12/04/2011 at Symphony Space.

Hold off on the wrapping for one more weekend and melt into your seat as beloved WQXR personality Naomi Lewin hosts this annual Symphony Space holiday favorite. The Symphony Space All-Stars perform some of the world's most glorious music--a selection from Brandenburg Concertos of J.S. Bach. This is what the season's all about!




Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047

I. Allegro

II. Andante

III. Allegro assai


Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049

I. Allegro

II. Andante

III. Presto


Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, BWV 1050

I. Allegro

II. Affettuoso    

III. Allegro


Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 in F major, BWV 1046

I. Allegro

II. Adagio

III. Allegro

IV. Menuet

+ About the Artists

Naomi Lewin is the weekday afternoon host on WQXR, and the host of WQXR’s bi-weekly podcast Conducting Business. Before arriving at WQXR, Lewin was a host at WGUC, Cincinnati’s classical public radio station. In Cincinnati, she began writing and hosting the award-winning program Classics for Kids, which now airs on radio stations across the country. Lewin has produced feature stories and full-length music programs for national broadcast, as well as intermission features for Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. She has also served as an essayist for NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Given her experience as a singer and actress, Lewin continues to appear onstage. As a narrator, she has performed Peter and the Wolf, Carnival of the Animals, King David, Façade, A Visit from the White Rabbit and Four Seasons of Italian Futurist Cuisine. She has given talks on operas from Aida to Zauberflöte, and has also written and performed her own opera introduction for children.

Bradley Brookshire is an assistant conductor and harpsichordist at the Metropolitan Opera, where he is currently performing in Handel’s Rodelinda. On New Year’s Eve, he will play harpsichord for the world premiere of The Enchanted Island at the MET. Bradley is Director of Graduate Studies at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College/SUNY and Music Director at Park Avenue Methodist Church in Manhattan. He has conducted in concert appearances for New York City Opera, and worked for many years at Glimmerglass Opera. Just published is his study "Bare ruin'd quires, where late the sweet birds sang": covert speech in William Byrd's "Walsingham' variations," in Walsingham in Literature and Culture from the Middle Ages to Modernity (Ashgate). His harpsichord recording of J.S. Bach’s French Suites became a New York Times “Critic’s Choice” of 2001, and his recording of Bach’s Art of Fugue was honored by Goldberg Magazine with a European distribution contract. Bradley Brrokshire appears courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.

Flutist Claire Chase is an active soloist, recording artist, and chamber musician. Claire has given the world premieres of more than 100 new works, many of them tailor-made for her. First Prize Winner of the 2008 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Claire has given solo recitals at Avery Fisher Hall and Weill Recital Hall, where she was praised for her "extravagant technique, broad stylistic range and penetrating musicality" by the New York Times. Her debut solo album, Aliento, was released in 2009, with the American Record Guide calling it "a stunning debut"; her forthcoming solo album, Terrestre, will be released in January 2012. She is the founder and executive director of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

Rachel Drehmann earned a BM from the University of Minnesota studying with Wayne Lu and Charles Kavalovski, and a MM from Manhattan School with Jerome Ashby. Rachel has performed as principal horn of the National Symphony of the Dominican Republic and the Santo Domingo Music Festival Orchestra. As a soloist, Rachel has performed Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1 with the Brooklyn Symphony, Ligeti’s Horn Trio with the Sabine Players, Shakespeare in the Park’s Euripides, The Bacchae, and premiered a piece by John Clark. She is a member of Tilt Creative Brass Band, Banda Sinaloense De Los Muertos, and the all-female pop horn quartet Genghis Barbie.

Randall Ellis received his BM degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts and his MM degree from SUNY Stony Brook where he studied with Ronald Roseman. He is principal oboist of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Little Orchestra Society, and is solo English horn in the New York Pops Orchestra. He is principal oboist and serves on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival. He was principal oboist of the New York Chamber Symphony and in that capacity received two Grammy nominations, including one for his recording of Howard Hanson’s Pastorale. He has been a soloist with the New England Bach Festival, International Bach Festival of Madeira, Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, and Chamber Music at the 92nd Street Y.

Ann Ellsworth is the solo horn with Kristjan Jarve's Absolute Ensemble, Manhattan Brass, Graham Ashton Brass Ensemble, and Confluence. The New York Times has called her solo playing, "outrageous...splendidly projected." Ann performs with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Shakira, Tony Bennett, and Chaka Kahn as well as classical orchestras and chamber ensembles around the world. She is a former member of the Phoenix Symphony, the Esbjerg Ensemble in Denmark, and recently recorded Eric Ewazen’s Horn Concerto with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.


Oboist Michelle Farah is a dedicated orchestral and chamber musician. In addition to performances with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, American Ballet Theatre, The Knights, Princeton Symphony, and Very Young Composers with the New York Philharmonic, her solo playing has been described in the New York Times as “uniformly excellent.” Ms. Farah has also appeared as guest artist at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, and Vermont Mozart Festival, and since 2010, Acting Principal Oboe with the Lancaster Symphony. Ms. Farah earned her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music and her Bachelor’s from the Manhattan School of Music. Her primary teachers have included Stephen Taylor, Joseph Robinson, Carolyn Banham, and Daniel Stolper.

Marc Goldberg is the former associate principal bassoon of the New York Philharmonic. He has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, BSO, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Orpheus, Brandenburg Ensemble, Musicians from Marlboro, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, Da Camera of Houston, Brentano Quartet, NY Woodwind Quintet, Greenleaf Chamber Players, Eastern Shore Music Festival, Bard Festival Musicians, NY Chamber Soloists, American Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and both the Eos and Concordia Chamber Orchestras. He was featured as soloist in Crusell's Trio Concertante with the Scandia Symphony for Centaur Record. Marc is on faculty at Juilliard Pre-College, Hartt School of Music, Columbia University, and Mannes.

Clarinetist Alan R. Kay is an Artistic Director and member of Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and serves as Principal Clarinet with New York’s Riverside Symphony and the Little Orchestra Society. He performs as principal with the American Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Mr. Kay is a founding member of Windscape and Hexagon and appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His summer festivals include the Bravo! Vail Valley, Yellow Barn Festival, and Cape May Music Festival. The New York Times recently called his performance of Messiaen’s Abîme des Oiseaux “spellbinding” and acclaimed his performance of Busoni’s Concertino with the Riverside Symphony for its “infectious enthusiasm and panache.” Mr. Kay taught at the Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany and currently teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, and Stony Brook University.

Prior to coming to the Met, Daniel Krekeler held various positions with the Minnesota Orchestra, Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra, New Haven Symphony, the Albany Symphony, and the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. He holds degrees from The Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music, and Indiana University. He had the opportunity to perform Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat in close proximity to where the piece had its world premiere. For four years, Daniel participated in the UBS Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. He has also had the opportunity to tutor the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the I, CULTURE Youth Orchestra in Poland. In 2004, Daniel was chosen to participate in an internship with the Berlin Philharmonic during the Salzburg Easter Festival.

Born in Tokyo, Muneko Otani now lives in New York City, where she is the first violinist of the Cassatt String Quartet. As a member of the Cassatts, Ms Otani has performed in major venues throughout the world. Named three times by The New Yorker magazine's Best Of...CD Selection, the Cassatt's have recorded on the Albany, New World and Koch International labels. Ms. Otani holds degrees in both performance and education from Tokyo’s Toho-Gakuen School of Music and did graduate work at the New England Conservatory, and at Yale University as assistant to the Tokyo String Quartet. Ms Otani is currently on the faculty of Columbia University, Mannes, and the Bowdoin International Summer Music Festival.

Daniel Panner is violist of both the Mendelssohn String Quartet and the Whitman String Quartet. He has performed at festivals in Marlboro, Tanglewood, and Aspen and has collaborated with members of the Cleveland, Emerson, Guarneri, and Juilliard String Quartets. He teaches at Juilliard, Mannes, and Queens College. He has served as the principal violist of the New York City Opera and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Also a performer of contemporary music, he is a member of Sequitur and the Locrian Ensemble and has performed as guest with Speculum Musicae, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and Transit Circle; he has recorded works by Thea Musgrave and Victoria Bond. Mr. Panner studied with Jesse Levine at Yale University, at the Curtis Institute with Joseph dePasquale, and at Juilliard with Samuel Rhodes.

Born in Italy, Alberto Parrini is principal cellist of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and a member of the American Symphony. He has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Chamber Players, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Zukofsky Quartet, and the Richmond Symphony. Alberto has toured extensively with Mikhail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project and performed with Continuum, New Jersey Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra. His festival appearances include Evian, Tanglewood, Taos, Verbier, Ottawa, Montreal, San Miguel de Allende, Spoleto U.S.A., Music@Menlo, and the Piatigorsky seminar. His principal studies were with Timothy Eddy, Joel Krosnick, David Soyer, Colin Carr, and Enrico Egano; he is a graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School.

New York-based cellist Mariel Roberts is quickly gaining recognition as a deeply dedicated interpreter and performer of contemporary music. She holds degrees from the Eastman School and the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Alan Harris and Fred Sherry. Mariel has performed around the world with the TACTUS ensemble, SIGNAL ensemble, Wet Ink, the Eastman Broadband, and the Nouveau Classical Project. She has been a participant in the Bang on a Can Festival, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, and the Lucerne Summer Festival led by Pierre Boulez. This spring Mariel will record solo cello pieces commissioned from New York’s most promising young composers for her first solo album to be released in June 2012.

James Roe made his Lincoln Center concerto debut on the opening night of the 2004 Mostly Mozart Festival and in 2009 he performed Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Oboes in D Minor in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall with The Little Orchestra Society.  He is Acting Principal Oboe of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Co-Principal Oboe of The Knights, and a member of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra. In 2006, he was appointed Artistic Director of The Helicon Foundation, where he programs and produces an annual series of chamber music concerts on period instruments. Mr. Roe plays Albrecht Mayer model oboes by Gebrueder Mönnig.

Cellist Katie Schlaikjer recently joined the award-winning Colorado Quartet and the faculty of the University of Connecticut. A versatile performer, Schlaikjer’s recent concerts included Bartok’s complete string quartets, Haydn’s D major Concerto with the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra, and a premiere of a cello concerto by Mark Scearce with the University of Connecticut Orchestra. Katie has performed at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, Aspen, and Caramoor festivals and received top prizes from the Concert Artist Guild and the Banff International String Quartet Competition as a former member of the Avalon Quartet. Katie received her Doctoral degree from Stony Brook University and her principal teachers have included Timothy Eddy and Laurence Lesser.

Emily Daggett Smith made her New York concerto debut in Alice Tully Hall, playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra. As an active chamber musician, Ms. Smith has performed around the world with such artists as Andrés Diaz, Claude Frank, and Joseph Kalichstein, and at festivals including the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Kneisel Hall, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. She is the founding first violinist of the Tessera Quartet. Ms. Smith received her BM and MM degrees from The Juilliard School. Her teachers have included Ronald Copes, Nick Eanet, Joel Smirnoff, Laurie Smukler, Masuko Ushioda, and Donald Weilerstein.

Violinist Laurie Smukler’s performing career has been multi-faceted. She has performed and toured with the Mendelssohn String Quartet as a founding member, and with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. With her husband, Ira Weller, she directed and performed in the respected series The Collection in Concert, at the Pierpont Morgan Library. Smukler is Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, and is on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and Bard College. Ms. Smukler also teaches and performs at the prestigious Kneisel Hall Festival in the summer. She also has a particular interest in contemporary music and has premiered works by many composers including Ned Rorem, Morton Subotnik, Steven Paulus, Shulamit Ran, and Bruce Adolphe.
Violist Elizabeth Weisser has performed throughout the Unites States, Europe and Asia 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.  As a chamber musician, she has participated in residences throughout the Midwest, in Kentucky and Maine, as well as the Philippines. Ms. Weisser attended Oberlin Conservatory, Mannes College of Music and SUNY Purchase and has studied with Gregory Fulkerson, Ida Kavafian, Laurie Smukler, and Ira Weller. She is a founding member of the iO Quartet.

Calvin Wiersma has appeared in solo recitals in Boston, New York, and Chicago, and in concerts with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Concerto Company of Boston, and the Lawrence Symphony. In addition to his current membership with the Manhattan String Quartet, Wiersma was a founding member of the Meliora Quartet and Figaro Trio, winner of the Naumberg, Fischoff, Coleman, and Cleveland Quartet Competitions, and the Quartet-in-Residence of the Spoleto Festivals.

Eugenia Zukerman, flutist, is also a writer, arts administrator, TV journalist, educator and internet entrepreneur. In demand worldwide as an orchestral soloist, chamber musician, and recitalist, she has been praised by The New York Times for her performances — "Her musicianship is consummate, her taste immaculate and her stage presence a sheer pleasure." She has enjoyed musical collaborations with Emmanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, the Shanghai String Quartet, and fellow flutists Jean- Pierre Rampal and James Galway. This season, she made her heralded debut at the prestigious Verbier Festival in Switzerland. This season she will perform with the Manhattan Piano Trio in Pennsylvania and with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Lowell Liebermann's Flute Concerto conducted by Rossen Milanov.

+ About the Music

It was in 1721, during Bach’s third year as Kapellmeister at the court of Cöthen (where he served from 1717 to 1723), that 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 begun to grow 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. 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 they are six pieces 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 has clearly 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) at the end; and No. 3, for which he didn’t write a middle movement, but only two chords, on which performers improvise a cadenza.

  Typical to the period, Bach did not write specific harpsichord parts for any of these concertos, with the fifth concerto being the exception—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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