8 performances at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill, December 15 – 22, 2023
Folger Consort, the early music ensemble-in-residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, continues its beloved DC holiday tradition, hosting eight festive concerts of A Baroque Christmas Story from Friday, December 15 through Friday, December 22. Performances will take place at the historic and atmospheric St. Mark’s Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill (a block away from the Folger Shakespeare Library).
Tickets can be purchased online or by contacting the Folger box office at (202) 544-7077. Tickets are $60, with discounts available for Folger members and subscribers, seniors, students, educators, military and their families, and groups.
“We think audiences will really enjoy this latest installment of our annual holiday concerts, which, incredibly, we have been presenting since 1977,” say Folger Consort co-Artistic Directors Robert Eisenstein and Christopher Kendall. “We have assembled a wonderful group of guest singers and players, including old friends and new, for performances of some terrific music by Heinrich Schütz, Arvo Pärt, and Michael Praetorius.”
With an ensemble of seven singers and ten instrumentalists performing on organ, violins, viols, cornetto, recorders, bassoon, cello, and theorbo, the program features Heinrich Schütz’ Weihnachts-Historie (Christmas Story). Composed when Schütz was 75 years old, this retelling of the Nativity story is narrated by tenor Haitham Haidar (Evangelist), singing in recitative, framing eight short dramatic interludes for soloists and choir with rich and varied instrumental accompaniment.
Following intermission, the program includes the Consort’s arrangement for baroque strings of Arvo Pärt’s beloved Fratres. This meditative work, which reflects Pärt’s immersion in medieval and Renaissance styles, was composed in 1977.
The program concludes with examples of splendid Advent and Christmas music by Schütz’ contemporary Michael Praetorius, including the perennial favorites Es ist ein Rose entsprungen (Lo, how a rose e’er blooming) and In dulci jubilo.
More information online at: www.folger.edu/whats-on/a-baroque-christmas-story/
Risa Browder, violin and tenor viol
Nathaniel Cox, theorbo and cornetto
Wade Davis, cello
Robert Eisenstein, violin and tenor viol
Nina Falk, viola
Eric Kernfeld, trombone
Anna Marsh, bassoon
Paula Maust, organ
Dan Meyers, trombone, recorder, and percussion
GUEST VOCAL ARTISTS:
Aaron Cates, tenor
Agnes Coakley Cox, soprano
Paul Greene-Dennis, bass
Haitham Haider, tenor, Evangelist
Bradley King, tenor
Lucy P. McVeigh, mezzo-soprano
Jamet Pittman, alto
Folger Consort Artistic Directors:
Robert Eisenstein is a founding member of the Folger Consort, and recently retired as director of the Five College Early Music Program in Massachusetts. There, he coached and directed student ensembles including the Five College Early Music Collegium and Euridice Ensembles and taught courses in music history and technology. In addition to his work with Folger Consort, he is a member of Arcadia Viols and performs regularly with colleagues around New England. Recognized for his contribution to the field of early music with the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society, he has performed with many ensembles including the Washington Bach Consort, the Newberry Consort, the National Symphony, and Western Wind, and has appeared at Tanglewood, Amherst Early Music, and other summer festivals.
Christopher Kendall is founder of the Folger Consort. Dean (2005-2015) and professor emeritus of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, he was previously Director of the School of Music at the University of Maryland (1996-2005) and Director of the School of Music and Tanglewood Institute at Boston University (1993-1996). Prior to his academic career, he was Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony from 1987 to 1993. Kendall also serves as Artistic Director of the 21st Century Consort, new music ensemble-in-residence at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum, where he has conducted the ensemble in scores of recordings and world premieres for almost 50 years.
About Folger Consort:
For 46 seasons as the early music ensemble in residence at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Folger Consort has delighted audiences with a stunning repertoire of early music spanning roughly 800 years. With world-class guest artists, from virtuoso soloists to large choirs and orchestras, Folger Consort has performed masterpieces of the most renowned composers and hidden treasures from those who might otherwise be lost to history. Performing in the intimate setting of the Folger’s Elizabethan Theatre, as well as such grand spaces as Washington National Cathedral and the Kennedy Center, Folger Consort has also toured nationally and internationally to Shakespeare’s Globe and other prestigious venues.
Among other awards and critical acclaim for its performances and recordings, Folger Consort has received Best Classical Chamber Ensemble from the Washington Area Music Awards multiple times. For more on Folger Consort, please visit www.folger.edu/folger-consort.
About Folger Shakespeare Library:
The Folger Shakespeare Library makes Shakespeare’s stories and the world in which he lived accessible. Anchored by the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the Folger is a place where curiosity and creativity are embraced, and conversation is always encouraged. Visitors to the Folger can choose how they want to experience the arts and humanities, from interactive exhibitions to captivating performances, and from pathbreaking research to transformative educational programming. The Folger welcomes everyone to connect in their own way—from communities throughout Washington DC to communities across the globe. Learn more at www.folger.edu.
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
301 A Street, SE, Washington, DC
Metro: Capitol South (blue/orange/silver lines), 4 blocks
Parking: Street parking in Capitol Hill neighborhood
Tickets & Information:
What: Folger Consort: A Baroque Christmas Story
When: Friday, December 15 – Friday, December 22.
Where: St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 301 A Street SE
Tickets: $60, with discounts available.
Purchase via phone at (202) 544-7077 or online at
Folger Consort 2023/24 Sponsors:
Premier Season Sponsors
Dr. Bill & Evelyn Braithwaite
Andrea “Andi” Kasarsky
Gail Orgelfinger and Charles Hanna
D. James Baker and Emily Lind Baker
David and Lenka Lundsten
Mike Newton and Dr. Linda Werling
Robert J. and Tina M. Tallaksen
Mary Augusta and George D. Thomas
Karl K. and Carrol Benner Kindel
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