Booking and details
Dates Dec 09-11, 2022
Duration 80 minutes, no intermission
Most composers in New Spain during the 16th-18th centuries were originally Spanish, but they drew from many sources for their varied musical styles, including indigenous American and African influences. This extraordinarily colorful, spirited, and diverse music includes a rich repertoire telling the story of Christmas. With an ensemble of singers, harp and guitar, strings, winds, and percussion, the Folger Consort celebrates the fusion of European, American, and African practices that formed a uniquely Latin American music. With special guests, vocal ensemble The Western Wind.
This program will also be available for on-demand streaming from December 16, 2022 to January 5, 2023. Click here to purchase advance on-demand access today.
Eric S. Brenner
Eric S. Brenner
Eric S. Brenner, countertenor has been hailed for his “penetrating eloquence,” “astonishing solo singing” (New York Times), & “auto-tuned Mr. Roboto majesty” (Stage Mage). Current engagements include Arvo Pärt’s Pater Unser at the Metropolitan Museum of Art & a recital of works by 17th century composer/castrato Marc’Antonio Pasqualini. Eric is countertenor soloist in recent performances & recordings of Han Lash’s Requiem (Naxos), as well as Du Yun’s Pulitzer Prize Winning Angel’s Bone (VIA Records). Other engagements include: alto soloist in Vivaldi’s Introduction & Gloria at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue; soprano & alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah at Avery Fisher (Geffen) & Alice Tully Hall; Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms at Carnegie Hall, St. Thomas Church, St. John the Divine, & St. Ignatius Loyola; frequent performances with Artek, Big Apple Baroque, & Les Canards Chantants. Eric premiered the roles of Doodle in Stefan Weisman’s & David Cote’s Scarlet Ibis; Beast in Han Lash’s Blood Rose; & Poet in Virko Baley’s Holodomor in Ukraine. Eric has also premiered works by Jessica Meyer, Doug Balliet, Kamala Sankaram, & Toby Twining. Eric is a proud dog-dad, a new homeowner, writes fiction, is co-composer with Matt Shloss of music for Rob Reese’s Yahweh’s Follies, & persists in being an incorrigible Mets fan. Find out more at ericsbrenner.com.
Over 200 productions and performances with Folger Consort over the past 40 years include the recent Measure + Dido at the Kennedy Center and Napa Valley Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice at Shrathmore, The Fairy Queen, and Hildegard Von Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum at the Washington National Cathedral. Director of the Five College Early Music Program; Music Director for the Five College Opera Project production of Francesca Caccini’s La Liberazione di Ruggiero. Faculty member of Mount Holyoke College, where he teaches music history and performs the viola de gamba, violin, and medieval fiddle. He is an active participant in the Five College Medieval Studies. Recipient of Early Music America’s Thomas Binkley Award for outstanding achievement in performance and scholarship by the director of a college early music ensemble.
Paul Greene-Dennis hails from Brentwood, NY. He is a versatile musician, mainly an opera singer, who also lends his bass to other styles and genres of music, including jazz. He has performed opera and oratorio with various organizations in the New York area including the Oratorio Society of New York, the Long Island Choral Society and the Queens College Opera Studio. Paul also does voice-over for various projects to which he has lent his voice and artistry.
Elizabeth Hardy is a regular both on stage and behind the scenes of Boston early music. She has served as performer and organizer with Helios Early Opera, Grand Harmonie, 7 Hills Renaissance Wind Band, and the Society for Historically Informed Performance, and was a founding member of 17th-century mixed consort The Weckmann Project. She is principal bassoon of the Austin Baroque Orchestra, and has appeared with the Handel & Haydn Society, Ashmont Bach Project, Newton Baroque, New York State Baroque, the Salon/Sanctuary Orchestra, the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra and Ensemble Caprice. Elizabeth also spent a season in New York playing reeds and recorders for Shakespeare on Broadway, the Globe Theatre’s Tony-winning, historically-informed productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III. She holds a Master’s degree in Early Bassoons from Indiana University’s Early Music Institute, where she studied with Michael McCraw, and a Bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory.
Linda Lee Jones
Linda Lee Jones
Linda Lee Jones, a New Orleans native, is active as a soprano, teacher and massage therapist in New York City and Central New Jersey. Her work as an ensemble singer has afforded her the opportunity to perform with the area’s most prominent choral groups, including the choirs of The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Musica Sacra, the New York Choral Artists, St. Ignatius Loyola Church and the Mostly Mozart Festival, along with some of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors. Ms. Jones is a member of the professional Chorale of the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, CA and sings regularly with the choir of St. Mary the Virgin in New York. As a soloist she has appeared with the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, the Louisiana Vocal Arts Chorale, the Masterwork Chorus of NJ and the Argento Chamber Ensemble in New York. Before relocating to New Jersey she served as Director of Music for Munholland United Methodist Church in New Orleans, where she worked with choristers of all ages. Ms. Jones holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance from Loyola University and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting and Voice from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Soprano Christina Kay enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist and ensemble singer, performing repertoire that spans many styles and eras. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 as soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with MasterWork Chorus and Orchestra, and regularly appears with early music ensembles ARTEK and The American Classical Orchestra. In the world of new music, she has premiered opera roles by Timothy Lee Miller and David Chesky; recorded a romantic album of folk-influenced music with the eclectic Home Port Vocal Trio; and, most memorably, gotten locked in a closet during a performance of Julius Eastman’s Macle staged in a coal mine in the Czech Republic. When she’s not performing, Christina enjoys teaching voice and piano lessons at Larchmont Music Academy, and puts her obsession with lists and spreadsheets into practice as Music Administrator at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. christinakaysoprano.com.
Christopher Kendall is founder of the Folger Consort. He has recently become dean emeritus of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance after serving the two-term limit of 10 years as the school’s dean, where he was responsible for establishing the University of Michigan Gershwin Initiative, for re-instituting international touring, for the funding and design of a $30M expansion/renovation of the music building, and for launching the interdisciplinary enterprise ArtsEngine and its national initiative a2ru (Alliance for the Arts at Research Universities). In Washington, in addition to his work with Folger Consort, since 1975 he has been Artistic Director and conductor of the 21st Century Consort, the new music ensemble-in-residence at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Mr. Kendall served as Director of the University of Maryland School of Music from 1996 to 2005 during a period of rapid development at the School and its move to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony from 1987 to 1992 and Director of the Music Division and Tanglewood Institute of the Boston University School for the Arts from 1993 to 1996, Mr. Kendall has guest conducted many orchestras and ensembles in repertoire from the 18th to the 21st centuries. His recordings can be heard on the Bard, Delos, Nonesuch, Centaur, ASV, Arabesque, Innova, and Smithsonian Collection labels.
A versatile multi-instrumentalist, Dan Meyers is a flexible and engaging performer of both classical and folk music; his credits range from premieres of contemporary chamber music, to headlining a concert series in honor of Pete Seeger at the Newport Folk Festival, to playing Renaissance instruments on Broadway for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Company. He is a founding member of the early music/folk crossover group Seven Times Salt, and in recent seasons he has performed with the The Newberry Consort, Hesperus, The Henry Purcell Society of Boston, Early Music New York, Amherst Early Music, The 21st Century Consort, In Stile Moderno, and the Cambridge Revels, making concert and theatrical appearances in NYC, Washington DC, Chicago, Minneapolis, Memphis, Santa Fe, at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont, and at at the “La Luna e i Calanchi” festival in Basilicata (Italy). He enjoys playing traditional Irish music with the bands Ulster Landing and Ishna, as well as eclectic fusion from around the Mediterranean with the US/Italy-based group Zafarán; he also played winds and percussion for over a decade with the award-winning Italian folk music group Newpoli. As an educator, he teaches historical wind instruments for the Five Colleges Early Music Program in Massachusetts. He has also taught at Tufts University, for the Pinewoods Early Music Week, and at festivals around the Northeast. www.danmeyersmusic.com
Wilson Nichols is a choral performer and soloist in New York City who regularly appears with Conspirare, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, The Crossing, Vox Humana, New York Choral Artists, Spire, Sounding Light, Early Music New York, VAE: Vocal Arts Ensemble, Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, and the Junges Stuttgarter Bach Ensemble. Wilson is a staff singer at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. Praised for his “lovely, natural sound and stylistic mastery,” (Reading Eagle) Wilson’s solo highlights include the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion, Mass in B minor, and Magnificat; Handel’s Messiah, Esther, Saul, and Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day; Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 and Orff’s Carmina Burana. Wilson has premiered, toured, and recorded Considering Matthew Shepard with Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare. He can also be heard on the Grammy nominated recordings; Path of Miracles, The Hope of Loving, and The Singing Guitar.
Mary Springfels is a veteran of the American Early Music Movement. She is a native of Los Angeles, but moved to New York at the age of 21 to join the New York Pro Musica as their viola da gambist. From that time on, Mary has been an active participant in prominent early music ensembles, including the Waverly Concert, Concert Royal, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, The Folger Consort (Washington, DC), Ars Lyrica Houston, and the Texas Early Music Project (Austin). Mary directed the Newberry Consort in Chicago for 20 years, during which time the group made a number of critically-acclaimed recordings. She has also been a continuo player for the Chicago Opera Theater, Central City Opera, and the New York City Opera. Currently, she is a co-director of Severall Friends, an early music ensemble based in Santa Fe. Mary teaches all over the country.
David Vanderwal is a native of Portland, Oregon. He has performed as a soloist with The American Bach Soloists, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, New York Collegium and Tafelmusik. Recently Mr. Vanderwal performed Handel’s Messiah with the St. Paul’s Cathedral Choirs of Buffalo, NY, Pax Christi of Toronto, ON, Danbury (CT) Symphony Orchestra, the Mendelssohn Choir (CT), and First Congregational Church of Greenwich, CT. He performed Bach’s Easter Oratorio, and a new concert Mass of John Tavener with the Choir of St. Thomas Church, in New York. Mr. Vanderwal appeared at the Carmel Bach Festival in California, and taught at the International Bachakademie’s Stuttgart Festival in Überlingen, Germany. He also presents a set of song recitals throughout the year.
Hideki Yamaya is a performer of lutes, early guitars, and early mandolins based in Connecticut, USA. Born in Tokyo, Japan, he spent most of his career in the West Coast before settling in New England, where he is a freelance performer and teacher. He has a B.A. in Music and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from University of California, Santa Cruz, where he studied with Robert Strizich, and an M.F.A. in Guitar and Lute Performance from University of California, Irvine, where he studied with John Schneiderman. He also studied with James Tyler at University of Southern California and with Paul Beier at Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan, Italy.
In demand both as a soloist and as a continuo/chamber player, Hideki has performed with and for Portland Baroque Orchestra, Portland Opera, Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Opera, California Bach Society, Oregon Bach Festival, Astoria Music Festival, Music of the Baroque, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. He is one half of the Schneiderman-Yamaya Duo and is the artistic director of Musica Maestrale, an early music collective based in Portland, Oregon.
He is also recognized as an effective communicator and teacher, and has given masterclasses and workshops at Yale University, University of California, Santa Cruz, Montana State University, Oregon State University, and Aquilon Music Festival.
A prolific recording artist, Hideki’s playing could be heard on Profil, hänssler CLASSIC, and Mediolanum labels. His recordings have received glowing reviews from Early Music America, Classical Guitar Magazine, and the Guitar Foundation of America.
Listen: Folger Consort’s Christmas in New Spain
includes music from the upcoming concerts
Pre-Concert Discussion – Friday, December 9
Join Christopher Kendall and Robert Eisenstein, co-Artistic Directors of the Folger Consort, for a lively discussion with guest artists from 7:00pm-7:30pm before the Friday, December 9 performance of A New World Christmas.
Free entry with concert ticket.