Richard Egarr Concocts a Powerful Brew
Imagine being in Leipzig, in Zimmermann’s Coffeehouse, and watching Bach himself perform the “Coffee Cantata” while enjoying your favorite latte. Richard Egarr pairs this lighthearted vocal work with some of Bach’s grandest instrumental music. Joined by the extraordinary talents of Nola Richardson, James Reese, and Cody Quattlebaum, all rising stars out of Yale or Juilliard voice programs, Richard concocts another powerful brew of Bach’s brilliant music from the bench of the harpsichord.
BACH Harpsichord Concerto No. 7 in G minor, BWV 1058
BACH Cantata No. 211, Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, BWV 211, “Coffee Cantata”
BACH Harpsichord Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052
BACH Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
Richard Egarr, conductor & harpsichord
Nola Richardson, soprano
James Reese, tenor
Cody Quattlebaum, bass-baritone
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
February 7th sponsored by Kay Sprinkel Grace; February 12th sponsored by Mrs. Jonathan B. Gifford
Friday February 7 @ 8 pm | Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
Saturday February 8 @ 8 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Sunday February 9 @ 4 pm | First Congregational Church, Berkeley
Wednesday February 12 @ 7:30 pm | Bing Concert Hall, Palo Alto
Join us for the Pre-Concert Talk forty-five minutes prior to the concert start time.
RICHARD EGARR – conductor & harpsichord
Music Director Designate, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale
Music Director, Academy of Ancient Music
Principal Guest Conductor, Residentie Orkest
Artistic Partner, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Richard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, enquiring mind to all his music-making—whether conducting, directing from the keyboard, giving recitals, playing chamber-music, and indeed talking about music at every opportunity. Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music since 2006, in September 2019 he adds two new responsibilities as Principal Guest Conductor of the Residentie Orkest in The Hague, and Artistic Partner of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota. He becomes Music Director Designate of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale in 20/21. Associate Artist of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra 2011-2017, he has conducted many symphony orchestras such as London Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw and Philadelphia Orchestra, and guested with leading baroque ensembles such as Philharmonia and the Handel and Haydn Society. He regularly gives solo harpsichord recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall.
In 19/20 Egarr conducts Elgar, Mendelssohn and Beethoven in The Hague; Schumann’s 2nd Symphony in Tokyo’s Kioi Hall; Rossini and Mozart with the Luxembourg Philharmonic; Berlioz with the Orquesta da Galicia; and Schubert in St Paul. Not neglecting the baroque repertoire, he leads the City of Birmingham Symphony through their first Handel Messiah in many years, conducts the Matthew Passion in Antwerp, debuts in St Louis with a Handel/Bach programme, and joins Philharmonia for an all-Bach programme in his first concerts since being announced future Music Director. Plans with the AAM this season include the first performance for over 100 years of the Mass by Beethoven’s Czech contemporary, Jan Ladislav Dussek.
Early in his tenure with AAM Egarr established the Choir of the AAM; operas and particularly Handel’s oratorios lie at the heart of his repertoire. He made his Glyndebourne debut in 2007 conducting a staged version of St. Matthew Passion. With AAM at the Barbican he has conducted Monteverdi and Purcell cycles, La Finta Giardiniera and (in 2019) Nozze di Figaro – the latter also at the Grange Festival. He has also conducted productions of Figaro, La clemenza di Tito and Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino with the Netherlands Opera Academy; he has a long-standing teaching position at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and is Visiting Professor at The Juilliard School.
Egarr’s extensive discography on Harmonia Mundi includes solo keyboard works by JS Bach, Handel, Mozart and Louis Couperin. His long list of recordings with the Academy of Ancient Music includes seven Handel discs (2007 Gramophone Award, 2009 MIDEM and Edison awards), and JS Bach’s St John and Matthew Passions on the AAM’s own label. His latest recital disc of Byrd and Sweelinck appeared in May 2018 on Linn Records, who have also released his performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s HMS Pinafore live from the 2015 Edinburgh International Festival.
Egarr trained as a choirboy at York Minster, at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, and as organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge. His studies with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt further inspired his work in the field of historical performance.
Richard Egarr is represented by Intermusica.
NOLA RICHARDSON – soprano
Soprano Nola Richardson is rapidly making her mark as an “especially impressive” (The New York Times) young soloist and has been praised by the Washington Post for her “astonishing balance and accuracy,” “crystalline diction” and “natural-sounding ease.” Her wide repertoire spans from music of the medieval period to several world premieres, and she performs frequently throughout the United States. Some highlights of her current and past seasons include her major symphony debut as the featured soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performing BWV 51 and Scarlatti’s Su le Sponde del Tebro in the program “All Baroque”; an appearance as a soloist with the Boston Pops under Keith Lockhart in “Simply Sondheim”; Handel’s Messiah with the Colorado Symphony; a tour to Russia, Estonia, and Latvia performing the soprano solos in Arvo Pärt’s Passio with the Yale Schola Cantorum under conductor David Hill; the premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s Carroll in Numberland (alongside soprano Dawn Upshaw) at Tanglewood; and the First Lady in Clarion Music Society’s production of Die Zauberflöte.
Nola’s 2018-2019 season will feature her debuts with Opera Lafayette, The English Concert, The Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, and Musica Sacra. She will return to perform with Clarion, The Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Seraphic Fire, and The American Bach Soloists.
Nola’s 2017-2018 season included her debuts with Seraphic Fire (St. Matthew Passion), the Bethlehem Bach Choir (BWV 68), American Classical Orchestra (C.P.E. Bach’s Magnificat), the Madison Bach Musicians (Dido and Aeneas), and the National Cathedral (in concert with trumpeter Josh Cohen). She will made returning appearances with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Trinity Wall Street, Colorado Bach Ensemble, and Clarion among others.
Nola frequently appears as a soloist with many orchestras, early and new music ensembles, and choral societies around the country. Her recent performances of Handel’s La Resurrezione and a program of French Baroque music by Corrette and Mondonville with the American Bach Soloists drew praise for her “lusciously polished… exemplary impassioned singing” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Other recent appearances include Handel’s Messiah with the Colorado Bach Ensemble; the St. Matthew Passion with the Messiah Festival of the Arts; works of Charpentier and Couperin with Les Délices of Cleveland,OH; Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Oratorio Chorale of Portland, ME; Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Master Chorale of South Florida and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society; the St. John Passion with Bach in Baltimore; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Chorus Pro Musica of Boston, MA; Bach’s Coffee Cantata with Mountainside Baroque; Bach’s Magnificat with the New Dominion Chorale; Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with The Clarion Music Society; and the world premiere of Ezra Laderman’s Voices with New Music New Haven and the Argus Quartet.
Particularly noted for her interpretive skills in the Baroque repertoire, Nola was a 2016 First Prize winner in the Bethlehem Bach Competition and took home the Third Prize and Audience Favorite award in the 2016 Handel Aria Competition in Madison, WI. She was accepted into the prestigious Yale Institute of Sacred Music program in 2014, where she had the opportunity to solo under the batons of renowned conductors Masaaki Suzuki, Simon Carrington, Matthew Halls, Nicholas McGegan, and David Hill. While a student at Yale, she performed as a soloist in Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610; Haydn’s Creation; Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915; Mozart’s Requiem; Bach’s Lutheran Masses and BWV 10; Handel’s Dixit Dominus; Charpentier’s Te Deum; the world premiere of Roderick William’s O Brother Man; Stravinsky’s Les Noces; Zelenka’s Missa dei Patris; and numerous recitals and chamber music performances ranging from Gregorian chant and lute song to the music of Libby Larsen and Judith Weir.
A dedicated ensemble and chamber singer, Nola has enjoyed joining the rosters of GRAMMY® nominated Seraphic Fire of Miami, GRAMMY® nominated Clarion Music Society in NYC, and the GRAMMY® nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street in Manhattan. She also appears regularly with Yale Choral Artists, and Musica Sacra.
Nola was a vocal fellow at Tanglewood in 2015, and a Marc and Eva Stern Fellow at Songfest in 2017. She has been a recurrent soloist at the Blue Hill Bach Festival and a guest soloist in the 2016 Norfolk Chamber Music and the 2017 Bay Chamber Concerts’ Summer Screen Door Festival where she performed Handel’s Apollo e Dafne and Conrad Cummings’ Where I Live. In the summer of 2013, she was selected to be a young artist with the Boston Early Music Festival where she appeared in the North American stage premiere of Handel’s first opera, Almira, and also covered the title role. Other operatic roles include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Madame Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor with Bel Cantanti Opera, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Maryland Concert Opera, Gianetta in L’elisir D’amore with Emerald City Opera, Calisto in La Calisto with Peabody Opera Theater, and the Dew Fairy and Gretel (cover) in Hansel and Gretel with Chesapeake Chamber Opera and Maryland Concert Opera.
An Australian by birth, Nola has spent most of her life in the USA. She holds a BM from Illinois Wesleyan University and dual MM degrees in Vocal Performance and Early Music from the Peabody Conservatory. Nola is currently pursuing a DMA at Yale on full scholarship.
JAMES REESE – tenor
James Reese is an avid ensemble, chamber, and solo musician whose singing has been praised for its “intensity and sensitivity…spirituality and eloquence.” (Chestnut Hill Local)
James’ 2018-19 season sees his Canadian and Austrian debuts with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and Gallicantus, and his debuts with TENET Vocal Artists, Bourbon Baroque Orchestra, Delaware Choral Society, and the Sun Valley Symphony; as well as return performances with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Lyric Fest, Philadelphia’s Bach @ 7 series, and Bach Vespers @ Holy Trinity Lutheran NYC.
In addition, James will appear with The Crossing, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, and Variant 6.
Previously, James has appeared in concerts with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale; Masaaki Suzuki and Juilliard415; the American Classical Orchestra; and at the Ad Astra Music Festival.
In May 2018, he made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in Bach’s B Minor Mass with the New York Choral Society, directed by David Hayes. Of that performance, the New York Classical Review wrote, “the high, easy tenor of James Reese…floated beautifully on its own over the long, gentle lines of the Benedictus.”
In June 2018, he made his European debut with ensemble Seconda Prat!ca, in a recital with soprano Lucía Caihuela at Splendor Amsterdam.
An advocate for new music, James is a founding member of Philadelphia vocal sextet Variant 6 (variantsix.com). He has premiered works by Ted Hearne, John Luther Adams, Judd Greenstein, Joel Puckett, Gabriel Jackson, and others. James sings frequently with leading American choruses, including The Crossing, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Seraphic Fire, True Concord, and The Thirteen.
He has recorded on the ECM, Innova, and Albany labels; including The Crossing’s release of Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century, which won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance in 2018. He also sang on 2016 Grammy-Nominated Bonhoeffer, released by the Crossing.
James is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where he studied with Kurt R. Hansen, Alan Darling, and Donald Nally. He is a recent graduate of Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music, where he studied with James Taylor as part of the Yale Voxtet.
CODY QUATTLEBAUM – bass-baritone
American bass-baritone Cody Quattlebaum is currently a member of the Dutch National Opera studio where this season he performs the roles of Geronimo Il matrimonio segreto and Bruno Zirato in the world premiere of Micha Hamel Caruso a Cuba. Further highlights this season include Don Fernando Fidelio with Marc Minkowski at the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, Handel Brockes Passion at the Barbican with the Academy of Ancient Music, and his debut at the BBC Proms as Zebul Jephtha with Richard Egarr and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Highlights next season include Zuniga Carmen for Dutch National Opera and his debut for Opéra national du Rhin.
Previous highlights include Schriftsteller in the world premiere of Der Traum von Dir, Larkens La fanciulla del West and Zuniga Carmen at the Opernhaus Zürich, where Quattlebaum was a member of the Opera Studio for the 2017/18 season. He also performed Bach St John Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican Hall, and Segeste Arminio at the Händel-Festspiele in Göttingen, where he also performed Dettingen Te Deum under the baton of Laurence Cummings. Quattlebaum was a finalist at the Glyndebourne Cup in 2018 and at the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition in 2017, and the recipient of a Sara Tucker grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. He studied at the Juilliard School where roles included Claudio Agrippina and prior to this studied voice at the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music.