FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale’s 2019 Winter Gala & Auction honors mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw
Von Otter, Shaw, and countertenor Daniel Moody all perform at the Gala, taking place March 1, 2019 at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO—On March 1, 2019, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) will host its annual Winter Gala & Auction at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco, chaired by Melanie Peña, and honoring legendary mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw. Von Otter, who will be honored for her outstanding commitment to early music, is a versatile performer who has never been shy about expressing her affinity for music from all historical eras, from Baroque to pop. She has full command of the operatic canon, including many seminal early operas by Handel and Monteverdi, but she has also recorded the music of Elvis Costello, Kate Bush, Bjork, and Brad Mehldau on her 2016 album So Many Things with string quartet Brooklyn Rider. Shaw, honored for her reflections on historical performance in contemporary composition, celebrates synergies between old and new music in many of her works, including her Pulitzer-winning Partita for 8 Voices and her commissions for PBO. In addition to being the youngest-ever recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music at age 30, she has also appeared on the Amazon original series Mozart in the Jungle. Both von Otter’s and Shaw’s artistic philosophies dovetail perfectly with that of PBO and make them natural collaborative partners with the organization.
“I am delighted to chair PBO’s Gala for the third year and thrilled to honor Anne Sofie von Otter and Caroline Shaw,” said Gala chair Melanie Peña. “These women have bridged classical and new music in such extraordinary ways. We’ve had a relationship with both artists for almost four years and it makes great sense to honor their contributions to the field and to historically-informed performance.”
Von Otter and Shaw, joined by Music Director Nicholas McGegan, countertenor Daniel Moody, and members of the orchestra, will perform a set of works by Shaw and Handel, including Shaw’s “Red, Red Rose,” a PBO commission premiered by Von Otter and PBO in 2016 at Disney Hall in Los Angeles at a concert celebrating McGegan’s 30th anniversary as Music Director. “Red, Red Rose” is the first of a three-song cycle PBO commissioned from Shaw. Shaw, an accomplished vocalist and member of contemporary a cappella ensemble Roomful of Teeth, sings her own composition “Winter Carol,” and Moody performs “Abbrucio avvampo e fremo” from Handel’s Rinaldo.
Von Otter, Shaw, and Moody will remain in the Bay Area for a set of concerts from March 6-10 featuring “Red, Red Rose” and “The Edge,” the second song of PBO’s commissioned cycle from Shaw; a selection of Handel arias and duets; Purcell’s Suite from The Fairy Queen; and devotionals by Arvo Pärt. Shaw also leads a PBO SESSIONS event on March 7, discussing baroque and classical works that influence her own compositions. PBO and Von Otter reprise the program in New York City on March 12 with countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo; this program features the world premiere of “And So,” Shaw’s final song in her PBO-commissioned cycle.
The annual Winter Gala & Auction supports PBO’s artistic and education initiatives. The event features a silent auction, a cocktail reception and sit-down dinner, and an after party with a Scotch tasting and strolling desserts. The official Gala sponsors are Mark Perry and Melanie Peña. The after party sponsors are David Low and Dominique Lahaussois. The dinner sponsor is Kay Sprinkel Grace, the wine sponsor is WineWise, and the scotch is donated by Steve John and Jason Snyder. Tickets for the event range from $300 for an Under 40 ticket to $9,000 for a Guarantor Table; visit philharmonia.org for full pricing.
About Anne Sofie von Otter
Internationally acclaimed Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has long been considered one of the finest singers of her generation. A lengthy and exclusive relationship with Deutsche Grammophon produced a wealth of recordings and numerous awards including an International Record Critics’ Award (recording artist of the year), a Grammy Award (best classical vocal performance) for Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn, and a Diapason d’Or for a recording of Swedish songs with her long-time accompanist, Bengt Forsberg. She collaborated with pop legend Elvis Costello on the disc For the Stars and in October 2010 released her first recording on the Naïve label, Love Songs, a collaboration with renowned jazz pianist Brad Mehldau. Subsequent recordings for Naïve include So Many Things – a collaboration with trailblazing string quartet Brooklyn Rider – and a double CD of mélodies and chansons entitled Douce France which received a Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.
Anne Sofie von Otter earned an international reputation as an outstanding Octavian (Der Rosenkavalier) with performances at the Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper and Opéra national de Paris. She performed the role as part of a series of engagements with James Levine at The Metropolitan Opera, and also with Carlos Kleiber in New York, Tokyo and at the Wiener Staatsoper (available on DVD). Other seminal opera recordings include Idomeneo, La clemenza di Tito, Alceste and Orfeo ed Euridice under John Eliot Gardiner, Handel’s Ariodante and Hercules under Marc Minkowski, Pelléas et Mélisande under Bernard Haitink and Ariadne auf Naxos under Giuseppe Sinopoli.
About Daniel Moody
Countertenor Daniel Moody has garnered widespread acclaim for his commanding yet expressive vocal timbre and his breathtaking musicianship. Praised as having a “vocal resonance, [which] makes a profoundly startling impression” (The New York Times) and for his “vivid and powerful” voice (The Boston Musical Intelligencer), Mr. Moody is equally known for his “sweet and melancholy sound” (The Washington Post) and ability to “pierce hearts” and “utterly silence a room” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer) with his expressivity and connection with audiences.
A lover of early music, Mr. Moody has performed with acclaimed groups Les Violons du Roy (Bernard Labadie conducting) in Québec City, Apollo’s Fire, The Cleveland Baroque Orchestra and Portland Baroque Orchestra (David Hill conducting). He has performed at the Boston, Indianapolis and Washington Early Music Festivals and with early music groups Mountainside Baroque (Maryland), Antico Moderno (Boston) and La Fiocco (Pennsylvania).
About Caroline Shaw
Caroline Shaw is a New York-based musician—vocalist, violinist, composer, and producer—who performs in solo and collaborative projects. She was the youngest recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2013 for Partita for 8 Voices, written for the Grammy-winning Roomful of Teeth, of which she is a member. Recent commissions include new works for Renée Fleming with Inon Barnatan, Dawn Upshaw with Sō Percussion and Gil Kalish, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with John Lithgow, the Dover Quartet, TENET, The Crossing, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Calidore Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, the Baltimore Symphony, and Roomful of Teeth with A Far Cry. The 2018-19 season will see premieres by pianist Jonathan Biss with the Seattle Symphony, Anne Sofie von Otter with Philharmonia Baroque, the LA Philharmonic, and Juilliard 415. Caroline’s film scores include Erica Fae’s To Keep the Light and Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline as well as the upcoming short 8th Year of the Emergency by Maureen Towey. She has produced for Kanye West (The Life of Pablo; Ye) and Nas (NASIR), and has contributed to records by The National, and by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry. Once she got to sing in three part harmony with Sara Bareilles and Ben Folds at the Kennedy Center, and that was pretty much the bees’ knees and elbows. Caroline has studied at Rice, Yale, and Princeton, currently teaches at NYU, and is a Creative Associate at the Juilliard School. She has held residencies at Dumbarton Oaks, the Banff Centre, Music on Main, and the Vail Dance Festival. Caroline loves the color yellow, otters, Beethoven opus 74, Mozart opera, Kinhaven, the smell of rosemary, and the sound of a janky mandolin.
About Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale
Under the musical direction of Nicholas McGegan for the past 33 years, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) is recognized as America’s leading historically informed ensemble. Using authentic instruments and stylistic conventions of the Baroque to early-Romantic periods, the orchestra engages audiences through its signature Bay Area series, national tours, recordings, commissions, and education projects of the highest standard. Founded in the San Francisco Bay Area 37 years ago, the ensemble is the largest of its kind in the United States and is known for its versatility in programming and joyful performances.
PBO’s musicians are among the best in the country and serve on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Harvard, and Stanford, among others. The Orchestra performs an annual subscription season in four venues throughout the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the orchestra’s popular alternative concert series for younger and new audiences—PBO SESSIONS which has regularly sold out since its inception in 2014. In April 2017, PBO performed the modern-day premiere of Rameau’s “Le Temple de la Gloire.” The fully-staged opera included an international cast of singers and dancers and celebrated sold-out audiences and critical acclaim from around the world.
Each season welcomes eminent guest artists such as mezzo-sopranos Susan Graham and Anne Sofie von Otter, countertenor Andreas Scholl, violoncellist Steven Isserlis, fortepianist Emanuel Ax, and maestros Jordi Savall and Richard Egarr. The Orchestra enjoys numerous collaborations, including an ongoing partnership with the Mark Morris Dance Group and tours regularly to venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Tanglewood, and Weill Hall at the Green Music Center. In July 2017, PBO co-produced the critically-acclaimed modern adaptation of “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo” in partnership with Anthony Roth Costanzo and National Sawdust in Brooklyn.
Among the most recorded orchestras in the world, PBO boasts a discography of more than 40 recordings and launched its own label in 2011, on which it has released ten recordings, including a coveted archival performance of mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in Berlioz’s “Les Nuits D’été,” and a Grammy-nominated recording of Haydn symphonies. The orchestra released a recording of its modern North American premiere of Alessandro “Scarlatti’s La Gloria di Primavera,” which coincided with a tour in May 2016 and released the world premiere recording of the original version of Rameau’s “Le Temple de la Gloire” with the unedited libretto by Voltaire in July 2018.
In 2015, Philharmonia launched its Jews & Music Initiative—a permanent effort to explore and understand the relationship between Jews and music from the 17th to the 21st centuries. The initiative brings Jewish historical context to classical music and provides opportunities for significant collaboration with SFJCC, the Jewish Contemporary Museum, Oshman JCC, and The Magnes Collection at UC Berkeley, among others. In 2016, Harvard and Yale universities invited PBO to present “Jews of the 17th Century Italian Jewish Ghetto” featuring works by Salomone Rossi and Monteverdi. The program was reprised at the University of Chicago in April 2018 and was deemed “shimmering….stylish, precise and expressive” by the Chicago Times.
PBO launched its New Music for Old Instruments initiative in 2016 as an effort to commission and perform new works written expressly for period instruments. Recent commissions include a co-commission with London’s Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with composer Sally Beamish, two works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw, the first for mezzo-soprano Anne-Sofie von Otter that enjoyed its world premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall in April 2016 followed by the second piece in the song cycle for soprano Dominique Labelle in 2017. A third piece will be premiered at Lincoln Center in 2019. Additionally, PBO commissioned “To Hell and Back” by Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie. Future seasons will bring new commissions by Caroline Shaw, Matthew Aucoin, and Mason Bates.
To nurture the next generation of historically informed performance, Philharmonia and The Juilliard School’s Historical Performance program partner to bring the star students
of Juilliard415, the school’s acclaimed period instrument ensemble, to practice and perform alongside PBO’s seasoned professionals. Annual residencies include masterclasses, coaching, and a culminating side-by-side showcase of PBO mentors and J415 students.
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra was founded by harpsichordist and early music pioneer Laurette Goldberg. Nicholas McGegan will become Music Director Laureate effective with the 2020/21 season.