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Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62

Reiner Geist, lass doch mein Herz, GWV 1138/11
Overture in F Major, GWV 445

Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147a

Ruben Valenzuela conductor
Sherezade Panthaki soprano
Philharmonia Chorale,
     Valérie Sainte-Agathe chorale director

About This Concert

The rich harmonies and musical invention of Bach are just perfect for the holiday season, and in this concert you’ll hear two of his Advent cantatas, including the famous Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben (Heart and mouth and deed and life). You’ll certainly recognize its beautiful and gentle melodies. Alongside the music of Bach are two works by his contemporary Graupner, music of great grace and elegance.


Bing Concert Hall, Stanford
7:30 PM
Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
7:30 PM
First Congregational Church, Berkeley
7:30 PM
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Ruben Valenzuela

RUBEN VALENZUELA is the Founder and Artistic Director of Bach Collegium San Diego (BCSD). As a conductor, keyboardist, and musicologist, he has led BCSD in notable performances of music of the Renaissance, early and high Baroque, early Classical period, as well as music of the twentieth century. Valenzuela’s performances have been described as ‘dramatic’ and ‘vibrant’ and ‘able to unlock the true power of Baroque music’ ( Under Valenzuela’s leadership, BCSD has achieved international acclaim through virtuosic performances of iconic repertoire, in addition to lesser-known works.

With BCSD he has toured to the Festival Internacional del Órgano Barroco in Mexico City and Zamora, Michoacán, and to the Festival Internacional de Música Renacentista y Barroca Misiones de Chiquito in Bolivia. In addition to his work with BCSD, Valenzuela is regularly called upon as a guest director and keyboardist. Notable guest engagements include Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity, New York City, Marsh Chapel Choir and Collegium at Boston University, Bach at Emmanuel Church, Boston, Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center, New York City, Washington Bach Consort, and Westminster Choir College with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Upcoming engagements to include Seraphic Fire, Handel+Haydn Society, and BachFest 2024, Leipzig.

As a musicologist Valenzuela has undertaken research at the Centro Nacional de Investigación, Documentación e Información Musical, Carlos Chavez (CENEDIM, Mexico City), and at the Archivo del Cabildo of Mexico City Cathedral. In 2016, he presented a paper titled: Mexican Religious Iconography (Angels musicians and the Basso Continuo in Mexico City Cathedral) for the inaugural Historical Performance Institute of the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. Valenzuela’s musical interests are wide ranging to include the life and music of Anglo-Canadian composer Healey Willan, which led to the creation of the year long Willan West 2018 festival. Additionally, Valenzuela maintains a lifelong interest in Jamaican popular music of the late 50s and 1960s, and in particular Mento, Ska, Rocksteady, and early Reggae.

Valenzuela holds a PhD in Musicology from Claremont Graduate University and is also the Director of Music & Organist of All Souls’ Episcopal Church, San Diego


Sherezade Panthaki

Soprano Sherezade Panthaki enjoys ongoing international collaborations with many of the world’s leading conductors including Nicholas McGegan, Masaaki Suzuki, Martin Haselböck, Mark Morris, Nicholas Kraemer, Matthew Halls, Stephen Stubbs, and Gary Wedow. Celebrated for her “full, luxuriously toned upper range” (The Los Angeles Times), and “astonishing coloratura with radiant top notes” (Calgary Herald) particularly in the music of Bach and Handel, recent seasons have included performances with the New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Bach Collegium Japan, Wiener Akademie (Austria), NDR Hannover Radiophilharmonie (Germany), the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Early Music Festival, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra (Canada), Minnesota Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Mark Morris Dance Group, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue New York, The Choir and Orchestra of Trinity Wall Street, and Voices of Music. Ms. Panthaki is no stranger to classical and modern concert repertoire; she is in high demand for her interpretations of Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Poulenc, and Orff, as well as numerous new music premieres. Her discography includes the recently released recording of Handel’s Joseph and his Brethren with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque, solo Bach cantatas with the Cantata Collective, and Graupner’s opera Antiochus und Stratonica with the Boston Early Music Festival.

Born and raised in India, Ms. Panthaki holds graduate degrees with top honors from the Yale School of Music and the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor’s from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She is a founding member and artistic advisor of the newly-debuted Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble – a vocal octet celebrating racial and ethnic diversity in performances and educational programs of early and new music. Ms. Panthaki is a frequent guest clinician and masterclass leader across the United States. She has taught voice to graduate music students at Yale University, and currently heads the Vocal program at Mount Holyoke College.