Juilliard Historical Performance Presents Both J.S. Bach Passions This Spring


On Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7:30 PM in Alice Tully Hall, Conductor Gary Thor Wedow Leads Juilliard415 and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street in Bach's "St. Matthew Passion"; and on Friday, April 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM in Alice Tully Hall, Conductor Masaaki Suzuki Leads Juilliard415, Yale Baroque Ensemble, and Yale's Schola Cantorum in Bach's "St. John Passion"

Start Date

Friday, March 21, 2014

Press Release Images

Gary Thor Wedow
Gary Thor Wedow
Choir of Trinity Wall Street
Choir of Trinity Wall Street
Masaaki Suzuki (Photo by Marco Borggreve)
Masaaki Suzuki (Photo by Marco Borggreve)
Yale's Schola Cantorum
Yale's Schola Cantorum
Juilliard415 (Photo by Nan Melville)
Juilliard415 (Photo by Nan Melville)


A centerpiece of Juilliard415’s programming this season offers the rare opportunity to hear both St. John and St. Matthew Passions. The Ensemble is joined by the Choir of Trinity Wall Street with Juilliard faculty member and conductor Gary Thor Wedow leading J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion in Alice Tully Hall on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 7:30 PM. The soloists will feature Juilliard singers. Yale alumnus Dann Coakwell (tenor) will be the Evangelist. The ensembles also perform the work at the Juilliard in Aiken festival (www.juilliardinaiken.com) as part of a southern tour that includes concerts in Aiken, South Carolina on Friday, March 14, 2014 and at Spivey Hall in Morrow, Georgia on Sunday, March 16, 2014. www.spiveyhall.org/events/bach-st-matthew-passion.

Featured Juilliard singers in the St. Matthew Passion will be Takaoki Onishi (baritone) as Jesus; Joseph Eletto as Peter/Pilate/Judas; Ying Fang (soprano); Nathan Haller (tenor); Elliott Carlton Hines (bass); and Eric Jurenas (countertenor).

Presented in collaboration with the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, distinguished conductor Masaaki Suzuki leads the Yale Schola Cantorum, Yale Baroque Ensemble, and Juilliard415 in J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion on Friday, April 4, 2014 at 7:30 PM in Alice Tully Hall. A second performance takes place on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 8 PM in Woolsey Hall at Yale University, New Haven, CT. Mr. Suzuki makes his Alice Tully Hall debut with the April 4 concert.

Featured in the St. John Passion will be singers from Yale: tenor Kyle Stegall (tenor) as Evangelist; Edmund Milly (baritone) as Jesus; Molly Netter (soprano); Sara Couden (mezzo-soprano); Gene Stenger (tenor); and Andrew Padgett (baritone).

Tickets for the Alice Tully Hall concerts are $20 and are available online at www.juilliard.edu/passions, via CenterCharge (212) 721-6500, or at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office.

$10 student and senior tickets are available that same day, only at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office. Admission is free for the April 5 Woolsey Hall, New Haven concert. For more information, go to http://music-tickets.yale.edu/single/EventDetail.aspx?p=10896.

In his notes on both the St. John and St. Matthew Passions, Robert Mealy, director of Juilliard Historical Performance, writes: “In 1724, Bach composed his first extended Passion using the story of the Crucifixion from the Gospel of John, cobbling together a text out of various sources. Soon thereafter, he began work on a much bigger setting of the Passion narrative from the Gospel of Matthew, in collaboration with the distinguished Leipzig poet C.F. Henrici, known as Picander. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion received its first performance on Good Friday of 1727, as part of the usual afternoon Vespers service; its two parts would have framed a lengthy sermon, with congregational hymns before and after the Passion setting. Bach did not intend this to be a concert oratorio, but rather a devotional exercise, using all available musical means to make the central story of Christianity as vivid and immediate as possible to his listeners.”

Meet the Artists

Since founding the Bach Collegium Japan in 1990, early music conductor Masaaki Suzuki has established himself as a leading authority on the works of J.S. Bach. He has remained the group’s music director ever since, taking it regularly to major venues and festivals in Europe and the United States, and building up an outstanding reputation for the expressive refinement and truth of his performances. In addition to conducting, Mr. Suzuki is also renowned as an organist and harpsichordist. He regularly is invited to work with European soloists and groups, such as Collegium Vocale Gent and the Freiburger Barockorchester, and he recently appeared in London with the Britten Sinfonia in a program of Britten, Mozart, and Stravinsky. Forthcoming engagements with other ensembles include the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Nagoya Philharmonic, and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic orchestras.  In 2001, Mr. Suzuki was decorated with the Federal Order of Merit from Germany. His impressive discography on the BIS label includes his interpretations with Bach Collegium Japan of Bach’s major choral works and sacred cantatas, with 40 volumes now completed. In 2010, he and Bach Collegium Japan were awarded both a German Record Critics’ Award and a Diapason d’Or de l’Année for their recording of Bach motets, which was also honored with a BBC Music Magazine Award in 2011.

Conductor Gary Thor Wedow has established a reputation for dramatically exciting and historically informed performances with opera companies, festivals, and choral organizations throughout North America. His most recent successes include Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice and Mozart’s The Magic Flute for Seattle Opera, Wolf-Ferrari’s Le donne curiose for Wolf Trap Opera, and Handel’s Agrippina for Boston Lyric Opera. Mr. Wedow has been closely associated with New York City Opera for many years, and he most recently conducted Christopher Alden’s production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni and the New York premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus. Highlights of Mr. Wedow’s 2012–2013 season include Mozart’s La finta giardiniera for San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, Handel’s Xerxes at Indiana University, Handel’s Rinaldo for Portland Opera with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Johann Strauss II’s Die Fledermaus for Virginia Opera, Handel’s Messiah with the Alabama Symphony, and a return to Seattle Opera for Poulenc’s La voix humaine and Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Gary Thor Wedow has been a member of The Juilliard School faculty since 1994 and has led performances there of Monteverdi’s L'incoronazione di Poppea, La finta giardiniera, Agrippina, and Don Giovanni. He has prepared several performing editions of Baroque works in collaboration with countertenor Lawrence Lipnik. Mr. Wedow’s long association with director Stephen Wadsworth has included productions of Handel’s Xerxes and Ariodante as well as Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride. Mr. Wedow has been a frequent guest of Florida Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, Berkshire Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Amherst Early Music Festival, and Pittsburgh Opera. Choral masterpieces and symphonic repertoire have taken him to the podiums of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, and Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, where he was associate conductor for many years. As a pianist, Mr. Wedow studied with Jorge Bolet.

The Grammy® -nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street is the premier vocal ensemble at Trinity Wall Street. Under the direction of Julian Wachner, the Choir leads the liturgical music at Trinity Church during Sunday services, performs in concerts throughout the year, and has made world-class recordings for Naxos, Musica Omnia, and Arie Records.  In addition to their liturgical and concert presentations, the Choir has appeared at Mostly Mozart (Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the Mark Morris Dance Group), The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cloisters, and with the Rolling Stones on their 50th anniversary tour.  The Choir was also chosen to perform Arvo Pärt’s Passio in a mixed-media collaboration with Paolo Cherchi Usai’s film of the same name at the Tribeca Film Festival.  The Choir is increasingly in demand around the world, and this season sees the ensemble performing at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, BAM, Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, and London’s Barbican Centre.

Yale Schola Cantorum, founded in 2003 by Simon Carrington, is a chamber choir that sings in concerts and choral services. Supported by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music with the School of Music, and open by audition to all Yale students, it specializes in music from before 1750 and the last 100 years. Schola Cantorum was under the direction of conductor Masaaki Suzuki from 2009 until 2013. Beginning in 2013-2014 Schola’s principal conductor is David Hill, while Suzuki remains affiliated as principal guest conductor. In addition to performing regularly in New Haven and New York, the choir records and tours nationally and internationally. Schola Cantorum’s live recording with Robert Mealy and Yale Collegium Musicum of Heinrich Biber’s 1693 Vesperae longiores ac breviores received international acclaim from the early music press, as have subsequent CDs of J.S. Bach’s rarely heard 1725 version of the St. John Passion and Antonio Bertali’s Missa resurrectionis. A commercial recording on the Naxos label of Mendelssohn and Bach Magnificats was released in fall 2009. Schola Cantorum has toured internationally in England, Hungary, France, China, South Korea, Italy, Greece, and Turkey, and to Japan and Singapore in 2013. In recent years, the choir has sung under the direction of the internationally renowned conductors Helmuth Rilling, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Neville Marriner, Stephen Layton, Paul Hillier, Nicholas McGegan, Dale Warland, James O’Donnell, Simon Halsey, David Hill, and Stefan Parkman. Highlights of Schola’s 2013-14 season include performances of Bach cantatas in New Haven and Boston; St. John Passion with Juilliard415 in New Haven and New York; Haydn Harmoniemesse in New Haven and New York; and a tour to Italy in June of 2014. Guest conductors in 2013-2014 include Masaaki Suzuki and Simon Carrington.

The Juilliard Soloists

Mary Feminear, soprano, is originally from Auburn, Alabama. In January 2014, she appeared as Aréthuze and Proserpine in Gotham Chamber Opera’s production of La descente d’Orphée aux enfers. Other opera credits include Polissena in Handel’s Radamisto, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Abigail Williams in The Crucible, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Constance Fletcher in The Mother of Us All, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi.  She has performed in recitals in affiliation with New York Festival of Song, Juilliard415, Wednesdays at One in Alice Tully Hall, The Leschetiszky Foundation, and Teachers College at Columbia University.  She received an M.A. in 2012 from Teachers College, Columbia University with an academic focus on music education, vocal pedagogy, and voice disorders. She is a student of Edith Wiens and a recipient of the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship and the Hardesty & Beverley Peck Johnson Fund.

Joseph Eletto is a first-year master of music student at The Juilliard School, studying with Dr. Robert C. White, Jr. Originally from Manhasset, New York, Mr. Eletto earned his bachelor of music degree with distinction in research and creative work from Rice University. There, he sang the roles of Sam in Rorem’s Our Town, Gregorio in Gounod’s Romèo et Juliette, and Police Captain/Judge 2 in the Texas premiere of John Musto’s Volpone. He has also sung Guglielmo in Mozart's Così fan tutte under the baton of Maestro Ari Pelto with Oberlin in Italy, Un chausseur in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell with Bel Canto at Caramoor, as well as Buonafede in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna. Mr. Eletto has performed the requiems of Duruflé and Mozart with Rice University's Shepherd School of Music Chamber Orchestra, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Houston Masterworks Chorus and the Houston Youth Symphony, and Schubert’s Mass No. 2 in G Major. He has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was in the inaugural class of Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists’ Vocal Academy. In addition to winning the 2013 Classical Singer Magazine’s Auditions Plus Vocal Competition, he is the second-place winner of the first Hal Leonard Vocal Competition. Mr. Eletto is the recipient of the J.W. Drye, Jr. Memorial Scholarship.

Tenor Nathan Haller, a native of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is a first-year master of music student at The Juilliard School, studying with Edith Wiens. This past spring, he received his bachelor’s degree from Juilliard. Past performances include singing the roles of Count Belfiore in Mozart’s La finta giardinera and Brack in Weill’s Down in the Valley, both at Juilliard. Mr. Haller also performed in New York Festival of Song's gala at Carnegie Hall, “A Night at the Operetta” at Alice Tully Hall, and “Invitation to the Dance” at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater. This past summer, he participated in his second year in the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Neumarkt, Germany, where his performances included concerts with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester under Maestro Paul Hostetter, a Liederabend at Steingraeber & Söhne in Bayreuth, and a Gershwin soiree.

Baritone Elliott Carlton Hines is a second-year master of music student at The Juilliard School studying with Edith Wiens. Mr. Hines is a recent recipient of the Lucrezia Bori Prize and is a Toulmin Foundation Scholar.  He has performed as bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, and Durufle’s Requiem with the Oberlin Musical Union and Oberlin College Choir.  Hines performed the role of Jesus in the North American premiere of the newly reconstructed Bach/Kaiser Markus-Passion with Bach Society Houston.  He has sung the roles of Don Inigo Gomez and Le Fauteuil/L’Arbre in Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and L’enfant et les sortiléges, as well as Krusina in The Bartered Bride with Oberlin Opera Theater. A native of Houston, TX, Hines began his vocal studies with Dr. Timothy Jones and received his bachelor of music degree from Oberlin Conservatory, studying with Mr. Salvatore Champagne.  This summer, Mr. Hines will be a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre St. Louis and will attend the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie.

Countertenor Eric Jurenas, from Annandale, Virginia, is a master of music student at The Juilliard School, where he studies with Dr. Robert C. White, Jr. Mr. Jurenas is a Teplitsky Memorial Fund Scholarship recipient, and is quickly making a name for himself in both the opera and concert repertoire. Mr. Jurenas has performed as a soloist with several groups, including Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Philadelphia, The Santa Fe Opera, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, and the Colorado Bach Ensemble.  This season’s highlights include performances with American Bach Soloists (Bach’s Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah), the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (Messiah), Opera Fayetteville (Jonathan Dove’s Flight), Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Ensemble (Adams’ El Niño), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Simon Carrington. He is a 2013 recipient of The Sullivan Foundation Award and Grant. He recently performed in Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare. He also covered David Daniels in the title role of Theodore Morrison’s Oscar, commissioned by The Santa Fe Opera, and will do so again for Opera Philadelphia’s 2015 production of the work.

A native of Tokyo, Japan, baritone Takaoki Onishi is an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student at The Juilliard School, where he studies with Dr. Robert C. White, Jr.   In the past year, he won the Top Prize in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, and First Prize in both the Opera Index, Inc. and the Licia Albanese - Puccini International vocal competitions. He also received a prize in the 2013 Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, two grants from the Giulio Gari Foundation, and the Makiko Narumi Prize for Outstanding Singer. Mr. Onishi is also an inaugural First Prize winner of IFAC-Juilliard Prize Singing Competition in Japan, which provided him a full scholarship to attend The Juilliard School, where he recently received his graduate diploma. At Juilliard, he has appeared in the U.S. premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen!, and performed the roles of Blansac in La scala di seta and Masetto in Don Giovanni. In the spring of 2013, Mr. Onishi created the leading male role in the world premiere of Marty Regan’s The Memory Stone, presented by the Houston Grand Opera’s East/ West program. In addition to opera, he also devotes time to song and concert repertoire. This spring in New York, performed with the “Schubert & Company” series, and appeared as baritone soloist in Schubert’s Mass No. 2 at Rockefeller University and Brahms’ Requiem. He made his Alice Tully Hall debut in the Juilliard Vocal Arts Honors Recital. 

The Yale Soloists

Hailed for her “attractive voice...and command of the stage with a full range of Baroque stage conventions” (Early Music America), soprano Molly Netter enlivens complex and beautiful music, both old and new. She has performed as a soloist under conductors Nicholas McGegan, Simon Carrington, and most recently Masaaki Suzuki in concerts featuring Bach’s Mass in B-Minor with Julliard415 on tour in Japan and Singapore. Ms. Netter has premiered numerous works, including a solo performance at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. by composer Ran Duan, the U.S. premiere of Sentences, for solo soprano and live electronics by British composer Simon Emmerson, and performed composer Sven-David Sandström’s Messiah under Helmuth Rilling with the Festival Ensemble Stuttgart choir. Ms. Netter is a 2010 graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she studied composition and contemporary voice. Afterward, she spent one year in Kyoto, Japan teaching English with the JET Program.

Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sara Couden is a second-year member of the Yale Voxtet. Equally at home in opera and sacred music, she performed as alto soloist in Bach’s Mass in B-Minor throughout Asia, as well as alto soloist for Dvořák’s Stabat Mater with the Yale Camerata, Glee Club, and Philharmonia with Maestro Helmuth Rilling. She recently completed her second summer at Music Academy of the West under the direction of Marilyn Horne where she sang the role of Third Lady in The Magic Flute and was a featured soloist in Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Academy Orchestra. She is a member of Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, and earned her master’s degree in vocal performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she performed roles such as Cornelia in Giulio Cesare, Baba in The Medium, and Bradamante in Alcina.

Tenor Kyle Stegall is a native of Columbia, Missouri. A recipient of a master of music degree from the University of Michigan, he is currently pursuing his artist diploma through the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale School of Music. This season, he appears as soloist at the 25th anniversary gala for the American Bach Soloists in San Francisco and makes his Alice Tully Hall debut with conductor Masaaki Suzuki as the Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion. This past summer, in addition to touring Japan with Yale Schola Cantorum, Mr. Stegall was a young artist at the Aldeburgh Music Festival in Suffolk, England. There he studied and performed the music of Benjamin Britten under the guidance of Ian Bostridge. This year, he looks forward to performances of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with conductor Kathleen Allan and hornist Craig Hubbard. Other upcoming engagements include performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Mozart’s Requiem.

Edmund Milly, bass-baritone, began singing as a chorister at the American Boychoir School. A native of Princeton, New Jersey, he completed his undergraduate education (B.A. and B.M.) at McGill University, followed by an M.A. in literature. During his seven years in Montreal, he sang for the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, the Montreal Symphony Choir, Viva Voce, Ensemble Caprice, and others.

Tenor Gene Stenger performed as the tenor soloist in J.S. Bach’s Magnificat under the baton of world-renowned conductor Helmuth Rilling at the National Collegiate Choral Conference held at Colorado State University. Following the conference, Rilling personally invited Mr. Stenger to perform in the chorus of the Junges Stuttgarter Bach Ensemble with Maestro Rilling’s Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart. In March 2013, he returned to the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart to perform as the tenor soloist in J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and completed an international tour with Maestro Rilling in Germany and Chile. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mr. Stenger also holds a master of music degree in voice performance from Colorado State University and a bachelor of music degree in voice performance from Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music.

Bass-baritone Andrew Padgett is an avid interpreter of Baroque vocal music. In the past year, he performed the role of Harapha in Handel’s Samson led by conductor Nicholas McGegan, and was also a featured soloist in the first modern performance of 17th-century Vespers settings by composers Giovanni Legrenzi and Johann Rosenmüller, conducted by Simon Carrington. This summer he was the bass soloist in performances of Bach’s Mass in B-Minor conducted by Masaaki Suzuki, which he performed on a concert tour of Japan and his hometown of Singapore. Recently he was a bass soloist in American Bach Soloists Academy performances of Biber’s Missa Salisburgensis, Handel’s Esther, and Bach’s Mass in B-Minor led by conductor Jeffrey Thomas. Mr. Padgett also has a deep interest in Medieval music, and has had the opportunity to study and perform with leading experts in the field such as Susan Hellauer, a founding member of Anonymous 4, and Benjamin Bagby, founder of Sequentia. Prior to his studies at Yale, Mr. Padgett earned a B.S. in physics and an M.M. in voice from the University of California at  Santa Barbara.

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Monday, March 17, 2014, 7:30 PM, Alice Tully Hall

J.S. BACH St. Matthew Passion

Gary Thor Wedow, conductor


Choir of Trinity Wall Street - Julian Wachner, director

Dann Coakwell, tenor – Evangelist

Takaoki Onishi, baritone – Jesus

Joseph Eletto, baritone – Peter/Pilate/Judas

Ying Fang, soprano

Eric Jurenas, countertenor

Nathan Haller, tenor

Elliott Carlton Hines, baritone

Pontifex 1 and 2 - Dashon Burton and Jonathan Woody

Ancilla 1 and 2 - Sarah Brailey and Martha Cluver

Testis 1 and 2 - Virginia Warnken and Matthew Hensrud

Uxor Pilatus - Jennifer Bates


Friday, April 4, 2014, 7:30 PM, Alice Tully Hall

J.S. BACH St. John Passion

Masaaki Suzuki, conductor

Yale Schola Cantorum


Yale Baroque Ensemble

Kyle Stegall, tenor – Evangelist

Edmund Milly, baritone – Jesus

Molly Netter, soprano

Sara Couden, mezzo-soprano

Gene Stenger, tenor

Andrew Padgett, baritone

Tickets for the Alice Tully Hall concerts at $20 are available online at www.juilliard.edu/passions, via CenterCharge (212) 721-6500, or at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office. $10 student and senior tickets are available only at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office. Admission for the Woolsey Hall, New Haven concert is free. For more information, go to http://music-tickets.yale.edu/single/EventDetail.aspx?p=10896.

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