ABS Academy alumni are fanning out and sharing their talents around the country and the rest of the world. It’s one thing to know this, but it is another altogether to experience it first-hand while taking in a concert in a different city that is 3,000 miles from home! I was recently in New York and attended the well known Bach@One series presented by Trinity Wall Street in the heart of downtown Manhattan and heard three Bach cantatas with a period instrument orchestra and fine group of singers. Amid the sound of squealing brakes, emergency sirens, and the hustle-bustle you would expect on the corner of Broadway and Fulton Street, the ensemble performed Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe (BWV 25), Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende (BWV 28), and Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn (BWV 23) for a diverse, appreciative audience. Looking around, I saw business people on their lunch breaks, tourists with big backpacks, devoted locals who probably come every week, and many others who were there to experience Bach’s music in the best way: live!
The concert was superb and it was fun to spy a few familiar faces from past ABS Academy classes in the ensemble: violinist Maureen Murchie (Academy 2012), oboist Kristin Olson (Academy 2012) and soprano Molly Netter (Academy 2014). In fact, Ms. Netter was making her debut with the group at this particular performance (October 7, 2015), singing in both the choir and as a soloist in the beautiful duet that opens Cantata 23. Her partner in the duet was American Bach Choir countertenor Clifton Massey, who performed in Bach’s Mass in B Minor and Marin Marais’ Sémélé during the ABS Festival in August.
It was a delight to unexpectedly encounter these musicians in a different environment and to experience the value they are bringing to another vibrant musical community. Several other ABS Academy alumni now based in New York also participate in Bach@One throughout the year and appear with their own groups around the city. In fact, audiences in several regions around the country and world are enjoying the talents of the exceptional musicians who studied and trained right here in San Francisco at the ABS Academy. Bravi; keep up the great work!
Applications for the 2016 ABS Academy are now open and the deadline to apply is February 15, 2016. Year after year, this amazing program continues to train the next generation of early music virtuosi. Do you know someone who might want to apply? Please spread the word! For more information about the ABS Academy, check our website or call the ABS office at (415) 621-7900 and ask for me (Jeff McMillan, ext. 204).