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Westchester Oratorio Society presents “Songs of Solace.” Schoenberg, Brahms

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 Bedford-Katonah  See map

The Westchester Oratorio Society under the direction of Benjamin Niemczyk begins its 2012-2013 Season on Sunday afternoon November 18, with a performance entitled, “Songs of Solace,” featuring Schoenberg's "A Survivor from Warsaw" and Brahms' "En deutsches Requiem" at the beautiful Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners.

The concert will feature actor Daniel Neer, in the role of “the Narrator” for “Survivor,” and baritone Matthew Singer and soprano Zoe Vandermeer will be the soloists for the “Requiem.”  Chorus and soloists will be accompanied by the Society’s professional orchestra which is comprised of some of the most talented young musicians in the NYC area.


Mr. Niemczyk, who is in his sixth season as Artistic Director, is a Brooklyn resident and a founding member of C4, the nation’s largest new music choral ensemble.  He also conducts the New Westchester Symphony Orchestra, a community ensemble which rehearses at the Music Conservatory of Westchester.   Mr. Niemczyk said he is looking forward to performing in the Temple’s circa 1918 sanctuary which he called “the perfect setting for Schoenberg’s short but stunning piece,” as well as for the Brahms, which he noted, “is more of a work of consolation for those left behind than a traditional requiem.”   


Now in its 16th Season, Westchester Oratorio Society is known for its performances of early music, traditional choral masterworks and contemporary pieces before local audiences and in collaboration with groups including REBEL Baroque Orchestra, as well as its appearances in the New York metropolitan area including with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. 


The group’s spring season features a June 2, 2013 concert in Cross River, NY which includes Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy" performed with the internationally renowned pianist Hélène Grimaud in memory of the Society’s co-founder Robert McDonald, and a March 10 performance by WOS’s chamber choir at the Chappaqua Library.  Next month the group will host a sing-along "Scratch Messiah" on December 2 in Somers and a holiday concert at Muscoot Farm on December 8.  WOS rehearses on Tuesday evenings in Katonah.  Competent singers in all voices with an ability to read music are welcomed to join.


Tickets are $20 and $40 ($25/$50 at the door) and may be purchased by calling 914 763 9389, emailing westchesteroratorio@gmail.com or through the website, www.westchesteroratorio.org.  WOS can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/westchesteroratorio and on Twitter at @westchesterora).

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