Contact: Jeff McMillan
(415) 621-7900 ext. 204

JANUARY 24-27, 2014
All-Bach program includes Magnificat, Cantatas, and Orchestral Suite

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, December 18, 2013—The 2013-14 concert season marks the American Bach Soloists 25th season. To honor the group’s illustrious history and usher in the next twenty-five years of artistic excellence, ABS artistic and music director Jeffrey Thomas handpicked some of his favorite works from the pen of ABS namesake, Johann Sebastian Bach, for this benchmark season. Thomas and ABS will open the season with Bach’s Magnificat as part of an extraordinary, all-Bach program to be performed January 24-27, 2014 in Belvedere, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Davis.
Three of the compositions on this program call upon especially heraldic trumpet ensembles. Bach’s Magnificat, one of the best known and popular among his liturgical works, is like a delicious smorgasbord of sweet and savory vocal delights, and Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! (“Sound, you drums! Ring forth, trumpets!”) is a grand secular cantata featuring music that eventually became part of the “Christmas Oratorio.” Bach’s virtuoso Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor will feature flutist Sandra Miller, whose playing is noted for its “mellow, quietly penetrating tone” (The New York Times). The program closes with one of Bach’s most extraordinarily impressive cantatas, Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, a fantastically extroverted work composed for Leipzig’s lavish celebrations of the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels in 1724. Bringing back a hallmark of ABS’s cantata performances over the years, the audience will be invited to sing along on the final chorale.
The American Bach Choir will be featured on three of the program’s four selections. Directed by Thomas, this esteemed group of singers who “set the standard in choral singing” (San Francisco Classical Voice) will demonstrate their mastery in Bach’s exuberant and joyous music. Further augmenting the vocal forces will be four exceptional vocal soloists: soprano Clara Rottsolk, countertenor Eric Jurenas, tenor Guy Cutting in his ABS debut, and baritone William Sharp.
Clara Rottsolk’s “clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction” (New York Times) have thrilled ABS audiences since this rising early music star’s 2012 debut with the ensemble in the early version of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Countertenor 
Eric Jurenas, a participant in the 2011 ABS Academy, dazzled ABS audiences in this season's performances of Handel’s Messiah in Grace Cathedral and the Mondavi Center. Tenor Guy Cutting makes his ABS debut in Bach’s Magnificat as the inaugural recipient of the Jeffrey Thomas Award, established in 2013 to honor and encourage emerging early music professionals of remarkable merit. Rounding out the quartet of soloists is the distinguished baritone William Sharp, who has performed with American Bach Soloists for two decades, most recently appearing as Christus in Bach’s St. John Passion; he is also a member of the ABS Academy faculty.

Friday, January 24, 2014, 8:00 pm
St. Stephen’s Church, 3 Bayview Avenue, BELVEDERE
Saturday, January 25, 2014, 8:00 pm
First Congregational Church, 2345 Channing Way, BERKELEY
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 4:00 pm
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1111 O’Farrell, SAN FRANCISCO
Monday January 27, 2014 7:00 pm
Davis Community Church, 412 C Street, DAVIS
BACH: Tönet, ihr Pauken, BWV 214
BACH: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067
BACH: Magnificat, BWV 243
BACH: Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV 130
Clara Rottsolk, soprano
Eric Jurenas, countertenor
Guy Cutting, tenor [Debut]
William Sharp, baritone
Sandra Miller, flute
American Bach Choir
Jeffrey Thomas, conductor

2013-14 subscriptions range from $64 to $163
Single Tickets range from $20 to $64
The American Bach Soloists engage and inspire audiences through historically informed performances, recordings, and educational programs that emphasize the music of the Baroque, Classical, and Early Romantic eras. Founded in 1989, the ensemble has achieved its vision of assembling the world’s finest vocalists and period-instrument performers to bring this brilliant music to life. For more than two decades, Jeffrey Thomas has brought thoughtful, meaningful, and informed perspectives to his performances as Artistic and Music Director of the American Bach Soloists. Fanfare Magazine proclaimed that “Thomas’s direction seems just right, capturing the humanity of the music…there is no higher praise for Bach performance.”


Renowned for his experience, knowledge and sensitivity for the music of the Baroque, Jeffrey Thomas’s preparation of the major works of the repertory such as Bach’s Mass in B Minor, St. Matthew Passion, and Handel’s Messiah have led to inspired, definitive performances that have become synonymous with the ensemble he has led with such distinction, American Bach Soloists. San Francisco Classical Voice said, “Jeffrey Thomas is still pushing the musical Baroque envelope.”
Before devoting all of his time to conducting, he was one of the first recipients of the San Francisco Opera Company's prestigious Adler Fellowships. Cited by The Wall Street Journal as “a superstar among oratorio tenors,” Mr. Thomas's extensive discography of vocal music includes dozens of recordings of major works for Decca, EMI, Erato, Koch International Classics, Denon, Harmonia Mundi, Smithsonian, Newport Classics, and Arabesque. He is a Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis, where he holds the Barbara K. Jackson Chair in Choral Conducting. Mr. Thomas currently hosts two shows on one of the nation's premiere classical music radio stations, KDFC, the most recent major commercial classical station in America to make the transition to public radio. Through worldwide streaming audio, he brings his experience and love for baroque and choral music to a global audience. [more...]


High resolution images and more information, including full artist biographies, available at: americanbach.org/press


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