The Riverside Choral Society will perform Bach’s “Mass in B Minor,” widely regarded as one of the finest compositions in the classical music repertoire, at Lincoln Center in New York City on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at 8 p.m.


NEW YORK, N.Y. (APRIL 29, 2011) – The Riverside Choral Society will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Mass in B Minor,” widely regarded as one of the finest compositions in the classical music repertoire. The concert will be performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at 8 p.m.

“The Mass in B Minor is a celebrated vocal music piece, showcasing Bach’s genius in writing for voice – not just in its variety of styles, compositional devices, and range of sounds – but in its high level of technical polish,” said Patrick Gardner, Director of Riverside Choral Society and conductor of the concert.

Gardner, in his 20th season conducting the Riverside Choral Society, is the Director of Choral Activities at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, in New Brunswick, N.J. Gardner’s performances have been acclaimed by New York audiences, critics, and an international roster of composers whose orchestral and choral works he has conducted. Active in premiering new music, he has won the praise of such notable composers as William Bolcom, John Harbison, Lou Harrison, and Lukas Foss.

Riverside Choral Society’s performance will give the audience the rare chance to hear the Mass in B Minor sung by one of New York’s most highly-skilled choruses. This piece is most often recorded by a choir of no more than two dozen singers. Gardner’s goal is to achieve the same transparency and lightness of a chamber choir, with the added power of a large chorus.

To further enhance the performance, Riverside Choral Society will be singing the work in the Germanic Latin of the 18th century – which Bach would have expected in his Leipzig performances.

Joining the Riverside Choral Society in the Mass in B Minor performance is the Riverside Choral Society Orchestra. This orchestra features many of New York’s best-known and loved instrumentalists, who play in such ensembles as Orpheus and St. Luke’s Orchestra.

Several notable soloists will be joining Riverside Choral Society in the Mass in B Minor performance:
• Randall Scarlata, Baritone, is hailed for his warm, expressive sound, consummate musicianship and winning way with the audience. He is noted for his concert performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Minnesota Orchestra, as well as his concerts with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and recent performances at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center with Opera Lafayette.
• Mary Ellen Callahan, Soprano, who appears frequently as a soloist in a variety of repertoires, was winner of New York City’s Musica Sacra Bach Competition. Her recent concert at the Carmel Bach Festival garnered reviews that highlighted her “exceptionally pure tone and compellingly lovely voice.”
• Kirsten Sollek has been called “an ideal Bach alto” by The Philadelphia Inquirer and “an appealingly rich alto” by The New York Times. She is particularly active in historical performances and is much in demand with early music enthusiasts.
• Cullen Gandy, Tenor, is a member of Juilliard Opera and the Atlanta Opera Chorus – frequently performing as a featured tenor. He has performed with the Elysium Chamber Choir and Orchestra where he was featured as the tenor soloist in Bach’s Wachet Auf die Ruf.

Riverside Choral Society’s past performances have generated notable accolades:
• “The Riverside Choral Society had obviously prepared the score thoroughly and sang the music with confidence and full-bodied sound....This was a sensitive and rewarding performance of Mozart’s most ambitious choral work... It brought the [Mostly Mozart] festival to a fitting close,” Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
• “Gerard Schwarz and his Festival Orchestra, along with a fine array of soloists and the excellent Riverside Choral Society, gave us a rare view of Strauss’ handiwork,” Shirley Fleming, New York Post
• “The Riverside Choral Society Chamber Singers delivered a silvery, sure account of Handel’s glorious oratorio,” John Rockwell, New York Times
• “Augmented by the Riverside Choral Society, the Chorale was indeed the star of the evening, the prayerfully whispered unison passages sounding no less awesome than the massed choral climaxes,” Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine

Please join Riverside Choral Society for the performance of Bach’s Mass in B Minor on Saturday, May 7, 2011, at 8 p.m. Remaining tickets are $45 and $75. For tickets, visit www.RiversideChoral.org or the Lincoln Center box office at 212-671-4050, www.lincolncenter.org.

About the Riverside Choral Society
Noted for new and unusual repertory, the Riverside Choral Society, entering its 31st season, is a vital presence in the cultural life of New York City. Under the baton of director Patrick Gardner, the 100-member chorus has performed major works by Beethoven, Bruckner, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, Haydn, Britten, Pärt, Fauré, Orff, Stravinsky, Berlioz, and many others in New York City’s most exciting performance venues. For more information, visit www.RiversideChoral.org, or call (212) 780-2181.