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Orchard Circle is a new contemporary classical music series focusing on what has been called the middle ground of new music, proud of being both classical and contemporary, and avoiding indie pop and ‘post-classical’ trends. All the while, it intends to adopt a more relaxed, party-like atmosphere. Orchard Circle concerts include food and drink before and after each program, along with improvised jazz sets.

Concerts

Opening Season, 2016-2017

Orchard Circle concerts during its initial season will consist of four different programs. They will be presented in New York City as well as in Philadelphia. The New York performances will take place at the DiMenna Center, on West 37th Street in Manhattan. In Philadelphia, the concerts will be at the Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square.

ELECTION NIGHT BASH with BERLIN PHILHARMONIC members

led by Marie-Pierre Langlamet, Principal harp
Andreas Buschatz, Concertmaster
Mathieu Dufour, Principal flute
Matthew McDonald, Principal bass
Cornelia Gartemann, violin
Julia Gartemann, viola
Moky Gibson-Lane, cello
plus Emma Tahmizian and Eric Moe, pianists

 

Tuesday Nov 8th, 2016 8:00pm       DiMenna Center, Cary Hall

Buy Tickets

general admission, $27: general seating, free food after concert (drinks purchased)
Inner Circle, $57: table seating, free food, limited free drink before concert
Gala Circle, $117: special table seating shared with artists, including food and drinks

Elective Affinities

What will you be doing on election night? Sitting home and trembling in front of the TV? Our season opener will be an election night bash. It will be part prayer for electoral sanity, part exploration of our troubled moment in history, and part party/get-together to watch the returns among like-minded friends. Like all of our concerts, jazz by Claffy will accompany opening drinks and the party following the core program. For this performance we will have Benny Benack III, trumpet;  Victor Gould, piano; and Claffy on bass.

See the full menu for Election night concert

For the central concert, a group of players from the Berlin Philharmonic -  led by their harp soloist Marie-Pierre Langlamet, and including their Concertmaster, Principal flute, Principal bass and several members of Concertmaster Stabrawa's ensemble  - will bring a provocative perspective to what has lately been dubbed ‘Weimar America' in the U.S. media, with Berliners looking at American composers looking at themselves [1], and involving a very broad mix of composers: Ned Rorem, John Harbison, Fred Lerdahl, John Corigliano, Phillip Glass, Milton Babbitt,  Lowell Liebermann, Augusta Read Thomas, Laura Schwendinger, Roger Sessions, Daniel Brewbaker, Virgil Thompson, Eric Moe, Charles Wuorinen, Sebastian Currier, and Nathan Currier.

The current election cycle has led to much soul-searching about of the specter of American fascism. The Berlin Philharmonic is unique in having been a primary cultural export of the Nazis during WWII. It was then called the 'The Reich's Orchestra' (Das Reichsorchester), and under direct control of the infamous Joseph Goebbels[2]. Today, of course, it is quite the opposite: a particularly young, dynamic and autonomous group of musicians able to examine themselves, and hence our current situation, with piercing maturity.

The concert will open with three 'viewpoints' from Ned Rorem’s The United States: Seven Viewpoints. After some pieces from Langlamet's repertory generally fitting our theme, the core of the concert will be a set of waltzes, The Fall of the House: Waltzing through Weimar America.

Edgar Allen Poe's music-infused The Fall of the House of Usher describes Usher playing wild improvisations on his guitar - in particular “a singular perversion and amplification of the wild air of the last waltz of von Weber.” The Fall of the House begins with this same Last Waltz ditty played on harp and piano. From there it draws in "perversions and amplifications" of the idea of the waltz from a set of widely differing Americans, played as one continuous set of 'variations on a concept' ranging from the 1970s to music composed in 2016 premiered on this occasion. Meanwhile, the elector count, visible in the corners of the screen, will mount as the waltzes play on.

Some are short waltzes for solo piano taken from The Waltz Project (composer Eric Moe later incorporated a selection of these into his “Waltz Project Revisited” and will perform from this). Others we’ve stitched together, employing various instrumentations, one important subset being Fred Lerdahl's Waltzes for a quartet of violin, viola, cello, and bass. And to all this some fresh composing has been added to tie things together.

We will project election returns throughout the evening in a variety of ways: during the Claffy sets, we will have a major media feed without sound; in the pause at the middle of the core concert, and after Claffy's second set, we will have major media with sound; and during The Fall of the House, we will have our own constructed app, such that, while the audience can see on screen which of the 28 short waltzes is being performed, the corners of the screen will also display the elector count, growing inexorably as the audience is literally "waltzed through Weimar America" (and hopefully right out of it!), creating an unforgettable environment in which to usher in, and contemplate, our new reality.

See complete program and further end notes

 


CANCELLED: we regret that our January 11th and 14th, 2017 concerts have been cancelled

 

Dover String Quartet
with William Short, bassoon
and special guest Dorion Sagan, scientist and sleight of hand artist

 

Wednesday Jan 11th, 2017 8:00pm Philadelphia Ethical Society

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Saturday Jan 14th, 2017 8:00pm DiMenna Center, Cary Hall, New York City

Buy Tickets

general admission, $27: general seating, free food after concert (drinks purchased)
Inner Circle, $47: table seating, free food, limited free drink before concert
Gala Circle, $97: special table seating shared with artists including food and drinks

 

Sounds from the Blue Dot

The Dover Quartet will play a concert centering on a work they commissioned from composer David Ludwig entitled Pale Blue Dot, after the famous photo taken 25 years ago by NASA’s Voyager at the request of Carl Sagan, and later the title of one of the astronomer's books. Carl’s son Dorion Sagan, himself a brilliant scientific thinker and author, will discuss his father’s writing and the photo, and a new movement for the quartet and the extraordinary William Short, principal bassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, written by Currier, will explore recent scientific work of the younger Sagan. Dorion Sagan is also an accomplished sleight of hand artist as well. So, consider it the night of “The Blue Dot Trick.”

See complete program and further end notes

 


Stephen Salters, baritone & Ariadne Greif, soprano
a vocal program exploring race and incarceration

 

Saturday March 11th, 2017 8:00pm Philadelphia Ethical Society

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Saturday March 18th, 2017 8:00pm DiMenna Center, Cary Hall, New York City

Buy Tickets

general admission, $27: general seating, free food after concert (drinks purchased)
Inner Circle, $47: table seating, free food, limited free drink before concert
Gala Circle, $97: special table seating shared with artists including food and drinks

 

Race/relations: Rustin sings with today’s incarcerated

 

The first American to win the Queen Elisabeth Vocal Competition was African-American baritone Stephen Salters, and here the riveting baritone shares a program focusing on race with wonderful young soprano Ariadne Greif. But a fainter third voice will be present as well: Bayard Rustin, one of the primary architects of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S., had a trained tenor voice, and his musical presence will here be woven between a number of world premieres of new vocal works exploring issues surrounding race in contemporary America. Composers Jonathan Bailey Holland, Trevor Weston, Jessie Montgomery, Elena Ruehr and Nathan Currier will write pieces for the occasion. T.J. Anderson’s Words My Mother Taught Me, set to words of his mother concerning freedom, will find a counterpart in Currier’s setting of words about incarceration by his father, who served time in prison with Rustin, where the two worked to desegregate their cell block together. Songs by Adolphus Hailstork, as well as some songs that William Bolcolm composed for Stephen, will round out the evening.

 

full program and further notes coming soon

 


Moky Gibson-Lane, cello 

 

Saturday April 22nd, 2017 8:00pm Philadelphia Ethical Society

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Saturday April 29th, 2017 8:00pm DiMenna Center, Cary Hall, New York City

Buy Tickets

general admission, $27: general seating, free food after concert (drinks purchased)
Inner Circle, $47: table seating, free food, limited free drink before concert
Gala Circle, $97: special table seating shared with artists including food and drinks

Season Finale

Music of Karim Al-Zand, George Crumb, György Ligeti, Nathan Currier and others, with full program to be announced soon.

full program and further notes coming soon

Food at Orchard Circle

At Orchard Circle, we want people to have lots of fun, so food and drink become an important component of our events. Cuisine is 21st century: the proportion of meat to vegetarian options has been flipped, so while meat has not been entirely abolished from the menu, it is the exception, rather than the rule. The menu for the opening concert is already available, although details are still being worked out with our food coordinator Ivana Ristic.

The basic arrangement is in three tiers:

General admission

There are some appetizers beforehand, and good fresh food served buffet-style after the concert; drinks are purchased.

Inner Circle

There are a variety of appetizers and one free drink before the concert; you can choose your main course online until the week prior to the concert; free soda and beer and wine for purchase with dinner after the concert.

Gala Circle

Special tabled seating with artists; specialty appetizers plus all those available to the Inner Circle; you can choose your main course online until the week prior to the concert, and choices include those for the Inner Circle plus other select dishes; drinks are free.

Drinks include wine, beer, cider and sodas.

Special patron tables are also available upon request.

Jazz at Orchard Circle

Jazz at Orchard Circle will be curated by Claffy: 23-year-old Harlem-based, Philadelphia-raised bassist Alexander Claffy will play and direct Orchard Circle’s jazz component, first playing while audience members have a quick drink and get seated, picking up again while people eat afterward, improvising around and off of the broad themes of each show. For all events, 8pm is the listed time, doors open by 7:30, Claffy’s pre-show set begins around 7:45 and runs til 8:10.

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