Dawn Harms, Music Director & Conductor
Gabrieli – Canzon Septimi Toni No. 2
Armer – Call of the West
Mahler – Symphony No. 4
Christine Brandes, soprano
Part of BARS’ LGBTQ Composer and Performing Artist Series, which strives to redefine perceptions of LGBTQ music and increase awareness of the beauty, talents, and accomplishments of fellow LGBTQ individuals and groups.
About Christine Brandes, soprano
Noted for her radiant, crystalline voice and superb musicianship, soprano Christine Brandes brings her committed artistry to repertoire ranging from the 17th century to newly composed works and enjoys an active career in North America and abroad, performing at many of the world’s most distinguished festivals and concert series in programs spanning from recitals and chamber music to oratorio and opera.
Highlights of Christine Brandes’ 2013-14 season include Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carlo Rizzi, a program of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 Jeremiah and Haydn’s Mass No. 10 in C major Paukenmesse with the Santa Rosa Symphony led by Bruno Ferrandis, and performances at the 92nd Street Y in New York City with the Brentano String Quartet.
Last season Ms. Brandes gave a series of important premieres including an Eric Moe commission entitled Of Color Braided All Desire with the Brentano String Quartet as part of the South Mountain Concert Series, and Jennifer Higdon’s In the Shadow of Sirius, based on poetry of former American Poet Laureate, W.S. Merwin with the Cypress String Quartet at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.
During recent seasons, Ms. Brandes appeared at Washington National Opera as Despina in Così fan tutte conducted by Philippe Auguin and as Catherine in William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge and made returns to Portland Opera in Così fan tutte, to Central City Opera as Maria Corona in Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Saint of Bleecker Street, and to Seattle Opera as Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte under the baton of Gary Thor Wedow in a new production directed by Chris Alexander. She also bowed with Arizona Opera as the title role in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, conducted by Joel Revzen, and with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City as Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare and as The Governess in The Turn of the Screw.
Recent symphonic appearances have included concerts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the batons of both Pierre Boulez and Esa-Pekka Salonen, performances of John Adams’s El Niño with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony, St. John Passion with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with Sir Simon Rattle and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mozart’s Requiem with the Cleveland Orchestra and John Nelson, Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl conducted by Grant Gershon, Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Kennedy Center, conducted by Jane Glover, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Beethoven’s Egmont with Wolfgang Sawallisch and Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri with Sir Simon Rattle, both with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Mozart opera arias and Strauss orchestral songs with the National Symphony Orchestra and Heinz Fricke, Bach Cantatas with the New World Symphony Orchestra, a recording and European tour of Jomelli’s Ezio with world renowned baroque orchestra Il Complesso Barocco under the baton of Alan Curtis, Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, Tafelmusik, and the Minnesota Orchestra, Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with Jane Glover and the Music of the Baroque, Haydn’s Mass in the Time of War with Bernard Labadie and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Neeme Järvi and the Detroit Symphony, and Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Andreas Delfs and the Milwaukee Symphony, the Canton Symphony, and paired with Berg’s Lulu Suite with the Santa Rosa Symphony. She also has bowed at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and at the Ravinia Festival with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra as well as with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Freiburger Barockorchester, and the Handel & Haydn Society, Pacific Symphony and Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal, as well as a residency with the Oregon Bach Festival with performances of several Bach Cantatas and a semi-staged version of Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc under the batons of Helmuth Rilling and Marin Alsop respectively, among others.
Christine Brandes has recorded for EMI, BMG/Conifer Classics, Dorian, Harmonia Mundi USA, Virgin Classics, and Koch International.
About Elinor Armer, composer
Elinor Armer was born, raised, and educated in California. She studied composition at Mills College (BA) with Darius Milhaud and at San Francisco State University (MA) with Roger Nixon. For the last 45 years she has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, founding its Composition Department, which she chaired from 1984-95.
She has received numerous awards, commissions, fellowships, and performances throughout the U.S.A. and abroad. She was a founding member of Composers, Inc., has sat on the advisory board of Old First Concerts and the Djerassi Foundation, and on award panels for the National Endowment and several state arts councils. Armer’s works are performed throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at MoMA in New York City and at the Shanghai Chamber Music Festival. She celebrates her 75th birthday this year with a Diamond Jubilee of performances of her works throughout the 2014-15 concert season.
An extensive interview of Armer may be found on the San Francisco Conservatory’s Oral History Project and information regarding her work in the Elinor Armer archive at U.C. Berkeley’s Jean Hargrove Library of Music.