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Aleba & Co. | 134 henry street | New York, NY | 10002 | 212-206-1450 |
November 3, 2015
Info:; 646/230-8380
Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450
“In the 1960's, Leonard Bernstein suggested that the Beatles were our age's Schubert. 
And in what is said to be his final interview, published in Rolling Stone
he described them as ‘the best songwriters since Gershwin.’” 
— The New York Times


Steven Blier, Artistic Director • Michael Barrett, Associate Artistic Director
continues its 2015-16 NYFOS MAINSTAGE series


Schubert | Beatles

Songs from the exquisite catalogs of Franz and the Fab Four

The Cast:
THEO HOFFMAN, baritone/guitar
STEVEN BLIER, pianist and arranger

Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, 129 West 67th Street
$40-$55 for Single Tickets; $10 for Student Tickets
$20 for Real Deal Tickets: Advance Purchase, Limited Availability and Seating

— In memory of John Lennon, who died on this day 35 years ago (December 8, 1980) —
From NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier:
“I first heard Schubert songs and Beatles songs at the same time of my life, somewhere around age 11. They became a kind of soundtrack for my adolescence—my burgeoning hormones, my foggy search for some kind of spirituality, and my growing appreciation for the confluence of words, vocal lines, and harmony. In tonight's concert we return to the Urquell of my love for song, conjoining these meteoric, irreplaceable giants. They don't tend to rub shoulders this way, but I do think these renegade geniuses have a lot to say to one another. And how wonderful to share the stage with a cast of singers who can honor these disparate song traditions with grace, creativity, and confidence.”
New York Festival of Song premieres SCHUBERT|BEATLES on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. at Merkin Concert Hall, as part of NYFOS's classic long-running Mainstage series.

The concert interweaves two meteoric musical careers that captured the ethos of their era, a dual repertoire of songs so iconic as to have assumed the status of folk music: Franz Schubert and the team of Paul McCartney and John Lennon (with contributions from bandmate George Harrison).

On a day that coincides with the 35th anniversary of John Lennon's death, NYFOS invites audiences to experience the driving beat of Schubert alongside the exquisite lyricism of the Beatles (or vice versa), with titles ranging from “Der Wanderer an den Mond” and "Waldes-Nacht" to “Eleanor Rigby" and "She's Leaving Home" — the latter once described by composer Ned Rorem as “equal to any song that Schubert ever wrote.” Rorem was in fact among the first classical voices to publicly laud the Beatles in his famous 1968 essay in The New York Review of Books.

Four longtime NYFOS favorites return, including rising star Paul Appleby, who has performed in 13 past NYFOS shows and whose recent role in the Metropolitan Opera's The Rake's Progress wowed critics with the "irresistible clarity" of his "honey-voiced" tenor (Vulture); “sensational” soprano Sari Gruber (Opera News); Theo Hoffman, whose "concentrated and rich" baritone has been praised by The New York Times; and baritone Andrew Garland, about whom Opera Now wrote: "His trump card is communication...the fine art of poetry in music has found a rare ambassador." Accompanying the quartet of singers will be the brilliantly chaotic violin sensation Charles Yang and NYFOS' own "irrepressible song impresarios" (The Boston Globe)  Steven Blier and Michael Barrett at the piano.

The late Leonard Bernstein, a founding advisor and former honorary president of NYFOS, once said that his two favorite composers were Schubert and Lennon/McCartney. This unique evening promises to be a joyful and unforgettable occasion, as three generations of artists, all as steeped in the culture of Schubert as they are in popular song, bring this definitive music to life in a fresh, original way.
"A NYFOS concert is always a revelation." — Opera News


(subject to change)
Licht und Liebe
And Your Bird Can Sing
I Will
Heimliches Lieben
If I Fell 
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer
For No One
Du liebst mich nicht
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Der Wanderer an den Mond
She’s Leaving Home
Eleanor Rigby
Im Frühling
In My Life


Steven Blier / Michael Barrett
“People have a primal need to be sung to and communicated with through song. The essential core of truth in each song—that part where you feel ‘that's me, I've been there’—that’s what we’re always looking for.” — Steven Blier

Now in its 28th season, NEW YORK FESTIVAL OF SONG (NYFOS) is dedicated to creating intimate song concerts of great beauty and originality. Weaving music, poetry, history and humor into evenings of compelling theater, NYFOS fosters community among artists and audiences. Founded by pianists Michael Barrett and Steven Blier in 1988, NYFOS continues to produce NYFOS MAINSTAGE, its flagship series of thematic song programs, drawing together rarely-heard songs of all kinds, overriding traditional distinctions between classical and popular performance genres, and exploring the character and language of other cultures. Since its founding NYFOS has particularly celebrated the wide spectrum of American music. Among many highlights is the double bill of one-act comic operas, Bastianello by John Musto and Lucrezia by William Bolcom, both with libretti by Mark Campbell, commissioned and premiered by NYFOS in 2008 and recorded on Bridge Records.
NYFOS has produced five recordings on the Koch label, including a Grammy Award-winning disc of Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Ned Rorem’s Evidence of Things Not Seen (also a NYFOS commission) on New World Records. NYFOS’s discography also includes Spanish Love Songs with Joseph Kaiser and the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson on Bridge Records. Its recently released CD on the GPR label, Canción amorosa, also focuses on Spanish song—Basque, Catalan, Castilian, and Sephardic—with soprano Corinne Winters accompanied by Steven Blier.
In 2010, NYFOS launched NYFOS NEXT, a series for new songs, hosted by guest composers in intimate venues. This season the series returns as a mini-festival during the month of February 2016 with all concerts presented at OPERA America’s National Opera Center. In the fall of 2014, NYFOS officially introduced its unamplified cabaret series NYFOS AFTER HOURS at HENRY's Restaurant on the Upper West Side, drawing full houses and superlative voices accompanied by Blier at the piano.
NYFOS is passionate about nurturing the artistry and careers of young singers and through its NYFOS EMERGING ARTISTS program has developed professional training residencies around the country, including The Juilliard School’s Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts (now in its 11th year); Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (its 8th year in March 2016); San Francisco Opera Center (over 15 years as of March 2014); Glimmerglass Opera (2008–2010); and its newest project, NYFOS@North Fork in Orient, NY (3 years).
NYFOS’s concert series, touring programs, radio broadcasts, recordings, and educational activities continue to spark new interest in the creative possibilities of the song program, and have inspired the creation of thematic vocal series around the world.

 "Steven Blier and Michael Barrett's unstoppable song salon.” — Time Out NY

Upcoming NYFOS Mainstage Concerts

Tuesday, March 15, 2016, 8:00 pm
At Home
Music by Saint-Saëns, Bernstein, Poulenc, Balfe, Montsalvatge, Bucchino and more
Caramoor's 2016 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars
Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, pianists and hosts

Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center
Tuesday, April 26, 2016, 8:00 pm
Songs by Latin American Women

Songs by María Grever, Violeta Parra, Odaline de la Martínez, Ernestina Lecuona,
Chabuca Granda, Susana Baca, 
Joyce Morena, Beatriz Lockhart
María Valdés, soprano (NY debut); Efrain Solís, baritone (NY debut)
Steven Blier and Michael Barrett, pianists and hosts
Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center

All NYFOS programming is funded, in part, by The New York State Council on the Arts
with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and The New York State Legislature.

NYFOS Mainstage and NYFOS Next are supported, in part, by public funds from
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with The City Council.

For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,
please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or
PR for musical trailblazers

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