Preservation New Jersey • 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing • PO Box 7815• West Trenton, NJ 08628
Grand Opening Festival
Classical Music Series:
Edmund Milly, Baritone
Étienne Lemieux-Després, Piano
Friday, April 15, 2016, 7:00 pm
at the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing
Preservation New Jersey is pleased to present Edmund Milly and Étienne Lemieux-Després for an unforgettable Winter Journey in the beautiful acoustics of the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing!
The Winterreise ("Winter Journey"), D. 911, has captivated audiences for nearly 200 years. One of Schubert's final compositions before his death, the composer's initial performance of the piece for a gathering of friends shocked and disturbed them. The dark, melancholic nature of Müller's poetry combined with Schubert's masterful, yet somber harmonies, has often been considered the ultimate expression of heartbreak. And yet, for all its darkness, there is ambiguity, too: what is the Wanderer's fate?
Brooklyn-based bass-baritone Edmund Milly is quickly distinguishing himself as a sensitive and dynamic performer of early music, oratorio, art song, and anything else which inhabits the interstitial spaces of the classical vocal repertoire of the past millennium. A passionate interpreter of Bach, Edmund recently made his Lincoln Center debut as Jesus in the St. John Passion under Masaaki Suzuki, a performance which was described as “authoritative and confident” (seenandheard-international.com). As soloist or chorister, he sings with such groups as the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Spire Chamber Ensemble, Trident, The Thirteen, Ensemble Aevum, Yale Schola Cantorum, the Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, the Montreal Symphony Choir, Viva Voce, and Ensemble Caprice. Additionally, he has been a featured soloist on several BBC and CBC radio broadcasts.
Edmund’s musical education began with cello lessons at age 3. While at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey from 1997 to 2001, he amassed a number of formative musical experiences while singing under the batons of Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Mazur, James Levine, and André Previn on numerous occasions, and gained early exposure to repertoire he still performs. Edmund received his Bachelor of Music with Distinction from McGill University. He also holds a B.A. with Distinction and an M.A. from McGill in English Literature, studies which have enhanced his interpretive and expressive capabilities as a singer. These eclectic experiences ultimately led Mr. Milly to the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, where he continued his vocal education with an M.Mus. as a member of the elite Yale Voxtet and a student of James Taylor. Yale Schola Cantorum provided the perfect context to grow as both a soloist and as an ensemble musician under the direction of David Hill, Masaaki Suzuki, and Simon Carrington.
An avid contrapuntist, Edmund recently traveled to Venice to demonstrate techniques of polyphonic improvisation in the style of the 16th century with a quartet tutored by Peter Schubert. At first by chance, and then by design, he has relished opportunities to perform a number of lesser-known gems by outstanding early music composers from Arrigoni to Zelenka. An intrepid explorer of vocal repertoire outside of his own "Western art music" comfort zone, Edmund has also studied and performed shape-note hymnody, as well as sacred and secular vocal folk polyphony from Bulgaria, the Republic of Georgia, Corsica, and South Africa, on tour with Northern Harmony for months at a time. To complicate matters further, he has performed 140 of Elvis Presley's greatest hits - in alphabetical order - for an audience of thousands with the Collège Vocal de Laval, a 16-voice pro group under the direction of pop star Gregory Charles whose repertoire ranges from Mozart to Céline Dion. Mr. Milly's own choral compositions have been premiered by Northern Harmony and by Ensemble Inversus, an un-conducted vocal ensemble which he founded and directs.
Further information about Edmund Milly, including his performance schedule, is available at www.edmundmilly.com
Étienne Lemieux-Després began playing the piano at the age of 5. After finishing a degree in mathematics and physics, he went to study Music Performance at the University of Montreal, under Paul Stewart.
Even though the piano kept an important place in his life, his activities slowly went towards conducting. He became chorister for several ensembles such as the Chœur de la Montagne, the Chœur des Jeunes du Québec and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Choir. He also sang with renowned artists like Sarah McLachlan, Styx and Yes. He undertook studies in choral conducting with Lucie Roy and Pierre Barrette. Later, he was invited to join the Ensemble Bellechose, a choir specialized in Renaissance music, where he became the assistant conductor under John Wiens. He now is the principal conductor of several ensembles including a pop choir, a children chorus and a classical choir.
He began his orchestral conducting studies with Paolo Bellomia. He also went at the Conducting Institute in Bard College, New York, where he studied with Apo Hsu, Mark Gibson and Harold Farberman. He continued for two years in McGill University with Alexis Hauser as invited student. He studied at the Accademia Chigiana of Siena in Italy with Gianluigi Gelmetti.
April 13, 2016
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