As we enter the holiday season and approach the end of the year, we invite you to please join us this Saturday for our final performance of 2014, a concert of music by Bach, Shostakovich, and the young Lithuanian composer Justé Janulyté with guest soloists oboist Caroline Ross and mezzo-soprano Kate Maroney.
While our concerts are always presented at an affordable price, Saturday’s free concert is our way of saying “thank you” to all of those who have supported us in the past, and who we hope will continue to support us in the coming year.
We’ve got another amazing year ahead–one made possible entirely by generous contributions from our community. We’re especially excited to be inaugurating two new initiatives: the SOB Conducting Workshop (with SOB favorite Tito Muñoz), and the String Theories Festival, four days of concerts in late March focusing on 21st century string works performed by the SOB and guest artists and ensembles.
And there’s more: a performance of Beethoven‘s Eroica in February, Buxtehude‘s complete cantata cycle Membra Jesu Nostri in April with the Polydora Ensemble, the world premiere of a new piano concerto by Scott Wollschleger in June, and much more.
If adventurous music-making matters to you, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the SOB. Either way, we hope you can join us on Saturday night!
We are so grateful for your support–you make what we do possible.
Founder and Artistic Director
The String Orchestra of Brooklyn (SOB) is excited to announce a weekend conducting workshop — January 10 & 11, 2015 — led by Tito Muñoz (Music Director of The Phoenix Symphony) and Eli Spindel (Artistic Director of the SOB).
The SOB conducting workshop offers participants conducting training in a non-competitive, supportive atmosphere with highly professional teaching and an accomplished and critically-acclaimed community orchestra. The workshop will be limited to 15 participants to ensure that each participant receives at least 45 minutes of podium time with the orchestra. The focus of the workshop will be on baton technique, leadership psychology, and orchestral pedagogy. A Q&A session with Tito Muñoz will be offered, and an orchestra rehearsal on January 9 led by Tito Muñoz will be open for participants to observe.
January 9, 7–9:30pm: Orchestra rehearsal led by Tito Muñoz
January 10 9:30am–12:30pm: Session 1
January 10 1:30–4:30pm: Session 2
January 10 4:45–5:45pm: Q&A with Tito Muñoz
January 11 9:30am–12:30pm: Session 3
January 11 1:30–4:30pm: Session 4
All sessions take place at South Oxford Space in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
MAHLER Adagietto (Fourth Movement) from Symphony No. 5
MENDELSSOHN String Symphony No. 10 in B Minor
BARTOK Roumanian Folk Dances (string orchestra version)
DEBUSSY Danse sacrée et danse profane
Participants are responsible for all scores.
Each session will be videotaped and made available to participants. Participants may use their own video equipment if they prefer.
Please submit a resume and cover letter (email preferred) to program administrator Brian Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) explaining your musical background, interest in the program, and personal goals in conducting. Applicants are strongly encouraged to include a sample conducting video if possible, but this is not a requirement for acceptance. Videos may be uploaded and shared via an online service such as YouTube or Dropbox, or DVDs and application materials may be mailed to:
The String Orchestra of Brooklyn
79 St. James Place, #2
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Applications due: November 1
Decisions announced: November 15
Tuition due: December 1
Participants are responsible for their own housing and meals.
There will be a small number of spaces available for highly capable string players to participate in the workshop as both conductors and orchestra members at reduced tuition. If you’re interested in this option, please include performance history in your resume and a recording or video that demonstrates your playing ability with your application.
A limited number of auditor spots will be available. Tuition for auditors will be $200.
Please contact program administrator Brian Thompson (email@example.com) with any questions or concerns.
This past Saturday the SOB capped off a year of music-making with a concert at a beautiful new venue in Fort Greene. In the middle of a snowstorm, a wonderful, attentive audience came out to hear the kind of program that they’ve come to expect from us: an incredibly moving recent work by Brooklyn composer Jacob Cooper paired with a 1736 work by Pergolesi performed with the same spirit of excitement and discovery as if the composer were sitting in the audience.
Our events over the past year were each exciting and original in their own way: A Fourth of July fireworks performance in front of thousands at the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium; guest appearances by internationally renowned soloists Tito Muñoz and Charles Neidich in a concert that drew an audience of 350–our largest ever at St. Ann’s; an open-air performance of Terry Riley’s minimalist masterpiece In C in Fort Greene Park; the world premiere of Chris Cerrone‘s beautiful High Windows–an SOB commission; collaborations with the GHOSTLIGHT Chorus, the Toomai String Quintet, and the Brooklyn Art Song Society… We were busy in 2013.
The year ahead is shaping up to be just as exciting: In February we’ll be joined again by the GHOSTLIGHT Chorus to perform Handel’s epic Dixit Dominus. March brings our third annual String Theories concert with ISSUE Project Room when we’ll premiere four new works written specifically for the ensemble. And in May our excitement is twofold: we’re continuing to commission new works for orchestra, this time with composer Matt McBane, and we’re collaborating with the insanely talented students of Face the Music–a music program for kids that focuses exclusively on the work of living composers.
Your support is what makes all of these programs possible. We work hard to fulfill our mission of presenting smart, adventurous programs at a price that everyone can afford (usually $15 or less), but that also means that ticket income doesn’t pay all our bills. Your support opens doors for us to continue to grow in new and exciting directions.
All of us at the SOB warmly invite you to join our efforts in 2014 and beyond by making a tax-deductible donation this holiday season.
$20 helps us to keep ticket prices low for our community
$50 allows us to purchase targeted online marketing for one of our events
$100 rents us space for one rehearsal
$200 pays for an injury-prevention workshop for our players
$300 secures the performance rights for a 20th/21st century work under copyright
$400 pays a videographer to immortalize one of our concerts
$500 rents us the percussion instruments we need to play the really massive stuff
$1,000 allows us to play at a new, exciting venue
$2,000 helps to commission a new piece by an emerging composer
$5,000 funds a series of educational concerts in NYC schools
$10,000 pays for the creation of a studio album
As a musician-run, all-volunteer ensemble, we guarantee that every donation made to the SOB is invested in new, forward-thinking programming and exciting collaborations within Brooklyn. Every dollar helps magnify the contributions of our players, friends, and colleagues who believe in this young and talented ensemble.
Thank you for supporting the SOB; I hope you’ll help us continue to cultivate unique and accessible orchestral music in Brooklyn!
Founder and Artistic Director
This year we’re trying something a little bit new, and so our first concert of 2013 on January 20 will be a solo piano recital. The pianist, David Kaplan, has performed with us in the past, and will again in March, playing and conducting Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24. The idea is to give our audience and players a chance to hear Bach’s original Goldberg Variations—played by a top-notch pianist—a week before the orchestra will take on Dmitri Sitkovetsky’s excellent string orchestra arrangement.
Sitkovetsky’s arrangement takes the form of a concerto grosso, in which a small group of soloists is in constant dialogue with a larger body of strings. In our performance the solo parts will be covered by the members of the Toomai String Quintet, who begin a three-concert residency with the orchestra that will also include a collaborative chamber performance in mid-March and a concert of contemporary string works on June 8.
The concert on January 26 will also be performed without a conductor, which means I get to put down the baton and pick up my violin. It’s always a privilege to conduct such talented string players, and it’s equally rewarding to join in with them as an instrumentalist, as I did when we performed Haydn’s Farewell Symphony (audio) last December. For this concert I’ve assigned each orchestral player one variation from the set to take on the interpretive role that normally would fall to the conductor. So you won’t just be hearing Bach’s variations spun out from the bass line of his opening aria, but also variations of interpretation colored by each member’s unique character and musical intelligence.
You can buy tickets to these events at the door, or online here for the January 20 piano version and here for the January 26 orchestral arrangement. On either ticket page you’ll find an option to purchase tickets for both concerts together for $5 off the total price.
Hope to see you there!
– Eli Spindel, SOB Artistic Director
Next Saturday, September 29, is a kickin’ day for the arts in New York City. And we’re not going to list all of things going on that night, because on Saturday night, you should be one place and one place only: at St. Ann’s Church with us, enjoying our fantastic concert as we bring new life to 5 rarely-played 20th and 21st-century pieces.
But there IS something going on next Saturday (besides our concert) that we feel is worth stopping by and supporting during the day. It’s called RUCKUS NYC, they’re in the midst of a very successful Kickstarter campaign, and the idea is nothing short of awesome. Check out these funny guys:
In case you can’t watch the video right now: RUCKUS is an all-day conference that brings together a bunch of informed artists and intelligent techies (including those rare few who have managed to be both, like RUCKUS organizers Kevin Clark, Zach Herchen, and Victoria Nece) to talk about how to cultivate your art and career in a digitally-centered age – something we are all striving to do successfully.
Make sure you check them out, go to some of their lectures during the day, support them on Kickstarter, (or all of the above) and then join the SOB for a concert and lively-per-usual post-concert reception that night! Sound like an enriching way to spend a Saturday? That’s because it is.
If you want to volunteer with Arielle for the Sparks of Life program at the Methodist Hospital in Park Slope, you can visit the program’s website.
Sean-David Cunningham’s band is running a kickstarter campaign to fund their debut album. They’ve recently reached their $5k goal but you can still contribute. More information.
From Crystal Wei: This semester and year-long program includes rehearsals and coaching sessions (10 hours/semester) by Orchestra of St. Luke’s musicians, and culminates in a performance at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Tons of fun!!! More information.
A Concert to Feed the Hungry — Wednesday, September 12 at 7:00pm at St. Ann and The Holy Trinity Church
Dan Blake, Andrea Spirn’s husband, sends along info about a concert he’s organizing:
Musicians often travel the world, but rarely have the chance to celebrate the universal human desire to help those in need. Joined by bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Leo Genovese, percussionist Richie Barshay and singer/songwriter Margaret Glaspy, saxophonist Dan Blake will present an evening of music to raise money and awareness for the 3rd annual NYC “Walk to Feed the Hungry”, a 3.5 mile walk event produced by Buddhist Global Relief (BGR).
Funds raised form the “Concert to Feed the Hungry” will provide grants to BGR’s partner organizations. These organizations give vital food aid and promote greater food productivity in the communities where they operate, both locally and worldwide. One organization is the Brooklyn-based charity, “Added Value”, which helps Brooklyn youth to positively engage with their community through the operation of a socially responsible urban farming experience.
Schubert’s Last Year Part 1 — Friday, September 14, 8pm at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Friend of the SOB Mike Brofman’s Brooklyn Art Song Society is holding a season opener this Friday.
SOB members get in for $5.
Sunday, September 16, 4:30pm at Mannes College, Concert Hall, 150 West 85th St, New York, NY
SOB violinist Audrey Lo will be giving a recital featuring works by Brahms, Schubert, and Vitali.
The SOB had a wonderful concert this past Saturday, celebrating our orchestra’s 5-year anniversary (to the exact day) in Fort Greene Park. The entire day was full of fun and beautiful weather for everyone, continuing into the evening. In case you missed it, you can watch the video and read this flattering review from The New York Times’ The Local (which you should, by the way, because The Local is great), or you can get a quick recap here:
This was the 3rd annual free outdoor concert that the SOB performed in Fort Greene Park, and the 2nd year the Fort Greene Park Conservancy presented our music in this beautiful park. But this year, we had the added pleasure of kicking off our first ever collaboration with the Noel Pointer Foundation, where we were joined by young players for two of the four pieces on our concert. Seriously, playing with these inspiring young kids was awesome. Families and parents from all over Brooklyn came to enjoy the entire evening with us, starting with an instrument petting zoo for children and their families and concluding with a boisterous rendition of Beethoven’s fifth symphony. It was wonderful to see so many people from our unique borough come together to enjoy our music that day, and we are deeply humbled by the number of people that came to share their love of music and nature with us. Thanks to everyone. We can’t wait to do it again next year!
Check out some of these beautiful photos from our day in the park, taken by the SOB’s Larry Beckhardt: (or click here to see the whole album!)
As we are approaching Easter and the not-so-distant 5 year anniversary of the founding of the String Orchestra of Brooklyn (which, by the way, is exactly on the day of our Parks Concert this July 21, so expect some celebrating afterwards), we thought we’d take a look at our immediate past, present, and future, and get excited about all three:
Our March 17 concert with ISSUE Project Room was a huge success! Our four composers wrote us engaging and genuine world premieres, ISSUE was wonderful to work with (no surprises there), we had a great turnout, and our players had a blast realizing these brand new works.
Also – in case you missed it, we got some great press from the online publication Cool Hunting, showing the SOB some love. (Side note: this article was written by friend of the SOB Max Gold – a multi-talented writer, screenwriter and director who founded Blind Hummingbird Productions, who recently just completed a short film titled Step One. From one group of artists to another: awesome job!)
PRESENT & FUTURE
Tonight marks the first rehearsal for our May 5 concert, chock-full of Beethoven with the handsome and talented David Kaplan on piano. Very exciting, make sure you come out to hear his dulcet tones next month.
Perhaps in the more immediate future, however, is the April 18 concert and fundraiser put on by our friends and some of our fellow SOBers out at the New York Arabic Orchestra. Proceeds from this concert will go towards the orchestra’s Expanded Outreach Program, YOUTH Workshops, and FALL US TOUR. Help this orchestra continue to play a valuable role in our NYC community by enjoying its excellent music for an excellent cause.
Friend of the SOB Sofya Melikyan, piano, is getting downright virtuosic with the Musica Bella Orchestra tomorrow during their Chamber Music/Recital Series, and then again on February 3 for what should be an excellent bit of musical bravado.
Want to be deeply entertained and filled with musical satisfaction?
Then definitely make sure not to miss friend of the SOB and pianist extraordinaire Michael Brofman at Galapagos Art Space for the Charles Ives Marathon Concert all day tomorrow!
Guess what? Today is String Orchestra of Brooklyn’s beloved bassist Morton Cahn‘s birthday! Happy Birthday Mort!
To celebrate, he’s furiously practicing a very difficult sextet, and inviting all his friends to watch! Check out the performance tomorrow…
Friday Evening Chamber Music at New York City Bar Association
Friday, December 9, 2011 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Among other pieces, Louise Moed and Thomas Frenke, violins, Rachel Teplow and Steve Salchow, volas, Kurt Behnke, cello, Morton Cahn, bass, playing a sextet by Julius Roentgen.
Suggested donation of $10, payable at the door. For more information, please e-mail ChamberMusic@nycbar.org
Do you love flute? Do you love talent? Do you love swanky bars on the Lower East Side? Then you should definitely check out the SOB’s Flutist/Piccolo extraordinaire Maureen Keenan play at CultureFix this upcoming November 27th at 7:30 p.m.
|9 Clinton Street New York, NY 10002
|In the mean time, you can hear her this upcoming Saturday, November 19th at 8 PM during our Concert at St. Ann’s!|
Get yourself to Bryant Park on Tuesday evening at 5:30 to support SOB violinist Marandi Hostetter, who will be performing with the New York Arabic Orchestra as part of Make Music New York, a daylong celebration of free music around the city. The concert will take place near the fountain on the corner of 41st St. and Avenue of the Americas.
In case you missed the SOB’s epic string sextet concert last weekend at the Brooklyn Conservatory, the group that played Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht will be performing it again this coming Wednesday, April 20 at 8:00pm. The night is sponsored by Classical Revolution NYC and takes place at culturefix, 9 Clinton Street in the LES. No cover.
In light of this week’s heart-wrenching events in Japan, the orchestra has decided to donate 100% of proceeds from our April 9 sextet concert to the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund. Click here to donate directly.
One World Symphony, who share a home at St. Ann’s with the SOB, are performing a concert tonight at 8:00pm featuring music from Scandanavia, including works by Grieg (the Piano Concerto), Sibelius, Saariaho, and Salonen. Many SOB members will be on stage in the string section! A second performance follows on Sunday in Manhattan.
SOB members Eric Cooper, Pedro Vizzarro Vallejos, Wayne Xia, and Audrey Lo, who with harpist Adan Vasquez make up La Camerata Washington Heights, perform on Sunday, March 20 at 7:00pm at Culture Fix in the Lower East Side. The program will feature Debussy’s Sacred and Profane Dances, as well as works by Bach, Beethoven, Villa-Lobos, Satie, and Grandjany. Grab a beer at the bar and then head into the gallery in the back for the performance.
Welcome to the new website of the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, now featuring audio, video, an archive of past concerts, and much more! This space, the SOBlog, will feature news and announcements about the orchestra, activities of individual orchestra members, and other events of interest in and around Brooklyn. Subscribe to our RSS feed to keep up-to-date on everything that’s happening.
The new SOB site was designed by Molly Spindel Flomer at Spindel Studios and programmed by James Acklin at Acklin Design. We thank them for the beautiful design and implementation of the new site and all their hard work!