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College of Mount Saint Vincent Presents Chamber Music Concert March 25, 2012
3/5/2012 - Artists:  ARTEK, New York City’s renowned period instrument ensemble
Date:  Sunday, March 25, 2012
Time:   5:30 pm
Location: President’s Reception Room
Founders Hall, Second Floor
6301 Riverdale Avenue, Riverdale, New York 10471
Admission: Free

On Sunday, March 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm, members of ARTEK perform music of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert in the elegant and historical President’s Reception Room in Founders Hall at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale. Four outstanding artists (Michael Brown, tenor; Peter Becker, bass-baritone; Dongsok Shin, fortepiano; and ARTEK director Gwendolyn Toth, fortepiano) will perform the Sonata in C major for four hands by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791); the song cycle An die Ferne Geliebte by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) and lieder by Franz Schubert (1797-1828). Ms. Toth and Mr. Shin will perform on a historical copy of an original 18th-century piano by Anton Walter, known today as a fortepiano, identical to the instrument owned by Mozart. The concert will last approximately 75 minutes. The College of Mount Saint Vincent is located at 6301 Riverdale Avenue, Riverdale, New York 10471. The concert is free and the general public is invited to attend; no admission or suggested donation will be requested and no reservations are necessary.

Background information on the artists:

Audiences love ARTEK concerts for their exciting, dramatic performances of baroque music, with compelling musical settings of beautiful poetry and infectious dance rhythms that infuse the performances with vitality and spirit. Founded by director Gwendolyn Toth in 1986, ARTEK features America’s finest singers and instrumentalists in performances of seventeenth-century repertoire from Italy and Germany. Highlights of ARTEK’s past seasons include acclaimed performances in 2002 and 2003 of ARTEK’s theater show, I’ll Never See the Stars Again, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2005; standing ovation performances to sell-out crowds at the Regensburg (Germany) Tage Alter Musik Festival in 1998 and 2003; and ARTEK’s debut performance in 2003 at the prestigious Boston Early Music Festival. ARTEK’s recordings of Monteverdi’s Orfeo and other early Italian repertoire have been widely praised. ARTEK toured internationally from 1997 to 2002 with the Mark Morris Dance Group, visiting major venues in the United Kingdom, Italy, and Canada as well as more than 50 of America’s premier theaters. Visit www.artekearlymusic.org to learn more.

Director Gwendolyn Toth is one of only a few American conductors of historical performance ensembles and orchestras. She is the director and founder of America’s virtuoso period instrument ensemble, ARTEK. Ms. Toth has also conducted at Sadler’s Wells Theater in London with the Mark Morris Dance Group; the Skylight Theater in Milwaukee; Kaye Playhouse, Merkin Hall, and BAM in New York City, and for the German Radio Broadcasting system. She is recognized as an outstanding performer on early keyboard instruments, performing in early music festivals in Boston, Utrecht, Holland, and the Czech Republic, and on radio networks in Holland, Germany, France, and America’s National Public Radio. Her discography includes a CD of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on the lautenwerk, and two solo organ CDs of Renaissance and Baroque organ music on meantone organs in Holland.  She is currently on the faculties of Manhattan College, Montclair State University, and Mount Saint Vincent College. Ms. Toth invites fans to view her blog, www.artekearlymusic.blogspot.com, for stories and videos about her life with music and ARTEK.

Dongsok Shin was born in Boston and played the modern piano from the age of four. Since the early 1980’s, he has specialized exclusively on harpsichord, organ, and fortepiano. Much in demand as a soloist and continuo player, Mr. Shin has appeared with the American Classical Orchestra, ARTEK, Concert Royal, Early Music New York, Carmel Bach Festival, Mark Morris Dance Group, the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has been a member of the acclaimed ensemble REBEL since 1997 and has toured throughout North America, Europe, and Mexico, has been heard on numerous radio broadcasts nationally and internationally, and has recorded for ATMA Classique, Bridge Records, Dorian/Sono Luminus, Hänssler Classic, Helicon, Lyrichord, and Newport Classic. He was a founding member of the Mannes Camerata, receiving international critical acclaim as music director for their productions of early baroque operas. In his spare time, he tunes and maintains harpsichords in the New York area (he is the harpsichord technician for the Metropolitan Opera and tuner of the antique keyboards at the Metropolitan Museum), and he is well known as a recording engineer, producer and editor of numerous early music recordings.

Michael Brown, tenor, has been a member of ARTEK since the 1992 production of Orfeo. He started musical life hearing classical and show music on phonograph and radio. While receiving first music lessons from his father, he served as a chorister in Bethlehem, PA. Inspired by the singing of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, he attended the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music. He sang the American premeier of P. M. Davies’ The Lighthouse, in Boston and has also sung with Connecticut Early Music Festival, American Bach Soloists, and Glimmerglass Opera. Recent highlights include performances of Schubert’s Winterreise with Harvey Burgett and the music of contemporaries Wendy Griffiths and Chris Berg. This fall he sang arias of Bach and Bruhns with the Long Island Baroque Ensemble. Next spring, he and his wife, soprano Phyllis Clark, will be teaching ensemble singing in Japan, and he will perform Schubert songs with fortepianist Gwendolyn Toth. He teaches ESL at La Guardia Community College.

Bass-baritone Peter Becker has performed throughout the USA, Europe, Asia, and South America in repertoire ranging from medieval to contemporary. Theater credits include performances with Canadian Opera Company, Macerata Festival, Teatro Opera di Roma, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, the 21st Century Consort, and the Broadway show Band in Berlin. Guest appearances include Tafelmusik, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Magnificat, the Newberry Consort, Folger Consort, Portland Baroque, ARTEK, and festivals including Spoleto (Italy and USA), Caramoor, Ravinia, Aldeburgh, Utrecht, Hong Kong, Ravenna, Jerusalem, Macao, Miyazaki, and Saratoga. As a member of the male vocal quintet Hudson Shad, he has performed with distinguished conductors Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Michael Tilson Thomas, Charles Dutoit, and Dennis Russell Davies. Contemporary music credits include Tan Dun’s Marco Polo, Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King, Heinz Karl Gruber’s Frankenstein, William Walton’s Façade, Stravinsky’s Renard, Oliver Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are, Mark Kuss’ The Show, and Kurt Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent

The College of Mount Saint Vincent is an academically excellent, authentically inclusive, Catholic and ecumenical liberal arts college. It combines a strong core curriculum with a full array of majors in the liberal arts and selected professional fields of study, including accounting, business administration, education, and nursing. Through its School of Professional and Continuing Studies, the College extends its primary undergraduate mission by offering high quality graduate studies in business, education and nursing and an array of undergraduate and certificate programs serving non-traditional students. Mount Saint Vincent is located on a pastoral campus in New York City, with easy access to all the educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities that the City affords.

Media Contacts:
Erin Walsh                                                       
Director for College Relations                         
(718) 405-3345                                                
erin.walsh@mountsaintvincent.edu                

-or-

Christina Gonzalez
Assistant Director for College Relations
(718) 405-3341
christina.gonzalez@mountsaintvincent.edu