Lyric Fest Announces 2017 – 2018 Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media contact: Peter C. Phillips, M.D.
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Lyric Fest Announces 2017 – 2018 Season

In celebration of its 15th year of concerts, Lyric Fest continues its fresh and innovative approach to art song performance, showcasing song in an intimate and glorious expression.

Laura Ward, Lyric Fest’s Co-Founder and internationally recognized collaborative pianist, together with a distinguished cast of singers, inaugurates the season with a pianist’s unique perspective on vocal collaborations. The birthday festivities continue into October as Lyric Fest celebrates the 90th birthday of an acclaimed American treasure, composer Dominick Argento, in a concert of his art songs for the first of the season’s two mini concerts.
December continues Lyric Fest’s celebration of newly-commissioned works with a presentation of stunningly beautiful, new art songs of Benjamin C. S. Boyle, Lyric Fest’s Composer-in-Residence. February adds another edition to the ever-popular Lyric Fest Biography Series with “Claude Debussy – Biography in Music,” an exploration of the composer’s tempestuous life and loves as revealed by his own letters and music. The second Lyric Fest mini concert series welcomes Spring with “Humming and Strumming,” a concert featuring Philadelphia’s premier guitarist Allen Krantz, in music for the voice, from early, classical, folk, jazz, and modern traditions, where all have equal footing. The 15th Anniversary season is brought to a climactic finale by international opera stars Bryan Hymel (tenor) and Irini Kyriakidou (soprano) in a special concert with pianist Laura Ward, featuring a program of songs of Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Benjamin C. S. Boyle, and includes some operatic favorites.
With programming designed for the art song aficionado and newcomer alike, Lyric Fest occupies a unique place in the Philadelphia’s musical Artscape. Co-Directors Suzanne DuPlantis and Laura Ward seamlessly combine scholarship and entertainment by weaving together performance insights, cultural history, music history, and the highest level of musical performance. By championing the songs of contemporary composers, they bring the genre of the song out of the museum and into the lives of 21st century audiences.
“Lyric Fest’s artistic directors have a genius for picking themes that generate unpredictable variety…” Tom Purdom, Broad Street Review.

2017 – 2018 Lyric Fest Program Descriptions
Pedals, Page-turns and Postludes – A View from the Bench
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2017, 6PM WINE & CHEESE, 6:30PM MINI CONCERT
THE COMMUNITY HOUSE, MOORESTOWN, NJ

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017, 7:30PM WINE & CHEESE, 8PM CONCERT
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF CHESTNUT HILL

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 AT 3PM
ACADEMY OF VOCAL ARTS

Laura Ward reveals the trade secrets of the collaborative pianist in a new concert format combining features of a “master class” with those of a “master performance”. Laura shares what it means to perform with singers: the art of attending to the word; the breath; and the composer. Featuring Jennifer Aylmer, Randall Scarlata, Jonas Hacker and Suzanne DuPlantis, with insights from the bench by Laura Ward on playing art song, opera and premiering new works.

Dominick Argento Turns 90
Happy Hour and Mini Concert
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2017, 5:30PM RECEPTION, 6PM MUSIC
ETHICAL SOCIETY AUDITORIUM, RITTENHOUSE SQUARE

Lyric Fest celebrates Dominick Argento’s 90th birthday with a concert of his songs. This Pulitzer Prize awarded, living American composer, born in York, Pennsylvania, has dedicated nearly his entire career to composing for voice. Come to experience a short concert of his beautiful art songs and learn about the life of this American musical treasure, Dominick Argento, with Jessica Lennick, Claire Shackleton, and Laura Ward at the piano. Put a little music into your work week with Lyric Fest’s happy hour mini concert series.

Art Songs of Benjamin C.S. Boyle – Lyric Fest’s Composer-in-Residence
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2017 AT 3PM
ACADEMY OF VOCAL ARTS

To commemorate our 15th Anniversary Season, Lyric Fest is proud to present the Stasiuk & Farion Composer-in-Residence, Benjamin C.S. Boyle. Boyle has produced a stunning body of art song that brings together his lyric and pianistic gifts with an affinity for exquisite verse. Repertoire including “Ophelia,” “Songs of Virtue and Loss,” and a world premiere of Lyric Fest’s newly commissioned song cycle, “Spirits in Bondage,” settings of the early love poetry of C. S. Lewis. In concert with Daniel Teadt, Sarah Shafer, Hannah Ludwig and Laura Ward at the piano, with commentary by the composer.

Claude Debussy – Biography in Music
SATURDAY AFTERNOON, FEBRUARY 10, 2018 AT 4PM
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF CHESTNUT HILL

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2018 AT 3PM
ACADEMY OF VOCAL ARTS

The latest in our biography series, this program features the fascinating life, tempestuous times and sublime songs of one of the greatest song composers, Claude Debussy. Narrating and reading from the composer’s letters will be Lyric Fest’s composer-in-residence, Benjamin C. S. Boyle. With Amy Burton, Suzanne DuPlantis, Thomas Meglioranza, Rebecca Myers, and Laura Ward at the piano.

15th ANNIVERSARY CANDLELIT CABARET FUNDRAISER
SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 2018 AT 7PM
ACADEMY OF VOCAL ARTS

Join Lyric Fest for a sparkling evening with round table seating, fine wines, appetizers, desserts… and the unforgettable songs of Rodgers and Hart, with Suzanne DuPlantis, Richard Troxell, Harold Evans, piano and Ron Kerber, sax. Tables at $1500, half-tables $750, individual seats $150. Join us for a spectacular evening that supports Lyric Fest!
Humming and Strumming – Guitar Songs with Allen Krantz
Happy Hour and Weekday Mini Concert
TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2018 6PM RECEPTION, 6:30PM MUSIC
THE COMMUNITY HOUSE MOORESTOWN, NJ

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2018 5:30PM RECEPTION, 6PM MUSIC
ETHICAL SOCIETY AUDITORIUM RITTENHOUSE SQUARE

A winsome and fun program inspired by the art of the guitar and the songs it has tenderly accompanied through the years. Classical, folk, jazz and modern songs stand side by side in a program featuring Philadelphia’s premiere guitarist, Allen Krantz, with Suzanne DuPlantis, and Emily Drummond. Put a little music into your midweek with Lyric Fest’s happy hour mini concert series.

Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou in Concert with Laura Ward
SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2018 AT 3PM
CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY, RITTENHOUSE SQUARE
1904 WALNUT STREET, PHILADELPHIA

Lyric Fest is thrilled to present international opera stars, tenor Bryan Hymel and soprano Irini Kyriakidou in a special concert with pianist Laura Ward. Featuring a program of Vaughan Williams, Ravel, Benjamin C. S. Boyle, and operatic favorites, in the couple’s first-ever recital performance in Philadelphia. Join us for this grand finale to Lyric Fest’s 15th Anniversary Season! Priority Seating and elegant reception with Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou Hymel at the Academy of Vocal Arts following the concert, for ticket price of $150. General seating $35.
The appearance of Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou on Lyric Fest’s 15th Anniversary Season is made possible through a generous gift from the Apgar Black Foundation.