March 10, 2019

CAROL OF WORDS – Walt Whitman in Song – Press Release

PHILADELPHIA, PA – March 8, 2019
Contact: Suzanne DuPlantis

Lyric Fest presents a three-concert Walt Whitman happening in two cities in honor of the poet’s bicentennial. Twelve new vocal chamber works commissioned and premiered alongside extant song settings, biographical narration and readings from Whitman’s poetry, prose and letters. 

CAROL OF WORDS – Walt Whitman in Song

Saturday, April 6th, 2019 at 4:00 PM at the Academy of Vocal Arts
3:30 – Pre-concert Composer Talk
Sunday, April 7th, 2019 at 3:00 PM at Haverford College, Roberts Hall
2:30 – Pre-concert Composer Talk
Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at 7:00 PM in NYC
All new works presented at The Phoenix Concerts, Inc.
Saint Matthew & Saint Timothy / 26 W 84th / New York, NY
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To celebrate the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birth and his lasting contribution to American letters and song, Lyric Fest presents two concerts with distinct programming of Whitman songs in Philadelphia, and a third in NYC showcasing exclusively the newly composed works that LF commissioned for this project.
The Philadelphia offerings will be presented in two parts, on Saturday, April 6, at 4PM, at the Academy of Vocal Arts and on Sunday, April 7 at 3PM at Haverford College in Roberts Hall. Both concerts will feature a composer talk at the half hour before the concert.
Both Philadelphia concerts will feature biographical narration interspersed by Whitman expert Greg Trupiano; and readings from Whitman’s poetry, prose and letters, by Jim Bergwall.
Throughout the weekend’s concerts, Lyric Fest will premiere of 12 new vocal chamber/voice and piano works alongside extant settings of Whitman.

Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 4PM (at AVA)

Amy Van Roeckel, soprano, Raehann Bryce-Davis, mezzo soprano, William Burden, tenor and Keith Phares, baritone. With Laura Ward, piano, Min-Young Kim, Violin, Tim Ressler, Double Bass
Five world premieres, commissioned by LF:
Twenty Eight Bathers – Nkeiru Okoye
Come, My Tan-Faced Children – Melissa Dunphy
America, Singing – Gilda Lyons
Two Whitman Love SongsJames Primosch
We Two – How Long We were Fool’d – Glen Roven
Other works featured on this concert are by George Crumb, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Ernst Bacon, Paul Hindemith, Kurt Weill, and Lee Hoiby.

Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 3PM (at Haverford)

Kristina Bachrach, soprano; Hannah Ludwig, mezzo soprano; James Reese, tenor and Sidney Outlaw, baritone. With Laura Ward, piano, Min-Young Kim, Violin, Tim Ressler, Double Bass, Doris Hall-Gulati, Clarinet
Seven world premieres, commissioned by LF:
Red Jacket/Yonnondio Curt Cacioppo
‘Tis of These I Sing America (4 songs) – Robert Convery
the lines below  – Raymond Lustig
Lincoln’s Death – Broadway N.Y. in the forenoon, the news is received
I heard the blue birds singing – (2 songs) – David Shapiro
We Two Boys – Derek Bermel
All Things Being Finite – Isabella Nicole Ness
And the winner of the Young Composer Competition
The Dismantled Ship – Samuel McLaughlin
Other works featured on this concert are by Daron Aric Hagen, Ned Rorem, Elinor Remick Warren, Ernst Bacon, Charles Ives, Kurt Weill
Details on the concert season, featured artists, and more may be found at
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About Lyric Fest
Lyric Fest’s mission is to bring people together through the shared experience of song by offering to diverse audiences lively, theme-oriented voice recitals designed to engage, educate, stimulate dialogue and foster community. LF is committed to expanding the region’s interest in and knowledge of song as an important and relevant art form, and to access through affordable ticket prices. With a growing national reputation for excellence and innovation, LF receives critical acclaim and attention in a number of national publications and received invitations to bring programs to several states and cities, including Washington, CD, Pittsburgh, NYC, Brooklyn, Moorestown, NJ, Wilmington, DE and more.
Lyric Fest was founded in 2003 with the goal of celebrating and revitalizing the song tradition in Philadelphia and beyond. Currently run by two of its founders: mezzo soprano Suzanne DuPlantis and pianist Laura Ward, LF has produced and presented over 100 concerts and recitals featuring more than 250 local, regional and national artists: singers, composers, instrumentalists, actors, dancers and choral groups. With a commitment to American art song, LF has commissioned over 32 composers, 1 lyricist, for 37 individual songs,12 song cycles/groups (93 songs), and 6 arrangements by local, regional and nationally recognized composers

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