The Sembrich
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Simon Mulligan at The Sembrich. Photo credit: YM Photography

“Brooklyn Art Song Society Highlights the Sembrich Season”

“Brooklyn Art Song Society Highlights the Sembrich Season”

—An Elegant Evening of Mahler and Brahms—

BOLTON LANDING, NY —  Performances highlighting the vocal arts alongside a sumptuous film biography of composer Gustav Mahler comprise the bill-of-fare at The Sembrich this week.

On Saturday, August 5th at 7:30 pm, the Brooklyn Art Song Society presents a program entitled “Viennese Voices,” an elegant evening featuring art songs of Mahler and Brahms.  Tickets are $25.  As seated is limited, reservations are strongly recommended.

Soloists for the program include Laura Strickling, soprano, Hyona Kim, mezzo-soprano, Dominic Armstrong, tenor and Paul La Rosa, baritone.  Pianists Miori Sugiyama and Michael Brofman share the accompanying duties.

The first half of the concert encompasses highlights from Mahler song cycles, performed variously by the four soloists, including selections from “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” (“The Youth’s Magic Horn”) “Ruckert-Lieder” and “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen” (“Songs of a Wayfarer”).

For the second half of the evening, the entire company returns for a performance of Brahms’ lilting “Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op.52” for vocal quartet and piano four-hands.

The Brooklyn Art Song Society (BASS), now entering its eighth season, has earned a reputation as one of the preeminent organizations dedicated to the vast repertoire of poetry set to music.

The New York Times called BASS “a company well worth watching” and Voce di Meche hailed, “as long as BASS is around we do not need to worry about the future of art song in the USA.” Opera News writes, “Brooklyn Art Song Society keeps the intimate recital alive with innovative programming,” and the New Yorker praised BASS as “uncompromisingly dedicated to continuing the traditions of classical art song, both old and new.”

“We’re pleased to present this program of Mahler and Brahms, two of Marcella Sembrich’s most distinguished colleagues, as a highlight of SEMBRICH & HER CIRCLE, our 2017 summer season,” says Sembrich Artistic Director Richard Wargo.


The life and music of Gustav Mahler are explored further on Monday, August 7 at 7:30 pm at Bolton Free Library with a free-to-the-public screening of “Mahler on the Couch.”

In the 2010 German film, Mahler, distraught by the infidelity of his wife Alma, seeks the counsel of famed psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud.  The screening will be followed by an insightful behind-the-scenes documentary on the scoring of the film with acclaimed conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen.


Another program of vocal music repertoire follows on Thursday, August 10th at 7:30 pm, as scholarship winners from the Bel Canto Institute’s Summer Session in Florence come to The Sembrich to perform a selection of songs and arias in the Italian vocal tradition of bel canto (“beautiful singing”). Tickets are $30.

The Bel Canto Institute, founded in 1987 by former Metropolitan Opera Prompter and Assistant Conductor Jane Bakken Klaviter, grants four weeks of study abroad in Florence, Italy to select singers.

“This is a priceless experience for these young artists, to perform in the room where Marcella Sembrich once taught,” states Bel Canto director Klaviter, who will also serve as piano accompanist for the evening.