Article from US 1 – September 2019

Concordia Chamber Players: Experience Exquisite, Rarely Heard Music Exquisite music, some rarely heard, presented in carefully curated programs and presented by renowned musicians in unique, intimate settings: that’s the promise that the Concordia Chamber Players has delivered for more than 20 years. Founded in 1997 in New Hope, Pennsylvania, Concordia prides itself on bringing the world’s best music to the greater Bucks County and Princeton area. Audiences have come to expect and relish witnessing the great masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire, spanning all centuries, performed by a stellar list of guest artists. Founder and artistic director, Michelle Djokic says, “We endeavor to unveil some lesser known gems while presenting compositions we have all come to treasure in a setting that welcomes both the ardent devotee and those who are just embarking on the discovery of all the wealth of witnessing live chamber music. The unique nature of the venues makes our performances destination events. We are known to seek out the opportunity to escape the sterile environment of commercial concert halls to find gems just a short distance from the big cities.” Concordia’s 2019-2020 season is ready to go and will once again deliver an extraordinary experience, including four […]

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Article from The Morning Call – April 2019

The Bucks County-based Concordia Chamber Players close the 2018-2019 season Sunday, April 28 at Trinity Church in Solebury (near New Hope) with a program pairing two works by contemporary composer Andy Akiho with a string quartet by Prokofiev. Featured will be Akiho’s “21” for cello and marimba, his “LIgNEouS” for marimba and string quartet, and Prokofiev’s String Quartet No. 2. Akiho, described by The New York Times as “mold breaking,” and “vital,” is a New York City-based composer and percussionist with a special interest in works for the marimba and steel pans, which he began playing while a student at the University of South Carolina. “21” was inspired by the 21st measure of the Fugue movement of Bach’s Violin Sonata No. 1. It calls for the cellist to also play a kick drum and trigger a looping pedal, joined by the marimba player who has some multitasking of his own in store. Featured are cellist Michelle Djoric, who is also Concordia Chamber Players artistic director, and Ian Rosenbaum on marimba. “LIgNEouS” refers to anything made, consisting of, or resembling wood. “This title was chosen because the marimba, violin, viola, and cello are all primarily made of wood,” says Akiho in

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Miho Saegusa

Concordia Chamber Players to feature works by female composers

Hopefully, not too far in the future, e when women composers will be regarded in the same light as their male colleagues, and not just as in “a league of their own,” to reference the popular 1992 film of that title. Until then, any opportunity a classical music lover gets to hear some great music written by women, however it is presented, should be indulged in. One such program of special merit takes place Sunday at Trinity Church in Solebury, near New Hope. The Bucks County-based Concordia Chamber Players, in their second concert of the season, will feature a program of compositions entirely by women composers spanning three centuries. The program features works by Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Amy Beach, and Louise Farrenc. Opening the program is the Piano Quintet by Zwilich, a Florida native who became the first female composer to win the Pulitzer Prize in Music, and the first woman to be awarded a doctorate in composition from Juilliard, in 1975. Zwilich composed her quintet in 2011 for the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, violist Michael Tree, and bassist Harold Robinson. The work shares its instrumentation and the theme of its second movement with Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet, with which it is often

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Concordia’s Gift to Bucks County

Bravo, Brava, Bravi to The Concordia Chamber Players!  Founder and cellist Michelle Djokic has always assembled a stellar array of first-class musicians from all over the country, but on Sunday February 17th, they outdid themselves. Programming unfamiliar pieces all written by virtually unknown women composers from different periods of time, I was frankly not expecting to like the music at all, but au contraire, was blown away not only by the superb quality of the musicians’ performance, but by the beautifully unusual music. The two older composers dealt with society’s disapproval of women learning to perform and to compose music, but bravely followed their dreams despite opposition and obstacles in their way. Amy Beach composed and published under her husband’s name until he died, and after one of her successful performances was told “You’re one of the boys now, Amy!” as if that were the highest form of recognition. Contemporary Ellen Taafe Zwilich’s Quintet uses exactly the same instrumentation as Schubert’s famous “Trout” Quintet 191 years earlier, as does Louise Farrenc’s grand finale, but Zwilich, unlike Farrenc and Beach, has already been deservedly well-recognized and acclaimed in the world of music.  Louise Farrenc, earliest of the three composers, was on

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ChamberFest 2017

ChamberFest, Music of the Motherlands, was held September 8th & 9th, 2017 Featuring JP Jofre, accomplished composer and extraordinary bandoneonist, along with the Concordia Chamber Players, who presented his electrifying Tangodromo, Suite for String Quintet and Bandoneon along with a few shorter selections, including “Bailongo” for solo cello – a world premiere! The program closed with the complete version of Antonin Dvorak’s String Quintet in G major, Opus 77, deeply inspired by his Bohemian heritage. Francisco Fullana, Kristin Lee, Daniel Kim, Anthony Manzo, JP Jofre and Michelle Djokic were the performers for this thrilling program at the bucolic setting of Glen Oaks Farm in the heart of Bucks County. Prior to the concert, Concordia held two open rehearsals, September 8th at the New Hope Library, from 2 PM to 5 PM, which was free to the community and another on September 9th, from 10 AM to 1 PM at Glen Oaks Farm where they welcomed students from The Grand School of Music on stage to work side by side as they read through and performed the music. Memorable Quotes: “The entire evening was superb. The venue, food, hospitality – all first class. My congratulations to the Concordia team. This happens

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Princeton Festival Begins With Solid Performance of Concordia Chamber Players

With last Saturday night’s concert by Concordia Chamber Players, this year’s Princeton Festival is off and running. The Concordia ensemble brought only four instrumentalists to this opening concert of Princeton Festival’s 2017 season, but violinist Emily Daggett Smith, violist Ayane Kozasa, cellist Michelle Djokic, and pianist William Wolfram filled Princeton Theological Seminary’s Miller Chapel with a full orchestral-level sound in music both Romantic and contemporary. The string musicians of Concordia Chamber Players began the concert with a tribute to an 18th-century giant by a late 20th-century composer. American composer Aaron Jay Kernis is renowned for his imaginative approach to orchestral color and instrumentation, and his 1991 Mozart En Route (Or, A Little Traveling Music) takes Mozart’s concept for the well-known A Little Night Music to new levels. The opening passages from Ms. Daggett Smith were almost Irish in character, with a driving rhythm from Ms. Kozasa and quick playing from Ms. Djokic. The three players together executed precise and sharp sforzandi and collectively maintained an element of swing throughout the piece. Although in one movement, this work contained several contrasting sections, and the trio of Concordia Players easily shifted among the moods and musical styles. Ms. Daggett Smith and Ms.

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emily daggett smith

Princeton Festival Starts with a Familiar Sound and Group

The Princeton Festival — with 24 events scheduled between Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 25 — is a swirl of opera, musical theater, dance, jazz, baroque music, film, a piano competition, and a Walt Disney concert all taking place in various Princeton venues. Highlights include Ludwig van Beethoven’s opera “Fidelio,” the 1964 Broadway musical “Man of La Mancha,” the Philadelphia-based BalletX contemporary dance company, and numerous more choices made by the festival’s artistic director, Richard Tang Yuk. It’s an abundance of activities compared to the festival’s debut in 2005, which featured four performances of a musical and a concert by the Concordia Chamber Players — the group that has been part of the festival since the beginning and will open it on June 3 at Miller Chapel at the Princeton Theological Seminary. “I have a free hand in programming,” Concordia music director Michelle Djokic says. “But I like to mirror something that (Richard Tang Yuk) has planned. I look out especially for the scheduled opera. This season we’ll be playing Beethoven’s Op. 70 No. 1, the ‘Ghost’ piano trio, because of ‘Fidelio.’” The program performed by cellist Djokic, pianist William Wolfram, violinist Emily Daggett-Smith, and violist Ayane Kozas will

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Winter Gala 2017 with Mads Tolling and the Mads Men Trio

Mads Tolling and the Mads Men Trio (Mads Tolling on violin, Dan Tepfer on piano and Sam Bevan on upright bass) helped swing us into the new year at our 2107 Winter Gala! Playing modern American Jazz from the 60s as well as a few beautiful original compositions, they held us captivated with their nostalgic tunes and very energetic performance. The evening was just perfect, great music and delicious food. Thank you to everyone for all the hard work and help putting this enjoyable gala together…particularly a big thank you to our great cooks! The food was torturesomely delicious. Thank you yet again to Candace and Stephen for opening Cradle Valley Farm to so many to come together in celebration of the wonderful community we all share here. Here are some photos a video from the evening…  

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Concordia Chamber Players performance at the Princeton Festival was a night to remember…

Apparently we weren’t the only ones who enjoyed it. Town Topics wrote a beautiful review and we wanted to share it with you! Enjoy…   Princeton Festival Continues Season With a Concert of Chamber Music Princeton Festival has placed a special emphasis on the music of 20th-century British composer Benjamin Britten this year. The cornerstone opera of the Festival’s 2016 season is Britten’s Peter Grimes, and this past Friday night, Concordia Chamber Players offered some of Britten’s more charming works for voice and instruments as the festival concluded its first week. Concordia Chamber Players has been a regularly-featured ensemble with Princeton Festival, and Friday night’s performance at Miller Chapel at Princeton Theological Seminary showed what chamber music can be. With just five musicians, the Concordia Players held the audience in rapt attention with works of the 19th and 20th centuries. Britten composed his works for the tenor voice from a personal standpoint — for performance by his lifetime collaborator and companion Peter Pears. Britten had an affinity for the folksongs of the British Isles, and set many of these tunes as “Folksong Arrangements” for solo voice and instruments. Tenor Nicholas Phan, joined by pianist Orio Weiss, proved himself to be

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A classical year: The best, the worst, the squid brains

With the Philadelphia Orchestra and Opera Philadelphia going full throttle, the region’s year in classical music was bound to be excellent. And it was, with particularly distinguished activity in the outlying areas involving specialists in music both ancient and modern from Chestnut Hill to Princeton. That doesn’t mean everything worked out. But while lapses and misfires aren’t as satisfying as successes, they can be just as interesting. Pope Francis’ visit, for example . . . Most distracted concert. Though Saturday showed Philadelphia at its best – Center City closed to cars and everybody in a mellow mood – during the Festival of Families concert on the Parkway, soprano prodigy Jackie Evancho sang to an audience that was looking in the opposite direction because the pope was thought to be arriving. And hours later, when the pontiff left, most of the crowd followed, so the Philadelphia Orchestra closed the concert with fire and fireworks that were mostly enjoyed by the cleanup crew. The best and worst of John Eliot Gardiner. The venerable British conductor arrived at Princeton’s Richardson Auditorium in April with a rare performance of Monteverdi’s Orfeo. The 1607 opera reached across the centuries in ways that don’t often happen.

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