Members of Perspectives Ensemble

New York Concert Featuring Zulal, Perspectives Ensemble, Celebrates Armenian Music

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NEW YORK — Perspectives Ensemble, in cooperation with the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, presents “Dark Eyes/New Eyes: A Celebration of Armenian Music,” on Sunday, March 22, at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Chapel of St. James, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street.

The performance will feature Zulal, a vocal trio composed of Teni Apelian, Anaïs Alexandra Tekerian, and Yeraz Markarian, and Perspectives Ensemble members, including flutist and Artistic Director Sato Moughalian, harpist Stacey Shames, and percussionist John Hadfield. Admission is free and running time is 70 minutes, no intermission.

“Dark Eyes/New Eyes” celebrates Armenian music in a program of village songs, as well as other traditional and composed pieces by historic and contemporary Armenian composers. The concert pays homage to the journeys of our families, ancestors, and departed ones. Six musicians offer lively and contemplative music, including sharagans (Armenian hymns), work songs and humorous songs, folk songs preserved by the great Armenian composer-musicologist Gomidas Vartabed in his own transcriptions as well as new arrangements, languidly beautiful melodies of 18th century troubadour/composer Sayat-Nova, music of Alan Hovhannes, and the beloved Lullaby from Aram Khatchaturian’s ballet Gayane–one of several new arrangements by Yerevan-based composer Artur Akshelyan.

Flutist Sato Moughalian maintains a widely varied career as a chamber musician, solo and orchestral player, and is Artistic Director of Perspectives Ensemble, which she founded in 1993 at Columbia University. She serves as principal flute for American Modern Ensemble and Catapult Opera; was a 12-year member of Quintet of the Americas; guest flutist with groups including the Imani Winds, American Ballet Theatre, Oratorio Society of NY, American Symphony Orchestra, and Orquestra Sinfonico do Estado São Paulo, Brazil, with whom she recorded Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6 and other major works of the composer. She has toured on five continents as a chamber musician, is an avid performer of new music, can be heard on more than 35 chamber music recordings, and was awarded the Catalan Ramon Llull Prize for Creative Arts in 2013. She has artistic directed 5 CDs with Perspectives Ensemble, most recently the critically-acclaimed Naxos recording, “Manuel de Falla: El Amor Brujo” (1915 version) and “El Retablo de Maese Pedro.” In 2019, after a decade of research and writing, Stanford University Press published Feast of Ashes: The Life and Art of David Ohannessian, her biography of her grandfather, who founded the art of Armenian Jerusalem ceramics in 1919 after surviving deportation from Ottoman Turkey during the WWI period of the Armenian Genocide. The book was long-listed for the PEN America Jacqueline Bograd Weld Biography Award and is a finalist for the Association of American Publishers’ PROSE Award in Biography & Autobiography.

As a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral principal, harpist Stacey Shames has appeared throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and the Far East. Recent concerto engagements include those with The Riverside Symphony at Lincoln Center, The Munich Chamber Orchestra, The New Jersey Symphony, The Saint Louis Symphony, and The National Chamber Orchestra. She won first prize in the American Harp Society National Competition, and a top prize in the International Harp Contest in Israel. Shames has held the solo chair with the Saint Louis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, with whom she currently performs, tours, and records. She concertizes extensively with Aureole, her trio of flute, viola and harp, and the group has released 10 recordings, championing new works written for the combination. Shames has performed on the soundtracks to over 100 films, and appears on-camera in many films, as well as on the acclaimed series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

In Armenian, Zulal means “clear water.” Zulal, the a cappella performance and recording trio — composed of Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian and Anaïs Tekerian — has brought the beauty of Armenian folk music to stages ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to Yerevan’s Komitas Chamber Music House. The trio’s original arrangements pay tribute to Armenia’s folk melodies, while introducing a sophisticated lyricism and new energy. The group takes Armenia’s village folk melodies and weaves intricate arrangements that pay tribute to the rural roots of the music while introducing a sophisticated lyricism and energy. The trio has performed in such esteemed venues as the Getty Museum, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, New York’s Symphony Space and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts along with performances for Cirque du Soleil, the Near East Foundation and the Silk Road Project. Visit zulal.org for music, videos, future performances, and more.

Zulal

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As a percussionist, drummer, and composer, John Hadfield’s dedication to music has taken him from his native Missouri to concert halls and clubs across the world. He has released two albums of his own compositions — “The Eye of Gordon” and “Displaced” — and composed for various ensembles, dance performers, as well as feature-length documentary After Spring, which was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival. His ability to cross genres has allowed him to appear with a broad range of artists such as Kinan Azmeh’s City Band, Nguyen Le’s STREAMS Quartet, the Saturday Night Live Band on NBC, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the Silk Road Ensemble.

He has collaborated on more than 100 recordings as a guest artist, including the Grammy® award winner “Yo-Yo Ma and Friends,” “Songs of Joy and Peace” and the Grammy-nominated “Fun Home.” Most recently, he can be heard playing percussion on the movie soundtracks of “Joker” and “Gemini Man.” Hadfield’s work has received significant critical acclaim. Time Out New York noted, “John Hadfield’s percussion is so impeccable,” and in 2016, Modern Drummer stated, “Hadfield delivers a fluid groove, strong yet never intrusive, punctuated by adroitly chosen accents. His skillful sound-weaving choices create the illusion of a seamless multi-percussion section.” Hadfield currently serves on the Jazz faculty of New York University, where he teaches drum set and directs the World Percussion Ensemble.

Perspectives Ensemble has presented thematic concerts as well as programs on subjects that bridge the visual, musical, and literary arts, consistently receiving the highest critical accolades, among them “Familiar Strangers: Gypsy Musical Heritage;” “The 19th & 20th Century Melodrama” (featuring the NY premiere of Aaron Kernis’ Goblin Market); “Homage to Catalonia: Music of Xavier Montsalvatge, Roberto Gerhard, Benet Casablancas;” “Charles Tomlinson Griffes – An American Original” and “Music of the Mountains — Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and the Traditional Music that Inspired It.”

Praise from the New York Times includes “first-rate performances by accomplished musicians,” “a superb recital by the Perspectives Ensemble,” and “rhythms were remarkably precise, supple and subtle.” Under Moughalian’s leadership, the ensemble creates musical events and writings that explore and contextualize the works of composers and visual artists. Its presentations, recordings, and publications — which can be heard on all major music platforms, as well as in live performances captured on YouTube — offer interpretations and viewpoints informed by the cultural and historical influences prevailing upon artists, and often bridge and integrate the musical, visual, and literary arts. Perspectives Ensemble is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. www.perspectivesensemble.com

The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the Cathedral of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. It is chartered as a house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership.

This concert is supported by the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation in commemoration of the life of Danièle Doctorow. The Ensemble also honors the memories of our dear friends Hester Diamond, Winifred J Harris, and Si Newhouse. Additional support is provided by the Hegardt Foundation, the Si Newhouse Foundation, and many generous individual supporters.

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