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.