October 5, 2011
J. Henry Fair

The Mirror Visions Ensemble, a vocal trio featuring soprano Vira Slywotzky, tenor Scott Murphree and baritone Jesse Blumberg, presents "Aphrodite & Athena: A Portrait in Music of Isabella Stewart Gardner" at Paris' Les Arts Décoratifs - Salon des Boiseries on Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 3pm, Cambridge's Longy School of Music on Friday, October 21st at 8pm and in New York City at Merkin Concert Hall - Kaufman Center on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 3pm.

Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924), an avid collector and founder of the museum in Boston, was once described by her cousin T. Jefferson Coolidge in a letter: "You must have a double, one devoted to society, music, admiration and pearls, and the other sterner sister given to labor and duty; a kind of Aphrodite with a lining of Athene."

Both sides of Ms. Gardner are equally brought to life in a varied program featuring classic and contemporary compositions alike, opening with the World Premiere of Christopher Berg's setting of excerpts from Canto #2 of Dante's Inferno entitled Incominciam!, followed by a song of Duparc (Le galop) that further illustrates her Athenesque determination. Ms. Gardner's Aphrodite side of gaiety and charm is portrayed through songs by Nin (Malagueña), Monteverdi (Zefiro torna) and Rangström (Pan), and her wide friendships are shown through letters she received from friends such as famed writer Henry James, set to music in a second World Premiere: Scott Wheeler's Letters to Isabella.

Isabella Stewart Gardner's great love of music is expressed in Debussy's Musique, and her faith in God's heaven on earth in Schubert's Im Abendrot. Despite her friendships, her periods of intense loneliness are explored in songs by Brahms (Die Mainacht) and Sibelius (Norden), and the program closes in reflection upon her spirituality and long-sought harmony with life through a third World Premiere by Christopher Berg, En Paz, set to a poem by Amado Nervo.

"Aphrodite & Athena" also includes interludes of songs illuminating her love affair with Venice: back-to-back 'mirror vision' performances of Wenn durch die Piazzetta by Adolf Jensen and Robert Schumann, Souvenir de Venise by Jules Massenet and La Primavera by Reynaldo Hahn.

Tickets for the Paris concert are priced at 10 € and may be reserved by emailing adac@lesartsdecoratifs.fr. There will be free admission at the Longy School of Music. For more information, please call 617-876-0956 ext. 1500 or email tickets@longy.edu. Tickets for the New York concert are priced at $25/$15 for students and may be purchased by calling 212-501-3330 or by clicking here.

Vira Slywotzky, soprano
Scott Murphree, tenor
Jesse Blumberg, baritone

Aphrodite & Athena: A Portrait in Music of Isabella Stewart Gardner

Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 3pm
Les Arts Décoratifs - Salon des Boiseries
111, rue de Rivoli
Paris, France

Friday, October 21, 2011 at 8pm
Edward M. Pickman Concert Hall
Longy School of Music
27 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA

Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 3pm
Merkin Concert Hall - Kaufman Center
129 West 67th Street
New York, NY

Christopher Berg        Incominciam!                           Dante (World Premiere)
Henri Duparc              Le galop                                     Sully Prudhomme
Adolf Jensen              Wenn durch die Piazzetta      Thomas Moore
Robert Schumann    Wenn durch die Piazzetta      Thomas Moore
Ture Rangström       Pan Bo Bergman
Monteverdi                 Zefiro torna                                 Ottavio Rinuccini
Joaquin Nin              Malagueña                                  Traditional Folk Song
Scott Wheeler          Letters to Isabella (World Premiere)
                                   Henry James
                                   Paul Bourget
                                   Kakuzo Okakura
                                   "The Stairway of Jade"                Poem by Kakuzo Okakura
Jean Sibelius          Norden                                          Johan Ludvig Runeberg
Brahms                    Die Mainacht                                 Ludwig Hölty
Jules Massenet     Souvenir de Venise                      Alfred de Musset
Reynaldo Hahn      La Primavera                                Alvise Cicogna
Schubert                 Im Abendrot                                   Karl Gottlieb Lappe
Debussy                 Musique                                          Paul Bourget
Christopher Berg  En Paz                                            Amado Nervo (World Premiere)


Mirror Visions Ensemble website

For press inquiries, please contact Kirshbaum Demler & Associates: 212-222-4843 | info@kirshdem.com

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