“DEEP RIVER” – The Art of the Spiritual

Sat, May 21 at 7:15 pm
Sandy Spring Friends School
16923 Norwood Rd, Sandy Spring, MD

Free admission

Kevin Deas, bass-baritone
Joseph Horowitz, piano
Sandy Spring Friends School Chorus conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Produced by PostClassical Ensemble
Kevin Deas vertical

This one-of-a-kind scripted concert, featuring the resplendent Kevin Deas, uses historic films and recordings to tell how Harry Burleigh (1866-1949) transplanted spirituals into the concert hall, setting the stage for Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson.


(For COMPLETE season information, click HERE)


PostClassical Ensemble dedicates its 2015-16 season to exploring neglected byways of the American musical experience.

Kevin Deas horizontalDEEP RIVER – The Art of the Spiritual
November 7, 2015
with Kevin Deas

Press_Photo William Sharp

November 20 and 22, 2015
with William Sharp and Steven Mayer

Steven Mayer, piano

Head - Fain Photo Credit Briana Blasko

March 12, 2016
with Tim Fain and Michael Boriskin

Head - Boriskin Photo Credit Tracy Ketcher

BERNARD HERRMANN: Screen, Stage, and Radio
April 16 and 17, 2016
including “The Music of Psycho

April 30 and May 1, 2016
with Daniel Schnyder and Min Xiao-fen


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Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, 8 pm

University of the District of Columbia Theater
Co-presented by Washington Performing Arts

Kevin Deas

Kevin Deas, bass-baritone
Washington Performing Arts Men & Women of the Gospel Choir
Heritage Signature Chorale
Angel Gil-Ordóñez and Stanley Thurston, conductors


Peter Bogdanoff, video artist
Scripted and directed by Joseph Horowitz

A multimedia experience

This one-of-a-kind scripted concert, featuring the resplendent Kevin Deas, uses historic films and recordings to tell how Harry Burleigh (1866-1949) transplanted spirituals into the concert hall, setting the stage for Paul Robeson and Marian Anderson.

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Washington Performing Arts


Washington Performing Arts


This event has already occurred.
Click here to read the review in the Washington Post.

November 20 and 22, 2015

William Sharp, baritone
Steven Mayer, piano
Georgetown University Orchestra conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Produced by PostClassical Ensemble




Friday, Nov. 20, 1:15 pm
McNeir Auditorium, Georgetown University
Charles Ives: Songs
Free admission

A recital of songs by America’s supreme composer of art-songs, with their supreme interpreter. In addition, Mr. Sharp will sing the popular songs that    inspired certain Ives songs. Mr. Mayer will also play “The Alcotts” from Ives’s “Concord Sonata” — an American masterpiece he has performed more than any other pianist.

“A sensitive and subtle singer who evokes the special character of every song that he sings”
— The New York Times, about William Sharp

Presented by PostClassical Ensemble as part of a two-day Ives Celebration at GU

Sunday, Nov. 22, 5 pm
Gaston Hall, Georgetown University

Christian Steiner, photo credit

Charles Ives: Concord Piano Sonata
with readings from R.W. Emerson and H.D. Thoreau

Stephen Foster: “Camptown Races” and other songs
Ives: Symphony No. 2


If there is a “Great American Symphony,” a likely candidate is Charles Ives’ Symphony No. 2, completed in 1909. In this work, every Ives tune adapts an American song or hymn, creating a vernacular American symphony comparable to Mark Twain’s vernacular American masterpiece of fiction, Huckleberry Finn. Some of the tunes that Ives uses remain popular — “Turkey in the Straw,” “Columbia the Gem of the Ocean, ” “Camptown Races.” Others, like the tongue-in-cheek college song “Where Have All the Verdant Freshmen Gone?”, have long vanished. At our performance, as a preface to the symphony we’ll hear “Camptown Races,’ “There Have All the Verdant Freshmen Gone,” and other Ives source-tunes, and we’ll explore how Ives uses them.

We will also hear Ives’ keyboard masterpiece, the “Concord” Sonata (acclaimed the greatest music ever composed by an American at its belated 1938 premiere), with interpolated readings by Emerson, Thoreau, and Ives. Our guest performers are baritone William Sharp and pianist Steven Mayer, both celebrated Ives exponents.

“Steven Mayer gave a mightily atmospheric performance of Ives’ Concord Sonata”
— Alex Ross (The New Yorker)


Friday, May 13, 2016 at 6:45 pm
Mexican Cultural Institute

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with PostClassical Ensemble
conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

and presentations by
Roberto Kolb Neuhaus: Revueltas and Redes
Terri Weissmann: Paul Strand and Redes
Lorenzo Candelaria: Redes and El Paso’s upcoming “Copland and Mexico” Festival
Joseph Horowitz and Angel Gil-Ordóñez on the making of Redes (with film clips)

Reception to Follow



Join us for the international launch of the new DVD on May 13 at the Mexican Cultural Institute. Our program will begin with another Revueltas score – Ocho por radio – performed live by PCE and Angel Gil-Ordóñez. Then we’ll explore the impact of the new print and soundtrack with reference to three key sequences from the film. Finally, Roberto Kolb and Terri Weissman will contribute further thoughts about Revueltas and Strand, and the making of Redes.

The 60-minute film REDES (1935) is an iconic product of the Mexican Revolution. Shot by master photographer PAUL STRAND, with a galvanizing score by SILVESTRE REVUELTAS and direction by FRED ZINNEMANN, it is a peak achievement in the history of music and the moving image.

Until recently, Redes was not available in an acceptable format. A new Naxos DVD, produced by PostClassical Ensemble, mates a pristine print (created by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation) with a freshly-recorded soundtrack. The result is revelatory.

“A very special film . . . Strand brought his camera eye, Zinnemann brought his tremendous sensitivity to actors, and with his score Revueltas gave the film a terrific majesty and grandeur” – Martin Scorsese



Mar 12, 2016
The Indonesian Connection

Photo Credit: Briana Blasko

Photo Credit: Briana Blasko

“The brilliant young American violinist Tim Fain brought technical finesse, lyrical ardor and cagey control to his alluring performance” – The New York Times


Saturday, March 12, 2016, 7:30 pm
The Indonesian Embassy

in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy

Tim Fain, violin
Michael Boriskin, piano
Bill Alves, speaker
The Indonesian Embassy Javanese Gamelan
PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Lou Harrison (1917-2003) is a 20th century master whose time will come. Decades before it became fashionable, Harrison created a masterly fusion of Eastern and Western musical styles, based in the sounds and techniques of Indonesian gamelan. He also — with Henry Cowell and John Cage — created the percussion ensemble as a musical genre.

Traditional gamelan music
Henry Cowell: Pulse for percussion
Lou Harrison: Concerto for violin and percussion
Lou Harrison: Ladrang Epikuros
Lou Harrison: Grand Duo for violin and piano
Lou Harrison/John Cage: Double Music for percussion

Free Admission.  CLICK HERE to register.


A towering figure in 20th century American music, Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) has long been stigmatized as a “Hollywood composer.” Though he is our supreme composer for film (Citizen Kane, Vertigo, North by Northwest, etc.), his concert output remains unknown. Working with the legendary Norman Corwin, he was also America’s foremost radio composer, and conductor of a radio orchestra – William Paley’s CBS Symphony – that boldly promoted new and unfamiliar music. His Clarinet Quintet is an American masterpiece. His String Sinfonietta is a study for his famous Psycho score.

The present festival is the first ever to celebrate Herrmann “in the round” as one of the most important and influential American musical personalities of his generation.

All events are free admission.
No reservations are required.

However, we expect crowds.
Come early and be prepared to stand in line.

Click below for more information on each event.

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Norman Corwin’s ‘Untitled’ and ‘Whitman’ are presented with permission from the Norman Corwin Estate.


Media sponsorship is provided by WAMU 88.5,
your NPR station in the nation’s capitol.


APRIL 30 – MAY 1, 2016

The Swiss-American composer Daniel Schnyder is a master of stylistic fusion; his influences range from Bach and the demonic Schubert to Kurt Weill and Duke Ellington. He is most recently the composer of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, premiered by Opera Philadelphia and acclaimed in the New York Times (“a pulsing, jazz-infused score”) and Philadelphia Inquirer (“a great piece”) en route to this summer’s Lincoln Center Festival.

PCE premieres Schnyder’s Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra
with the peerless pipa virtuoso Min Xiao-fen.

Photo Credit: Noah Stern Weber

Photo Credit: Noah Stern Weber

“A pipa player like no other” – The New York Times

Sunday, May 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm
The National Gallery of Art West Garden Court

Min Xiao-fen, pipa
David Taylor, bass trombone
Daniel Schnyder, saxophone
Matt Herskowitz, piano
PostClassical Ensemble, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez


Schnyder: Alladin: Tales from Another Time (2002)
Schnyder: Worlds Beyond (1999)
Schnyder: Blues for Schubert (1999)

Schnyder/Kurt Weill: Zuhaelterballade from Threepenny Opera
Schnyder/Gershwin: The Half of it Deary Blues

Schnyder: Trio for soprano saxophone, bass trombone, and piano (1996)

Schnyder/Robert Stolz: Zwei Herzen im Dreivierteltakt
Schnyder/Gershwin: Let Them Eat Cake

Schnyder/Beethoven: Around the World (seid umschlungen Millionen)  — American premiere (2006)



Min Xiao-fen: Adaptations of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, etc. for solo pipa

Schnyder: Concerto for Pipa and Orchestra (2016) world premiere performance; PCE commission


Related event:
Saturday, April 30, 2016 at 2:30 pm

The National Gallery of Art Film Auditorium

Murnau’s silent film classic Faust (1926), with Daniel Schnyder’s soundtrack performed live by Schnyder, David Taylor, and Matt Herskowitz

All National Gallery of Art events are free of charge.

Special support for PCE’s Schnyderfest events comes from a grant awarded by ProHelvetia:

Season at a Glance – HIGHLIGHTS of the 2014-15 Season

Saturday, November 15 at 8 pm

Kevin Deas horizontal2Bach and the Divine
featuring Kevin Deas, bass-baritone – Netanel Draiblate, violin – Igor Leschishin, oboe
Dumbarton Concerts



Saturday, February 7 at 8 pm

Beethoven: Early to Late
featuring Mykola Suk, piano
Dumbarton Concerts

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 10 and 11 at 7:30 pmSonia Olla

Iberian Mystics: A Confluence of Faiths
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Family Theatre


Thursday, March 12 at 6 pmFlamenco

“Spain, Flamenco, and the Piano”
with Pedro Carboné, piano
Antonio Muñoz Molina, author


Tuesday, April 28 at 7:30 pmnomura_eagg-720x320

Concert and Playlet:  “A Mahler Portrait”
featuring Christópheren Nomura, baritone and Sasha Olinick, actor
The Austrian Cultural Forum

2013-2014 Season

The Getty Foundation
The Washington Ballet
Washington National Cathedral
WWFM The Classical Network
Edlavitch DCJCC
American University
Artmentor Foundation
Graham Holdings
Washington Performing Arts
Georgetown DPA
Indonesian Embassy
national gallery