The Mass in B Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach is considered an all-embracing musical masterpiece created by Bach at the pinnacle of his remarkable career. Beginning with the awe-inspiring Kyrie and ending with the jubilant Dona nobis pacem, there are nine completely unique arias and duets, fourteen impressive ensemble sections for four, five, six, and even eight voices, a broad spectrum of instrumental solos, and an incredible variety of styles.
In this performance, internationally acclaimed performer, David Hill, will conduct Yale Schola Cantorum and the Juilliard415 Music ensemble.
Founded in 2003 by Simon Carrington, Yale Schola Cantorum has been under the direction of David Hill since 2013 with Masaaki Suzuki serving as the ensemble’s principal guest conductor. The choir has a special interest in historically informed performance practice, often in collaboration with instrumentalists from Juilliard415. The ensemble performs regularly in New Haven and New York as well as touring internationally, most recently in Germany, Scandinavia, and India.
Since its founding in 2009, Julliard415 – Julliard’s principal period-instrument ensemble – has made significant contributions to musical life in New York and beyond, bringing major figures in the field of early music to lead performances of both rare and canonical works by composers of the 17th and 18th centuries. With its frequent musical collaborator, the Yale Institute of Scared Music, the ensemble has performed throughout Scandinavia, Italy, Japan, Southeast Asia, the UK, India, and Germany.
Juilliard415, which takes its name from the pitch commonly associated with the performance of baroque music (A=415), has performed major oratorios and baroque operas every year with colleagues from Juilliard’s Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts, including a fully staged production of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie and a much-praised production of Luigi Rossi’s rarely performed opera L’Orfeo, named by the NY Times as one of the top 10 classical music performances of 2021. In 2019, Juilliard415 and the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts presented Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at Opera Holland Park in London and the Royal Opera House of Versailles.
Renowned for his fine musicianship, David Hill is widely respected as both a choral and orchestral conductor. His talent has been recognised by his appointments as Musical Director of The Bach Choir, Music Director of Leeds Philharmonic Society, Associate Guest conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Principal Conductor of Yale Schola Cantorum. He was Chief Conductor of the BBC Singers from September 2007 to September 2017 and is a former Music Director of Southern Sinfonia. In March 2018, he was honoured with the prestigious Royal College of Organists medal, in recognition of distinguished achievement in choral conducting and organ playing.
Born in Carlisle in 1957, David Hill was educated at Chetham’s School of Music as a violinist and pianist, where he led the school orchestra. He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists at the age of 17 and won an organ scholarship to St John’s College, Cambridge where he served under the direction of the late Dr George Guest. His previous posts have included Master of Music at Winchester Cathedral (1987–2002) and Westminster Cathedral (1982–7), Associate Conductor and then Artistic Director of the Philharmonia Chorus (1986–97), Music Director of The Waynflete Singers (1987-2002) and Director of Music at St John’s College, Cambridge (2003-2007).
Hill has appeared as guest conductor at the BBC Proms and with the London, Royal Liverpool, BBC, Strasbourg and Zagreb Philharmonic orchestras; the London Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Concert, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Portland Baroque Orchestra, as well as the Netherlands Radio Choir, and RIAS Chamber Choir, Berlin.
In recognition of his services to music, David has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Southampton, an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal School of Church Music, and an Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music. He received an MBE in the New Year 2019 Honours list for services to music.
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