2016 Benefit Concert

This was the 41st consecutive year that Group 11 of Amnesty International USA held a concert to raise money for AIUSA’s activities on behalf of human rights. The concert took place on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Advent Lutheran Church, 2504 Broadway (93rd Street). With its fine acoustics, it was a great pleasure to hear music performed in this beautiful and intimate Gothic revival church.

Appropriately, the concert was held on International Human Rights Day. This special day was observed and letters on human rights cases were available to sign.

Until 2013, the concerts were produced by Carl Schachter, a founding member of Group 11 and a faculty member at the Mannes College of Music and The Julliard School. For the last two years the concert was produced by Janice Meyerson, a renowned operatic soloist. This year we were pleased to welcome Marcia Eckert, a well-known pianist and teacher in New York, as producer of the concert.

Program

This lovely program was a journey through a wide range of moods, colors and styles.  We moved from the elegance of J. S. Bach’s Baroque dances to the poignant Romantic Maria Stuart songs of Robert Schumann, from the lushness of Rachmaninov to the wit and sparkle of Beethoven, and then to America for Copland’s arrangements of beloved American folk songs.

Performers included pianist Alan Feinberg, who has received four Grammy nominations for “best instrumentalist”, has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and the NY and London Philharmonics, and is well-known for recitals that pair old and new music; Janice Meyerson, who has sung with the NY Philharmonic, NY City Opera, Boston Symphony and opera companies around the world; and Trio la Bella: Joseph Rutkowski, clarinet, Mary Wooten, cello, and Marcia Eckert, piano.  Mr. Rutkowski has been hailed by The New York Times as “…an agile and powerful player”.  Ms. Wooten is known for her agility in moving among musical styles, and was a founding member of the Soldier and Sirius string quartets.  Ms. Eckert has been referred to as “a pianist of impressive skill and sensitivity, the sort of keyboard collaborator that every instrumentalist dreams of” (Scott Cantrell, Albany Times-Union).

These concerts are very special events, and attendees enjoyed beautiful music while helping to do some good in the world on this day dedicated to human rights

Partita in B flat Major Johann Sebastian Bach
Maria Stuart Songs Robert Schumann
Vocalise Sergei Rachmaninov
Clarinet Trio Ludwig van Beethoven
Old American Songs (selections) Aaron Copland