James Taylor and Thomas Cooley Recital

Event time: 
Friday, February 4, 2011 - 3:00pm
Event description: 

A doi tenori

Music of Monteverdi and His Contemporaries


James Taylor and Thomas Cooley, tenors

Sprague Memorial Hall

470 College Street

Free and open to the public.

No tickets required.


The renowned tenors James Taylor and Thomas Cooley will join forces with violinists Robert Mealy and Johanna Novom, and Avi Stein, harpsichord and organ, to present an evening of music for two tenors by Claudio Monteverdi and his contemporaries. The concert, entitled A doi tenori, will take place on Friday, February 4 at 8pm in Sprague Memorial Hall (470 College St., New Haven).

As well as Monteverdi, the program includes works by Heinrich Schütz, Christoph Bernhard, Dario Castello, Johann Kaspar Kerll, and Johann Krieger.

The American lyric tenor James Taylor is one of the most sought-after oratorio singers of his generation, appearing worldwide with such renowned conductors as Christoph Eschenbach, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christoph von Dohnányi, Herbert Blomstedt, Daniel Harding, Bernard Labadie, Harry Christophers, Osmo Vänskä, Phillipe Herreweghe, René Jacob, Ivan Fisher, Ton Koopman, Michel Corboz, and Franz Welser-Möst and touring extensively with Helmuth Rilling. His more than thirty-five professional recordings on CD include Dvorák’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s Paulus and Elijah, Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Händel’s MessiahBach’s B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio, Scottish and Welsh songs by Franz Josef Haydn with Donald Sulzen and the Munich Piano Trio, and songs of John Duke. Recent releases include the War Requiem with Helmuth Rilling and a DVD production of Die Jahreszeiten with Enoch zu Guttenberg.  Important recent engagements include four performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Kurt Masur and performances of Mendelssohn’s St. Paul with Masaaki Susuki in Utrecht. Highlights of the 2010/11 season are performances of Mozart’s Il Sogno di Scipione with Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Vienna, Handel’s Messiah with Masaaki Susuki in Tokyo, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Chicago Symphony and Helmuth Rilling. James Taylor has been on the Yale faculty since 2005.

The American tenor Thomas Cooley is equally at home on the concert stage and in the opera house, and his repertoire ranges across more than four centuries, encompassing the early masters such as  and Monteverdi, Handel, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven as well as works by Romantic and 20th-century and contemporary composers including Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Elgar, Britten, Penderecki, and Henze. Critics universally praise the emotional depth and nuance of his performances, whether the mood is dramatic, comic, or deeply spiritual. A critic recently said of his Evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion “Thanks to his rarely heard radiant power and sensitivity, simply listening to the outer narrative line was a pleasure.  Every word received its own interpretation and mood; whether in a simple recitiative or in a solo-aria.” (Main-Post). As Count Almaviva in Rossini’s Barber of Seville he was critically acclaimed for his “true comic talent” (Opera News) and called “a wonderfully lyric tenor,” who “also acts right down to his fingertips” (Süddeutsche Zeitung). Active on an international level, he works regularly with conductors such as Nicholas McGegan, Helmuth Rilling, Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Carlo Rizzi, Osmo Vänskä, Andrea Marcon, Harry Christophers and Michael Schønwandt.

Mr. Cooley is passionate about the art song and the recital stage. Recent highlights include Britten’s Winter Words and Still Falls the Rain at the Britten Festival in Aldeburgh, and Irish and Scottish folksong settings by Haydn and Beethoven at Göttingen. He performs regularly with the pianist Donald Sulzen in such works as Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin. He has recorded on the Carus, MDG, Sony, and Deutsche Grammophon labels.

The concert, presented by Yale Institute of Sacred Music, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.