Paul Winter’s 23rd Annual Summer Solstice Celebration
Where: Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave.
212-316-7540 Price: $40-$50
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Welcome the Dawning of Summer in an Acoustic Adventure Under the 150-foot Dome of the World’s Largest Cathedral
“Our music begins in total darkness, and proceeds in a continuous journey, with musicians surrounding the audience. Gradually, as the great stained-glass windows slowly illuminate, the light joins the sound to carry us into the first dawn.” — Paul Winter
Special guests will be the critically acclaimed, 16-voice Pletenitsa Balkan Choir, directed by Christiane Karam, and gospel singer Theresa Thomason, a beloved favorite of past Solstice Celebrations.
This one-of-a-kind sunrise concert by the Paul Winter Consort is a musical welcome to summer that marks the passing of one season to the next, evoking a beautiful melding of contemporary human aspirations with the inscrutable mystery of earth and time. It is an experience of deep listening that many people have never had before.
The Pletenitsa Balkan Choir captivated audiences at the Consort’s recent Winter Solstice series in December. Paul Winter has since dreamed of hearing the choir’s sublime, soulful sound in the magical acoustics of the Cathedral during the early morning hours.
The dynamic sound of this Choir, coming from the outdoor Bulgarian folk-singing tradition, will be interwoven in an unfolding musical tapestry along with the cello of Eugene Friesen, Paul Winter’s soprano sax, the piano of Jeff Holmes, and the great Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ of the Cathedral, played by Ray Nagem.
New this year is a floor section for yoga mats. Space will be provided for audience members to bring their own mats or cushions for yoga or meditation during the performance.
Paul Winter speaks of the uniqueness of this event:
“Summer Solstice is one of the great turning points of the year, when the sun is at its peak and the days abound with the promise of life’s fullness,” Winter says. “My dream, with this sunrise celebration, is to offer an experience of this resonance, in the mystical ambience of these early morning hours, through a deep listening journey within the profound vastness of the largest cathedral in the world.”
Why 4:30 a.m.?
“When I’m awake in the darkness before dawn – as the birds begin to sing, and the Earth prepares for the Sun – I feel as if life is beginning again. There’s something magical about that virginal time, when we’re free of our habitual patterns and obligations. My dream of evoking this feeling in music was the original inspiration for our Summer Solstice Celebration.”
All are invited to a tea and coffee reception in the Nave of the Cathedral following the concert.Buy tickets/get more info now