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Music Worcester thanks the following supporters of this presentation:
Music Worcester’s 2023 Artist-In-Residence, Vijay Gupta, directs this final public performance of his residency: a breathtaking collaboration of choral, instrumental, and dance ensembles featuring a program of works from composers Reena Esmail and J. S. Bach woven together for an unforgettable evening of music and dance.
In addition to The Worcester Chorus of Music Worcester, this presentation features members of Hartford, CT’s CONCORA choral group, also directed by Chris Shepard. Vijay will also be joined on stage by members of Kritya Dance Ensemble, created by Kuchipudi dance artist and choreographer Yamini Kalluri.
This Love Between Us
J. S. BACH
Sinfonia in D Major
Read more about each artist below:
The Worcester Chorus of Music Worcester has the unique distinction of being one of the most outstanding on-going choral groups in the United States. Founded in 1858 to sing at the first annual Worcester Music Festival in the newly-built Mechanics Hall, the 100-member group includes both amateur and professional singers from Worcester County, northern Connecticut and the Boston area. Its repertoire includes not only choral masterpieces, but also contemporary literature, arrangements of American folk songs, classics from musical theater and commissioned works. Each year the Chorus performs with orchestras and soloists in Mechanics Hall as part of Music Worcester’s main season, including an annual performance of Handel’s Messiah. The Worcester Chorus has also made guest appearances throughout the Northeast and overseas.
The Worcester Chorus has appeared with the Hartford Symphony, the American Symphony at Avery Fisher Hall in the Lincoln Center, and the Prague Symphony at Carnegie Hall. The Chorus performed at the 1992 American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Convention in Boston, and has appeared at the Worcester Music Festival with the Philadelphia Orchestra, The Rochester Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Boston, Baltimore, and Detroit. View other events by the Worcester Chorus.
Artistic Director Dr. Christopher Shepard has been with the Chorus since 2009. Mark Mummert joined the ensemble as Assistant Director in 2019.
Acknowledging that music transforms and enriches people’s lives, CONCORA perpetuates and performs with excellence choral music of the highest quality for the broadest possible audience.
Under the direction of Chris Shepard, Artistic Director, the ensemble’s versatility is displayed in its wide range of repertoire and in the crafting of ensembles from among the choir’s roster of singers.
CONCORA has been praised as “one of the premier musical forces in the state,” “one of our region’s priceless musical assets,” and “a model of choral artistry.”
Choral music has the power to cross cultural boundaries and to move hearts; CONCORA’s mission to reach a broad and diverse audience extends not only to the choral aficionado, but also to those who may be touched by the beauty of the choral art for the first time.
Vijay Gupta is a violinist, speaker and citizen-artist dedicated to creating spaces of wholeness through music. Vijay’s work embodies his belief that the work of artists and citizens is one: to make a sadhana – a daily practice – of the world we envision. Hailed by The New Yorker as a “visionary violinist…one of the most radical thinkers in the unradical world of American classical music,” Vijay leads a protean career as a thought leader, performer, collaborator and communicator.
Vijay is the founder and Artistic Director of Street Symphony, a community of musicians creating spaces of connection for people in reentry from homelessness, addiction and incarceration in Los Angeles. Vijay is also a co-founder of the Skid Row Arts Alliance, a consortium dedicated to creating art for – and with – the largest homeless community in America. For his work in “bringing beauty, respite, and purpose to those all too often ignored by society”, Vijay was the recipient of a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship.
A riveting speaker, Vijay has shared his work with dozens of corporations, campuses, conferences and communities across America over the past 10 years, including The Richmond Forum, The Aspen Institute, Hallmark, Accenture, Mayo Clinic, US Psychiatric Congress, American Planning Association, and the League of American Orchestras, just to name a few. Vijay delivered the 33rd annual Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts and Public Policy for Americans for the Arts and his 2010 TED Talk, “Music is Medicine, Music is Sanity”, has garnered millions of views.
Vijay has performed as an international recitalist, soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician for over 20 years, playing his solo debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta. Vijay was a member of the first violin section of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 12 years, and has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet, the Philharmonia Orchestra of London, Yo-Yo Ma, and appears regularly with the Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
A dynamic recording artist, Vijay recently released Breathe, an album of the piano chamber music of Reena Esmail, under his own label. His solo violin album When the Violin, a solo violin album featuring the music of Esmail, J. S. Bach, and Esa-Pekka Salonen will be available on Bandcamp in June 2021. Vijay currently serves as the Senior Artistic and Programs Advisor for Young Musicians Foundation. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Marist College, and a Master’s in Music from the Yale School of Music. His principal teachers have included Ani Kavafian and Glenn Dicterow. Vijay plays a 2010 violin made by Los Angeles-based luthier Eric Benning, and can be found on Instagram @guptaviolin.
Yamini Kalluri is a world-class professional Kuchipudi dancer based in New York City where she teaches, performs and trains full time. She offers performances, workshops, intensives and production direction internationally with an aim to bring a new face and a bigger representation to Kuchipudi globally.
Raised in Hyderabad, India, Yamini Kalluri has been celebrated by the New York Times and BBC as being a Kuchipudi sensation. A disciple of legendary guru, Padmasri Dr. Sobha Naidu, Yamini began exhibiting signs of her extraordinary talent and dedication to dance at a very early age. At the age of 12 she not only began performing throughout India but also began teaching at Dr. Sobha Naidu’s School. She went on to complete a certification course in Kuchipudi from Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad with distinctions in 2013 and further refined her style under the mentorship of the renowned Kuchipudi guru Vempati Ravi Shankar. At 18 she began performing internationally at various prestigious festivals, offering workshops in the UK, the US, Russia, Argentina and Canada. A world-class dancer, Yamini is known for her grace, agility and uncompromising perfection. Aiming to bring a new face to Kuchipudi, her ambition and passion led her to move to New York where she now teaches, performs and trains in ballet and modern dance at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary dance full time. In exploring various disciplines of dance and music in the west Yamini has not only developed her own unique style and technique but has also expanded and diversified her dance repertoire by collaborating with many talented musicians.
Yamini has founded Kritya with the mission to empower up and coming artists to take Kuchipudi to global platforms. Yamini envisions a new school of thought for Kuchipudi with more awareness of the body, mind and soul. She is taking several nuances from ballet and modern dance to find her own technique and bring about a new age of Kuchipudi which is more relevant to a newer and global generation. Vempati Chinnasatyam , Rukmini Devi Arundale, Akram Khan and Shantala Shivalingappa are some of her inspirations when it comes to innovation for evolution. Yamini sees Kritya as a budding conservatory and incubatory for challenging experimentation and also as a means for dancers to immerse themselves to find their truest form of expression.
“The Worcester Chorus is truly a local gem…”
Watch more Vijay Gupta videos on YouTube: