Concerts@First had its debut concert in June, 2006 when the First Church Choir performed Bach’s B Minor Mass. In 2009 and 2010 organist Andrew Senn captivated audiences by accompanying silent movies, Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame. In between, instrumental and vocal concerts have enriched the cultural life of Center City. The 2013-14 Season features five concerts. All are free (suggested donation $5) except for the May 4 concert where admission will be $10 a person.
Annual Halloween Silent Film: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Saturday, October 26 – 7 pm
Andrew Senn opens the 2013-2014 Concerts@First season, improvising the 80-minute sound track for a 1920 German silent horror film that is said to be one of the most influential films of the German Expressionist movement and is often considered to be one of the greatest horror movies of the silent film era.
The film opens in the German town of Holstenwall. After a prologue, a chilling story is told of a sideshow operator named Caligari, the Somnambulist, Cesare, and the hero, Francis. This movie is cited as having introduced the twist ending in cinema.
Sunday, November 17 – 2 pm
Pianist Jean Schneider, a First Pres. favorite, and bassist Miles Davis, First Church member and Principal Bass of Opera Philadelphia and Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia will play one of the most popular works of chamber music ever written, Franz Schubert's Trout Quintet. It will be paired with a romantic quintet by Ralph Vaughn Williams for the same instrumentation. Miles and Jean will be joined by three of the area's finest chamber musicians. Don't miss this joyous musical celebration!
The Art of the Symphonic Organist
Sunday, March 2 – 4 pm
Our own Andrew Senn will put First Church's renown organ through its paces in a program of Romantic and modern works and orchestral transcriptions. Included in the program are world premier performances of Senn's own transcriptions of Anton Dvorak and Maurice Ravel. Also on the program are works by Charles-Marie Widor and Andreas Willscher.
Ensembles Assemble Competition
Sunday, April 6 – 3 pm
The Ensembles Assemble concert is the Finals portion of a competition, which is open to any acoustic ensemble. Each of the three finalist groups will be performing 20-30 minutes of music of their own choosing. Just like the sacred vocal competition three years ago, this promises to be an exciting part of the this year's season.
From Taverner to Tavener
Sunday, May 4 - 2 pm
The Chancel Choir of First Church will perform an a cappella program featuring the works of two great English composers. John Taverner lived in the early 16th century, and was one of England's greatest composers of the pre-Reformation. Sir John Tavener is a living composer, whose austere music evokes a sense of the ancient. Also featured will be the works of two young composers, Nicholas Landrum and Michael Bruschi. A festive lunch will be offered by Concerts@First in between worship and the concert. Admission is $10.
Look for more details on the Concerts@First season in the church announcements along with details on other music events held at First Church.