Boston audiences may be interested to learn that distinguished British conductor Simon Carrington, founder and director of Yale’s Schola Cantorum, will be here in Boston to lead the small choral ensemble Canto Armonico in concert on Sunday, October 24th at 3 pm at First Lutheran Church. The program features two premières: a world première of Ne timeas, Maria for chorus and organ by Hungarian composer and Boston resident Bálint Karosi, director of music at First Lutheran Church, and the North American première of the new critical edition of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Magnificat. The C.P.E. Bach edition, still under preparation by the Packard Humanities Institute in Cambridge in cooperation with the Bach-Archiv Leipzig, the Saxonian Academy of Sciences in Leipzig, and Harvard University, contains two settings. Canto Armonico will perform the earlier version of 1749, completed in Potsdam, with accompaniment by strings, winds and horns. Joining Canto Armonico will be members of the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra and three members of the Packard Humanities editorial staff.
Fans of the King’s Singers may recognize Simon Carrington as that group’s founder and director during its first 25 years, and as director of choral activities at New England Conservatory from 2001 to 2003. An active freelance conductor with appearances all over the world, Carrington’s repertory is broad and diverse, but his recent recordings of Bach, Biber, Bertali and Mendelssohn with Yale Schola Cantorum have established him as a master of 17th- and 18th-century choral performance practice. He has also performed much Renaissance music with Yale Schola Cantorum by Josquin, Manchicourt, Lassus, and Byrd. Accordingly, the Canto Armonico concert will include works by Tudor composer William Cornysh, active at the Chapel Royal in the late 1400s, and by Philippe Rogier, composer to the Hapsburg court in Madrid in the late 1500s.
Canto Armonico has worked under the direction of Simon Carrington since 2003. Its forces approximate those of Yale’s Schola Cantorum, with twenty-four singers who are mostly undergraduate and graduate students drawn from Boston-area schools such as Harvard, BU and Wellesley, and augmented by several young professional singers. More details on the group and the October 24 program, including advance ticket sales, can be found on Canto Armonico’s website here.