Seven-time Grammy®-winning saxophonist Paul Winter’s 22nd Annual Summer Solstice Sunrise Celebration will take place at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 17 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th St., New York, NY.
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.
This year, the renowned 32-voice choir Florida Singing Sons will be special guests, joining the Paul Winter Consort to perform music ranging from traditional Bulgarian chant to selections by Eric Whitacre and the sublime nocturnes of Morten Lauridsen. The Consort will also premiere new music, along with traditional pieces from their repertoire.
“Morning Sun,” the theme for this year’s Summer Solstice Celebration, is recapitulated in the title of the highly anticipated Living Music album, Morning Sun: Adventures with Oboe — Paul McCandless with the Paul Winter Consort, a soon-to-be-released anthology of double-reed master Paul McCandless’s great recordings with the Consort over the past 45 years. This year’s Summer Solstice Celebration will honor McCandless’s 70th birthday and serve as a salute to the new album by featuring him on oboe, English horn, and bass clarinet.
The Consort roster will include Paul Winter, soprano sax; Eugene Friesen, cello; Paul McCandless, oboe, English horn, and bass clarinet; Jeff Holmes, piano, and Tim Brumfield on the Cathedral’s majestic Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ.
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. We begin playing in total darkness at 4:30 a.m. within the awesome space and acoustics of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. We embark on a continuous, two-hour musical journey, with players stationed in distant corners or moving among the audience. Somewhere near the halfway point, listeners gradually realize that the Cathedral’s great stained-glass windows are beginning to illuminate. Together, we and the audience share the experience of the journey from total darkness into the dawn of this longest day of the year, when our sun is at its zenith.”
All are invited to a tea and coffee reception in the Nave of the Cathedral following the concert.
Free download: “Morning Sun” — a Summer Solstice improv by the Paul Winter Consort, with Paul Winter, soprano sax; Paul McCandless, oboe; Eugene Friesen, cello; and Don Grusin, keyboard.
TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Ovationtix.com
INFO: solsticeconcert.com or call 866-811-4111.