The St. James Episcopal Church Concert Series opens its 2013-2014 season with a return of the Grammy nominated early music ensemble, Ars Lyrica Houston, directed by Matthew Dirst. Playing period instruments, the instrumentalists will join tenors, Aaron Sheehan and Eduardo Tercero, and baritone, John Buffett, to present an evening of both sacred and secular music in a fun-loving program of exquisite—though rarely heard—works from the 18th century court of Versailles and its imitators. In fact, one of the pieces to be performed will receive its modern world premiere during this concert.
In addition to serving as Ars Lyrica Artistic Director, Matthew Dirst is Associate Professor of Music at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, where he teaches courses in music history and performance practice. Dr. Dirst’s academic degrees include a PhD in musicology from Stanford University, MM in organ and Master of Sacred Music degrees from Southern Methodist University, and a BM from the University of Illinois. A Fulbright scholar to France, he received the coveted prix de virtuosité in both organ and harpsichord, with teachers Marie-Claire Alain and Huguette Dreyfus, and did further harpsichord study with Alan Curtis at UC Berkeley. He also serves as Organist at St. Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston.
Originally from Ohio, baritone John Buffett has established himself as a versatile musician specializing in repertoire from Monteverdi and Bach to Puccini and Sondheim. A native of Minnesota, making his debut with Ars Lyrica Houston, tenor Aaron Sheehan is currently on the voice faculties of Boston University, Wellesley College and Towson University. Residing in Houston, tenor Eduardo Tercero is a native of Panama City. Tercero maintains an active concert schedule and is a longtime member of the Houston Chamber Choir, frequent soloist for Ars Lyrica, and staff singer at Christ Church Cathedral, Houston.
The concert will take place in the reverberant acoustic of the St. James Episcopal Church nave on Friday, September 20th, beginning at 7:00pm. Through a grant from The McCormick-Smith Fund, Inc., admission to the concert is free and open to the public.
For more information, call St. James Episcopal Church at (318) 445-9845.