Kristen Dubenion-Smith

~Mezzo-Soprano~

 
Kristen Dubenion-Smith possesses a lyric-mezzo of uncommon beauty, her flickering vibrato and the amber cast of her tone making something special out of the alto arias.”

~John Banno, The Washington Post-

 

"...A mezzo-soprano with a lilting voice..."

-Rebecca Corbett, The New York Times-

 

"The listener basked in the luxuriant richness of her lower register, while marveling at the facility of her upper tessitura... the depth of her conviction and connection to the music."

-Patrick McCoy, Washington Life Magazine-

 

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Previous events

Eya presents The Unicorn

Inspired by the mysterious medieval tapestries known as “The Lady and the Unicorn,” this program amplifies the voices of visionary women who seek—and find—sacred union unto themselves. Featuring the rare body of medieval music of women, including the French trouvères, Hildegard von Bingen, Las Huelgas Codex, and others, as well and a special new commission by Baltimore-based composer (and friend of Eya) Douglas Buchanan. The program also features the voices of medieval and contemporary women mystics.

Music for the Soul Polychoral Splendors of Venice & Northern Europe Michael Praetorius- Polyhymnia Caduceatrix et Panegyrica (1619) Heinrich Schutz- Psalms of David (1619) Claudio Monteverdi- Selva morale e spirituale (1640/1641)

The leading center of 17th-century sacred music—the Basilica of St. Mark in Venice—could boast chief musicians such as Giovanni Gabrieli and Claudio Monteverdi. Gabrieli inspired the German-born Heinrich Schütz and other composers north of the Alps to adapt the Venetian style to the liturgies of German-speaking churches. We’ll hear examples of this impressive, grand tradition as it developed both north and south of the Alps, with multiple ensembles of singers, early brass, winds, and strings. This magnificent music creates a spectacular sound world of its own—a feast for the ears!

In 1920, the right to vote was expanded under the Nineteenth Amendment to include women. One hundred and two years later, we explore what it means to have your voice heard.

CCS has commissioned works from three of today’s leading women composers — Augusta Read Thomas, Lisa Bielawa, and Jessie Montgomery — that demonstrate the impact of speaking up and speaking out. As part of the day’s activities, you will also get to dictate a postcard to a real or imagined President as a part of Sheryl Oring’s work I Wish to Say.

Eya presents Pilgrimage (excerpts)

Eya follows the humming routes of the Camino de Santiago as well as the path towards the mountaintop monastery of Montserrat with music of medieval Spain from the Codex Calixtinus, Las Huelgas Codex, and the Llibre Vermell. Interspersed throughout the program are the liturgical songs of Hildegard von Bingen devoted to St. Ursula and the 11,000 virgins, martyred along their doomed spiritual journey.

This interweaving of musical styles outlines and explores the progression of body, mind, and spirit along the well-worn and sometimes turbulent path of the pilgrim.

Mar6

Under the direction of T. Herbert Dimmock, four talented soloists–Elissa Edwards, Soprano; Kristen Dubenion-Smith, Alto; Ben Ellerin, Tenor; and Carl DuPont, Bass–the full Bach in Baltimore Choir & Orchestra bring the Hebrew Biblical story of the prophet Elijah to life.

Elijah, Mendelssohn’s most famous oratorio, was heavily inspired by the cantatas of J.S. Bach. Mendelssohn’s keen musicological recovery and revival efforts throughout the nineteenth century resurrected the music of J.S. Bach back into the public psyche. After Bach’s death, his music fell out of style and was relegated to music students and practice studios rather than in concert halls for public enjoyment. Mendelssohn famously brought Bach back into fashion with his knockout performance of the St. Matthew Passion.

Mendelssohn’s Elijah is a thrilling, soaring work whose structure calls to mind the sacred music of Bach that so enthused and inspired him. Acclaimed from its first premiere in 1846, this Elijah alone has cemented Mendelssohn’s place in history as one of the greatest composers of sacred music.

Jan1

GRETCHANINOFF PASSION WEEK

The Clarion Choir has earned international renown for its performances and recordings of Russian sacred music. It’s first three recordings have earned Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, the Choral & Song selection and a nomination for the Choral Award in BBC Music Magazine, 5 Diapasons in France, and three GRAMMY® nominations for Best Choral Performance.

This December and January, Clarion continues its tradition of performing Russian sacred music to usher in the New Year. This year the choir will explore the music of Alexander Gretchaninoff, a renowned choral composer who studied with Taneyev in Moscow and Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg before emigrating to the United States in 1939. The Clarion Choir will perform his 13-movement Passion Week. It was Gretchaninoff’s Passion Week that helped inspire Maximilian Steinberg’s later work of the same name, which Clarion performed and recorded several years ago.

Dec31

GRETCHANINOFF PASSION WEEK

The Clarion Choir has earned international renown for its performances and recordings of Russian sacred music. It’s first three recordings have earned Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, the Choral & Song selection and a nomination for the Choral Award in BBC Music Magazine, 5 Diapasons in France, and three GRAMMY® nominations for Best Choral Performance.

This December and January, Clarion continues its tradition of performing Russian sacred music to usher in the New Year. This year the choir will explore the music of Alexander Gretchaninoff, a renowned choral composer who studied with Taneyev in Moscow and Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg before emigrating to the United States in 1939. The Clarion Choir will perform his 13-movement Passion Week. It was Gretchaninoff’s Passion Week that helped inspire Maximilian Steinberg’s later work of the same name, which Clarion performed and recorded several years ago.

Eya presents The Jesse Tree

Isaiah’s ancient prophecy of the birth of Jesus, retold each year during the Advent season, is filled with wonder and promise: et egredietur virga de radice Iesse et flos de radice eius ascendet (“a shoot shall come out from the root of Jesse and a flower shall grow out of his roots” Isaiah 11:1). The symbol of the “Jesse tree,” as representing the spiritual and genealogical lineage of Jesus, lit the medieval imagination. Stained glass windows and illuminated manuscripts testify to the prominence of this image within the visual arts. In medieval music, countless works examine this theme, realized in works of both humble devotion and exuberant praise. Eya explores these fascinating and thoughtful interpretations of Isaiah’s prophecy in a program ranging from the monasteries of 13th-century England, to the visionary songs of Hildegard von Bingen, to the grand splendor of Notre Dame Cathedral. Join us for a sublime array of haunting chant and polyphony for Advent.

Join Washington National Cathedral for Handel’s beloved “Messiah,” and experience this Christmas classic in a space as Handel would have intended. The Cathedral’s soaring architecture and Gothic splendor offers a space unlike any other in Washington to experience Handel’s masterpiece.

The 12 pm concert on December 4 is an abbreviated performance of “Messiah” highlights, perfect for busy families with young children. Experience the best of “Messiah” with the whole family.

Dec1

HANDEL & HANNUKAH: JUDAS MACCABEUS

Each year, thousands of New Yorkers assemble in concert halls and churches across New York City to hear Handel's Messiah. But there is another choral work by Handel that was also beloved in the composer's lifetime, and which tells the story of the Feast of Lights and the hero of Judea, Judas Maccabeus. In celebration of Hannukah, the GRAMMY®-nominated Clarion Choir and Clarion Orchestra join forces with one of the most celebrated American opera singers, Anthony Roth Costanzo, to perform a suite from Judas Maccabeus at historic Temple Emanu-El. The program will also include arias, duets and choruses from Handel’s Esther, Israel in Egypt, and Rodelinda.

Vocal Polyphany Franco-Flemish composers of the 15th and 16th centuries

Josquin des Prez (c.1450/55–1521) was among the most important composers of his era and, like Bach, a master of counterpoint. He was held in especially high esteem by his contemporaries—a reputation that continues to the present day. This program celebrates the 500th anniversary of the composer’s death.

Vocal Polyphany Franco-Flemish composers of the 15th and 16th centuries

Josquin des Prez (c.1450/55–1521) was among the most important composers of his era and, like Bach, a master of counterpoint. He was held in especially high esteem by his contemporaries—a reputation that continues to the present day. This program celebrates the 500th anniversary of the composer’s death.

Eya presents The Jesse Tree

Isaiah’s ancient prophecy of the birth of Jesus, retold each year during the Advent season, is filled with wonder and promise: et egredietur virga de radice Iesse et flos de radice eius ascendet (“a shoot shall come out from the root of Jesse and a flower shall grow out of his roots” Isaiah 11:1). The symbol of the “Jesse tree,” as representing the spiritual and genealogical lineage of Jesus, lit the medieval imagination. Stained glass windows and illuminated manuscripts testify to the prominence of this image within the visual arts. In medieval music, countless works examine this theme, realized in works of both humble devotion and exuberant praise. Eya explores these fascinating and thoughtful interpretations of Isaiah’s prophecy in a program ranging from the monasteries of 13th-century England, to the visionary songs of Hildegard von Bingen, to the grand splendor of Notre Dame Cathedral. Join us for a sublime array of haunting chant and polyphony for Advent.