November 4: Lest We Forget-A Concert of Remembrance

Taft's Music for a While concert series continues Sunday, November 4 at 4 pm with a Classical choral performance entitled,  Lest We Forget: A Concert of Remembrance. The program includes Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, and features bass-baritone and Taft parent Hyong Sik Jo, harpist Grace Cloutier, Taft organist Daniel Scifo, and conductor Bruce Fifer. The event is free and open to the public. 

Fauré composed his Requiem in D minor, Op. 48, in the late 1880s, revised it in the 1890s, and finished it in 1900. The piece centers on eternal rest and consolation; the shortened Catholic Mass for the Dead is the best-known of his large works. In seven movements, the work is scored for soprano and baritone soloists, mixed choir, orchestra, and organ, though Taft's performance will not include a full orchestra. In describing the work Fauré wrote, "Everything I managed to entertain by way of religious illusion I put into my Requiem, which moreover is dominated from beginning to end by a very human feeling of faith in eternal rest."

A versatile bass-baritone, critics hail Hyong Sik Jo as a "delightful comic, with beauty and depth," and "able to switch seamlessly from jovial to Jovian at the stroke of a baton." His title roles have included Don Giovanni, Gianni Schicchi, and Falstaff, as well as Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola, and Colline in La Bohème, to name only a few. He has appeared with the Connecticut Opera, Bulgaria's Plovdiv Opera, Aspen Opera Theater Center, New York Lyric Opera, and Kaliope Opera, among others, and as a guest artist with Boston University Opera Institute and Queens College Opera. Mr. Jo also has vast experience on the concert stage as the bass soloist in Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Die Schöpfung, and Mozart's Requiem with such orchestras as the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra..

Joining Mr. Jo will be harpist Grace Cloutier. Ms. Cloutier has performed for audiences across North America, Europe, and the Middle East, regularly appearing in recital for the American Harp Society, the World Harp Congress, and the Ukrainian National Music Festival.  She co-founded Ukraine's International Harp Competition, where she served as head juror of a panel comprised of musicians from Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre. Hailed as "an accomplished, poised, self-assured performer" with "breadth of expression and remarkable tone" and "scintillating harp wizardry," Ms. Cloutier trained at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and in France. She gave her solo Carnegie Hall debut recital in 2006, an encore solo recital in 2008, and a "Grace and Friends" concert there in 2014.  A dedicated teacher, Grace regularly gives master classes nationwide and has held multiple residencies at UCLA and served on the faculty at The University of Texas, The Hartt School, Quinnipiac University, and currently is Head of the Harp Department at Trinity College.

Lest We Forget will be performed in Woodward Chapel, Sunday, November 4 at 4 pm. Tickets are not required. For more information, visit taftschool.org/concerts, or call the box office at 860-945-7898.