May 2020.png

“But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow,
I will give you no hiding place down here.”

-Maya Angelou from On the Pulse of Morning


Paul Brantley: On the Pulse of Morning featuring Abigail Fischer, Soprano
(New chamber orchestra version, commissioned on the work’s 25th anniversary)
Bienvenido Bustamante: Concierto para Saxofón featuring Patrick Bartley, Alto Saxophone
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra
Chris Whittaker, Music Director

Friends of WHCO join us Saturday after the concert for our final reception for the season!

Click to subscribe and reserve your tickets for the entire season >

Purchase tickets for Friday

Purchase tickets for Saturday


Adults $5 in advance / $7 at the door
Kids ages 17 and under FREE
Young listeners welcome!

Times & Locations

7:00pm Friday, May 15, 2020
George Washington Educational Campus
549 Audubon Ave. New York, NY 10040

View Map

3:00pm Saturday, May 16, 2020
Fort Washington Collegiate Church
729 W. 181st St. New York, NY 10033
Followed by post-concert reception for
Friends of WHCO.

View Map

In Detail

Abigail Fischer.jpeg

Abigail Fischer

"With her dramatic tumble of red hair and cello-mello voice, Ms. Fischer sings with a passionate restraint that has no equal in her generation. You didn't want her to stop.” So said Zachary Woolf from the New York Times after Abigail Fischer's performance of George Benjamin with St. Luke's Orchestra at the New York Philharmonic Bienniel in 2014. Versatile vocalist Abigail Fischer has made a vibrant career soloing with ensembles such as the Kansas City Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Rhode Island Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Boston Baroque, and Mercury Orchestra Houston. With the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Fischer performed semi-staged versions of Strauss' Salome and Midsummer Night's Dream.

Missy Mazzoli's first opera, Song from the Uproar, written for her and the NOW Ensemble, is a one-woman show that has been seen at Los Angeles Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and this 2017 summer at Cincinnati Opera. Known for her “serenely captivating” work in opera, “and disarming intimacy,” (NY Times) Ms. Fischer performed two daring alternative productions of Carmenin Boulder, Colorado and Rockport, Maine this past summer. This 2016-2017 season, Ms. Fischer reprised the one-woman show Toshio Hosakawa's The Raven in Bolzano, Italy for her Italian stage debut.

Ms. Fischer has sung the title role in Rape of Lucretia with Opera Memphis, has premiered Lee Hoiby's This is the Rill Speaking with American Opera Projects, has sung Cenerentola with Union Avenue (in Italian) and Salt Marsh Opera (in English), and Angels in America with LA Philharmonic. One of her favorite pieces is Lieberson's Neruda Songs, which she performed with the Columbus Symphony.

Other recent premieres at the “suddenly indispensable” Prototype Festival have included Mrs. X.E. in Du Yun/Royce Vavrek's Angel's Bone (which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Musical Composition) and The Mother in Stefan Weisman/David Cote's Scarlet Ibis. With Gotham Chamber Opera, Ms. Fischer performed Testo in Monteverdi's Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and Eva in Martinu's Comedy on the Bridge.

Originally trained as a cellist, Ms. Fischer has worked often as a chamber musician, from Musicians of Marlboro Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, to St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, performing works such as John Harbison's Crossroads and Respigghi's Il Tramonto. She has premiered Elliot Carter's Mad Regales and Bernard Rand's Walcott Songs at Tanglewood Music Festival, numerous John Zorn chamber works all over the world, including Lincoln Center Festival, and Nico Muhly's Elements of Style, also at Lincoln Center.

Recordings of Ms. Fischer's includes the operas Song from the Uproar (Missy Mazzoli), The Judgement of Midas (Kamran Ince); the oratorios Haydn Lord Nelson Mass(Boston Baroque), Katrina Ballads (Ted Hearne); and the chamber works Mothertongue (Nico Muhly), The Quality of Mercy (Patrick Castillo), and numerous works of John Zorn.

A graduate of Eastman School of Music (MM), and Vassar College (BA), Lorenzo di Medici in Florence, Italy (Certificate in Italian language and literature), Ms. Fischer also traversed the summer scenes of Tanglewood Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Songfest, and the Chautauqua Voice Program, among others.

Paul Brantley.jpg

Paul Brantley

In recent years Paul Brantley’s compositions have been performed or commissioned by The Knights (at Tanglewood, BRIC, Dumbarton Oaks and Naumburg Concerts), Minneapolis Guitar Quartet, Horszowski Trio, Flux Quartet, New Esterházy Quartet, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, U.C. Berkeley Chamber Chorus (on tour), Monadnock Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, St. Bartholomew's Summer Festival of Sacred Music, The Young People’s Chorus of NYC, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas (NYC’s Town Hall), Left Bank Ensemble (Kennedy Center), Ethel (Kimmel Center), Excelsior Trombone Ensemble (NPR’s Performance Today), The Goliard Ensemble on tour, The Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Belladonna (Schubert Club, St. Paul, MN), L’Opera du Village (Pourrieres, France), SONYC (the Kitchen), and as featured composer on these various series: Bargemusic, Ecstatic Music, The Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society, HVG, North River, MOSA and Concerts in the Heights.

His cello concertino, The Royal Revolver, was premiered in December 2017 by cellist Eric Jacobsen (The Knights, Silk Road Project) and members of The University of Michigan Symphony conducted by Kenneth Kiesler. He currently is composing a Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra for Aventure Piano Duo to be performed in Moscow in Spring, 2020.

He is a five-time MacDowell Colony Fellow who has also received fellowships from Banff Centre and Anderson Center. Brantley has been composer-in-residence for Monadnock Music Festival, Gabriel Fauré Conservatoire (Angoulême, France), Goliard Ensemble, Yara Arts Group, The Seal Bay Festival, Children’s Choral Celebration, Sewanee Music Festival, Washington and Lee University, and the Sophia Institute at Union Theological Seminary in NYC. He has given composition seminars at Yale School of Music, Hunter College (Anthropology Dept.), and The University of Michigan School of Music.

Multifaceted musician, Brantley has performed or recorded as solo cellist with Trey Anastasio (Phish), Cassatt Quartet, Jeff Coffin Mutet, Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Dave Gregory (XTC), Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, and Lenny White. Brantley has arranged and conducted for David Binney, Ethel, Todd Rundgren, and Christian Scott.

Paul studied at Manhattan School of Music (B.M), Curtis Institute (diploma), Eastman School of Music (M.M.) as well as Fontainebleau, Tanglewood, and The Yellow Barn where he was later artist faculty. His principal teachers include Samuel Adler, Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Eicher, Alan Harris, David Loeb, and David Wells.

He co-founded the Seal Bay Festival of American Music and was artist faculty at Yellow Barn Music Festival for many years. In addition to positions at Syracuse University and Washington and Lee University, Brantley was a Manhattan School of Music faculty member from 2000 to 2014.

Paul Brantley currently resides in New York City where he free-lances as a composer, cellist, and conductor. His music is published by Bill Holab Music and Oxford University Press. He has recorded solo cello for Sony/Columbia, Rounder, Warner Bros., Polydor, Compass, and others. He is director and cellist for The Mercury Chamber Players.

Patrick Bartley.png

Patrick Bartley Jr.

Grammy-nominated saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Patrick Bartley, Jr. is a musician with experience in a wide range of musical environments, most notably for appearing on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and being featured in the Emmy-nominated HBO special Wynton Marsalis: A YoungArts Masterclass, which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Although a South Florida native, Patrick is a has spent the majority of his professional music career in NYC prior to graduating from the Manhattan School of Music. As an on-demand sideman, he has performed and recorded with musicians such as Louis Hayes, Jonathan Batiste, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff Coffin, and Wynton Marsalis, and has performed at world-renowned venues such as The STAPLES Center, Madison Square Garden, and the Black Sea Jazz Festival. 

Born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, Patrick owes much of his success to his primary, secondary, and post-secondary education. While in middle school, under the tutelage of Melton Mustafa, Jr.—son of world-renowned trumpeter Melton Mustafa, Sr.—Patrick became the youngest musician to perform at the Jazz In The Gardens jazz festival in Miami Gardens, Florida, as well as the only musician to have performed on the stage twice. It was with Melton Mustafa, Jr. and Sr. that Patrick also got his first professional recording opportunity, this time at age 17. The recording session included Mulgrew Miller, Essiet Essiet, Ray Mantilla, Jason Jackson, and Victor Lewis. While attending high school, after making the Grammy High School Jazz Ensembles for two consecutive years, Patrick was given the opportunity to perform with the Dave Matthews Band live on the 52nd Annual GRAMMY Awards, and was also a YoungArts Gold Award recipient in Jazz.