PAUL WINTER’S 38TH ANNUAL
WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION 2017

Cathedral of St. John the Divine – NYC
December 14, 15 & 16
Four Shows Only

PAUL WINTER’S 38TH ANNUAL
WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION
2017 – NYC

Cathedral of St. John the Divine
December 14, 15 & 16
Four Shows Only

Stay up to date!

Email signup
 
 

WHAT IS SOLSTICE?

The two great celestial milestones of the year, Winter and Summer Solstices, are perhaps humanity’s most ancient ritual observances. People paused at these times to reflect upon the journey of life, with its trials, blessings, hopes, and promise.

The word “Solstice” comes from the latin sol (sun) and stitium (to stand still). The winter solstice is when the sun, on its apparent path across the sky, reaches its southernmost point from the celestial equator and seems to stand still before reversing its course. Summer solstice occurs when the sun reaches its northernmost point on the celestial sphere and, once again, seems to pause before turning back. On our about June 21st, the summer solstice is the longest day and shortest night of the year. The winter solstice, on or about December 21st, is the longest night of the year, and the shortest day. So the long night of winter solstice is the true new year’s eve.

CELEBRATING SOLSTICE

In 1980, Paul Winter and the Consort were invited to be artists-in-residence at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine.. Paul Winter explains: “The dean had a personal mission to create a bridge between spirituality and ecology. He appreciated our music, but I think it was the ecological dimension of our repertoire that convinced him we could be part of the Cathedral. The premise of the invitation was entirely secular; it was not to have us play liturgical music. We could present any events we wanted, as long as we produced them ourselves.”

“For our first major event, I wanted to find the most universal milestone we could celebrate, and I thought of the winter solstice, which embraces everyone who lives in the northern hemisphere of our planet. That December, we presented our first “Winter Consort Winter Solstice Whole Earth Christmas Celebration.” I could never have imagined then that this would become an annual tradition and that the event would be enduring 38 years later.”

The winter solstice is the great turning point of the year. From time immemorial, people of the northern latitudes regarded this coldest and darkest time of the year with mingled foreboding and expectancy, for the longest night of the year was also the uncertain threshold of return towards the year’s fullness, when green things would grow again and life would be sustained. People felt a responsibility to participate in regenerative rituals to ensure the sun would wax again. Bonfires and candles, with their imitative magic, helped fortify the waning sun and ward off the spirits of darkness. These symbols live in our modern seasonal customs: the candles of Hanukkah and Christmas are kin to the fiery rites of old, which celebrated the miracle of earth’s renewal.

THE PERFECT VENUE

Manhattan’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine is more than a site of liturgy. It’s a home for the human spirit, meant to uplift, inspire awe, unite, and give refuge. It’s the perfect location for the Paul Winter Consort’s ongoing exploration of the turning of the years and the tuning of the soul.

The world’s largest cathedral, St. John the Divine is also one of its most extraordinary performance venues. The length of two football fields and tall enough to fit the Statue of Liberty under its dome, it was designed with sacred geometry to be a transformative space.

Known since the ’80s as the “Green Cathedral” and as an incubator for art, St. John the Divine became the center of a vital community of thinkers and seekers working on issues of ecology, environment, and world peace. It represented a global forum, where you could listen to the Dalai Lama, Buckminster Fuller, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Gary Snyder, Thomas Berry, the Mayor of Jerusalem, Cesar Chavez, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Secretaries General of the United Nations.

The Cathedral’s vastness overwhelms differences, and welcomes and affirms diversity. It has been the perfect venue for the Paul Winter Consort’s earth-embracing events, in the Consort’s aspiration to celebrate the cultures and creatures of the whole Earth. Since the beginning, the Winter Solstice Celebrations have been a forum for world music performers from around the globe.

But the music is only one layer. Over the years the Winter Solstice Celebrations have evolved into a theatrical extravaganza that inhabits the entirety of the Cathedral’s cavernous space. A giant gong, the world’s largest, rises with its player to the 100-foot vault of the Cathedral at the symbolic point of the Sun’s return; a 28-foot spiral aluminum “Solstice Tree,” adorned with a multitude of bells, gongs, and chimes, symbolizing the diversity of the species, becomes a part of the music; and a giant Earth-globe travels through the Nave and ascends over the center-stage.

“Of all the places I’ve played in the world,” Winter says, “only two could host an event on this scale: the Cathedral and the Grand Canyon.”

WINTER SOLSTICE TICKETS

To purchase tickets over the phone, or for purchasing assistance,
call Ovationtix at 866-811-4111.

WINTER SOLSTICE PRESS

For Winter Solstice Press inquiries, please contact  Elizabeth Waldman Frazier at elizabeth@waldmaniapr.com.

CONTACT THE CATHEDRAL

Accessibility Questions
(212) 316-7540 (Visitor Center)

Lost and Found
(212) 316-7556 (Security)

STAY UP TO DATE
WITH THE PAUL WINTER CONSORT

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

WINTER SOLSTICE TICKETS

To purchase tickets over the phone,
or for purchasing assistance,
call Ovationtix at 866-811-4111.

WINTER SOLSTICE PRESS

For Winter Solstice Press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Waldman Frazier at elizabeth@waldmaniapr.com.

CONTACT THE CATHEDRAL

Accessibility Questions
(212) 316-7540 (Visitor Center)

Lost and Found
(212) 316-7556 (Security)

STAY UP TO DATE
WITH THE PAUL WINTER CONSORT

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.