DECEMBER 14, 15 & 16, 2017 – NYC

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC
General Admission $60, $40
Reserved Seating $100
Premium Seating $150
Four Shows Only

FOUR SHOWS ONLY
DECEMBER 2017

THUR. 14, 8PM | FRI. 15, 8PM
SAT. 16, 2PM & 7:30PM
CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE – NYC

Premium $150 | Reserved $100
General Admission $60, $40

PAUL WINTER’S 38TH ANNUAL WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration embraces the spirit of the holidays within the extraordinary acoustics of the world’s largest cathedral. This multimedia event will feature the 10-member Paul Winter Consort,gospel singer Theresa Thomason, the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre, and special guests, the 15-member Pletenitsa Balkan Choir.

Paul Winter tells of his enthusiasm for this choir: “Years ago, in the ’60s, I heard a rare recording of a unique Bulgarian choir that I found absolutely captivating. Their voices were like horns, without vibrato and with an intense sound that comes from the traditional folk-singing that is sung out-of-doors. The harmonic motion of the choral arrangements was beguiling. This was the renowned Phillip Koutev Ensemble. I’ve long dreamed of having a choir like this in our Winter Solstice Celebration, and I was quite excited when, last June, my longtime colleague, cellist Eugene Friesen, told me of the Pletenitsa Balkan​ ​Choir,​ ​which​ ​is​ ​based​ ​in​ ​Boston.​ ​I’m​ ​thrilled​ ​that​ ​they​ ​have​ ​agreed​ ​to​ ​collaborate​ ​with​ ​us.”

Founded by Christiane Karam in 2011 as a forum for exploring the choral and folk traditions of the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and parts of the Mediterranean, the ​Pletenitsa Balkan Choir is primarily a women’s chorus, with some music that incorporates male voices. It includes and welcomes singers from all over the world, serving as a platform for cultural exchange and a context for coming​ ​together​ ​to​ ​celebrate​ ​the​ ​beauty​ ​and​ ​spirit​ ​that​ ​connect​ ​us​ ​all.

The ​Pletenitsa Balkan Choir has shared the stage with a diversity of artists, including Zulal, Juliana Svetlichnya, Mario Frangoulis, José Mercé, Javier Limon, Vadim Neselovskyi, Gary Burton, Tigran Hamasyan, and Binka Dobreva, a revered soloist with the internationally renowned Bulgarian folk ensemble, Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. Upon hearing and singing with what would become the Pletenitsa Balkan Choir​, Ms. Dobreva baptized the group with the name “Pletenitsa,” (“braid”), saying she​ ​was​ ​inspired​ ​by​ ​the​ ​intricate​ ​melding​ ​of​ ​cultures​ ​and​ ​the​ ​tight​ ​bond​ ​she​ ​felt​ ​among​ ​the​ ​singers.

Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration has become New York’s favorite holiday alternative to the Nutcracker and Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular. This event offers a contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals, when people gathered together on the longest night of the year to welcome the return of the sun and the birth of the new year.

 
  • “An immersive, multimedia extravaganza, as grand and expansive as its location.”

    The New York Times

  • “Feasts for the ears and eyes”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “We dare you to keep a smile off your face as Theresa Thomason belts gospel tunes and the giant earth ball soars to the ceiling of the spectacular Byzantine cathedral.”

    Gotham Magazine

  • “Fueled by Winter’s soaring soprano saxophone, the annual concerts unfold as a spectacle of theatre, dance and music from around the world.”

    National Public Radio

FREE SOLSTICE COLLECTION

Once again, we are pleased to offer you our free Winter Solstice Collection. This has become a solstice tradition for us. Our intent is both to give a sampling of the artists who will be performing in this year’s Solstice Celebration, and to share recordings we love. 

Please enjoy these 10 tracks, featuring recordings by Theresa Thomason, the Pletenitsa Balkan Choir, Paul McCandless, and the Consort. 

FREE SOLSTICE COLLECTION

Once again, we are pleased to offer you our free Winter Solstice Collection. This has become a solstice tradition for us. Our intent is both to give a sampling of the artists who will be performing in this year’s Solstice Celebration, and to share recordings we love. 

Please enjoy these 10 tracks, featuring recordings by Theresa Thomason, the Pletenitsa Balkan Choir, Paul McCandless, and the Consort. 

2017 WINTER SOLSTICE TRAILER (2min)

2017 WINTER SOLSTICE TRAILER (2min)

PERFORMERS

THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE

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 Paul Winter Consort’s ongoing exploration of the turning of the seasons 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, within the genre of “Earth Music,” in their aspiration to celebrate the cultures and creatures of the whole Earth. Since they began, 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, to symbolize the diversity of the species, becomes a part of the music; and a giant Earth-globe comes 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.”

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THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE

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 Paul Winter Consort’s ongoing exploration of the turning of the seasons 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, within the genre of “Earth Music,” in their aspiration to celebrate the cultures and creatures of the whole Earth. Since they began, 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, to symbolize the diversity of the species, becomes a part of the music; and a giant Earth-globe comes 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.”

BUS

BUS FROM LITCHFIELD, CT

The Litchfield Community Center will be offering round-trip door-to-door bus transportation to the 38th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration Matinee on Saturday, December 16th. The package fee is $90 per person for bus and General Admission tickets. The bus will leave the community center at 9:30am for 12pm arrival in NYC. The concert starts at 2pm. The bus will depart the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC at the end of the show and is expected to arrive back in Litchfield by 7pm.

SOLSTICE TRADITION

The two great celestial milestones of the year, the Summer and Winter 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). Summer Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator and seems to pause before reversing its course; at the Winter Solstice the Sun attains its southernmost point and, once again, seems to stand still before turning back.

The Sun, our great golden star, is the source of our life, and each of our lives is a multi-faceted journey with the Sun. On one level, we are cycling through each day and night, as the Earth rotates from dawn to dawn in the light of the Sun. On another, we are traveling through each year, being carried 584 million miles by the Earth as it swings around the Sun from one Summer Solstice to the next. Simultaneously, we are riding with the Sun as our entire Solar System travels within the Milky Way galaxy, which itself is one of the dozen galaxies in what astronomers call our Local Group. And this whole Local Group of galaxies, in turn, is revolving around the Virgo Cluster of 2000 galaxies, 53 million light-years distant from us.

Making music at Solstice is one way to celebrate our amazing journey. If, in our listening, we are carried by the music, then perhaps the experience of that moment can be a hologram of the entire journey. In reality, the journey is right now, wherever we are. And when we are listening, each moment is the beginning.

Thank you for being part of our ongoing Solstice journey.

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.