DECEMBER 20, 21, 22 – 2018

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC

Prime Reserved $148 | Premium Reserved $123
Reserved $98 | General Admission $58, $38

$15 Student Tickets (night shows only): use code STU18
*Student ID checked at the door

DECEMBER 20, 7:30PM
DECEMBER 21, 7:30PM
DECEMBER 22, 2PM & 7:30PM

CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN
THE DIVINE – NYC

Prime Reserved $148 | Premium Reserved $123
Reserved $98 | General Admission $58, $38

$15 Student Tickets: use code STU18
*Student ID checked at the door

PAUL WINTER’S 39TH ANNUAL WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice celebrates the spirit of the holidays within the extraordinary acoustics of New York’s greatest Cathedral. This multi-media event features musicians, vocalists and the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre. A dazzling extravaganza of music and dance, the performances offer 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. Broadcast on National Public Radio for the past 27 years, hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer, the Celebrations have become New York’s favorite holiday alternative to the Nutcracker and Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular.

This is the first time in seven years that the event will be on the actual weekend of the winter solstice, which occurs at 5:23pm EST on the 21st.

Since they began, the Winter Solstice Celebrations have been a forum for performers from different music traditions around the globe. This year’s show highlights the natural world, featuring extraordinary and magical voices from what Paul Winter refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth.” 

The world’s largest cathedral, St. John the Divine is also one of its most extraordinary performance venues with titanic acoustics and a seven-second reverberation. 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. 

Over the years the Winter Solstice Celebrations have evolved into a theatrical extravaganza that inhabits the Cathedral’s entirety, transforming the Nave into a forest, the belly of a whale, or a night sky, where a giant earth globe spins from the vault like a tiny planet in the cosmic vastness. A gong rises 150 feet to the vault to celebrate the sun’s ascent, and the traditional evergreen takes the shape of a a 28-foot spiral “Tree of Sounds,” adorned with a multitude of bells, gongs, and chimes, to symbolize the diversity of the life on Earth.

“The opportunity to play in the Cathedral’s extraordinary space inspired me to look at the big picture, I wanted to celebrate the universals, the things we share in common with all peoples,” Paul Winter explains. “We were coming out of the 1970s when we saw the photos of the whole Earth the astronauts brought back from space. This cosmic dimension gave me the idea to create the Winter Solstice Celebrations, as a reminder that we live on a planet in special relationship to the Sun, and to bring people together in common cause as part of the larger community of life. Of course, this is a concert, a performance, but it’s also a way to make the transition from the old year to the new, to find a new evocation of the ancient rite of passage of our ancestors in the Northern Hemisphere. The longest night of the year marks the moment despair can turn to joy. It’s a message we can all hear, that most likely we all need.” – Paul Winter

THE CONSORT’S 50TH

This Solstice Celebration will launch the Consort’s 50th Anniversary year, presenting new and known (iconic) Consort pieces, and welcoming new pianist Jeff Holmes, taking over for Paul Sullivan, who, after three decades of travel with the Consort, is retiring from the road.

“This Winter Solstice we will pay homage to the half-century lineage of the Consort. My first band, the Paul Winter Sextet, had a great run in the early ‘60s, and the experiences from our travels led me to envision a new kind of group, one that would embrace all the traditions  I had come to love. It was while living in Brazil, then, in the mid-‘60s, that I got much of the inspiration for the instrumentation of this new ensemble. The group evolved then after that with the encouragement of my friend Paul Stookey (of Peter, Paul and Mary), who produced our first two albums. I chose the name “Consort” for the band, full well realizing that people might think it was just “concert” spelled wrong. I liked both meanings of the word:

Cónsort, /ˈkänsôrt/, Noun: A small group of musicians making music together.
Consórt, /kənˈsôrt/, Verb: To associate, accord, harmonize; get together.

I wrote a manifesto for this new band: “My idea of consort is an organic ensemble in which the authentic voice of each player can be heard, and in which ensemble-playing and soloing are of equal importance. I imagine it as an analog to a pure democracy, in which there is equal commitment to the well-being of the whole and to the expression of each individual within it. Everyone’s vote (voice) counts.”  – Paul Winter

  • “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

PAUL WINTER CONSORT FREE DOWNLOAD

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 tracks, featuring recordings by Theresa Thomason and the Paul Winter Consort.

This Winter Solstice we will pay homage to the half-century lineage of the Consort. 

Please enjoy 8 tracks from the Paul Winter Consort’s first period (1968 to 1972). 

FREE THERESA THOMASON DOWNLOAD

FREE PAUL WINTER SOPRANO SAX COLLECTION

Our Winter Solstice Celebration has long been graced by the exquisite, exuberant and exhilarating singing voice of Theresa Thomason. This year will be her 25th annual performance with us, and that in itself is cause for celebration. 

Among folks who have attended our solstice events over the years, Theresa has become somewhat of a legend. She “lifts the roof,” in a building that already has a rather high ceiling. 

We want to share with you some recordings from her past solstice performances.

From the first time Paul ever played in the Cathedral, in 1979, he was thrilled to find it a kindred space for his horn. Soprano sax carries well in these acoustics, and Paul can be heard, unamplified, from one end to the other, two blocks away. 

This is the first time a playlist of recordings that feature Paul’s playing has been compiled. Here are nine pieces, that come from Paul’s two favorite “sonic temples” on the planet: one he recorded in the Grand Canyon, and eight from the Cathedral (which we have long referred to as “Grand Canyon East”). 

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 and the Paul Winter Consort. 

PAUL WINTER CONSORT FREE DOWNLOAD

This Winter Solstice we will pay homage to the half-century lineage of the Consort. 

Please enjoy 8 tracks from the Paul Winter Consort’s first period (1968 to 1972). 

PAUL WINTER’S WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATIONS (1.5min)

PAUL WINTER’S WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATIONS (1.5min)

LIVE STREAM

For the first time, we will be streaming the entire Friday night performance on December 21st, which is the solstice itself. We are happy that we can now share this event with those of our community around the country, and the world, who are not able to be in New York City with us for solstice. The performance will be streamed to Paul Winter’s Facebook page @paulwintermusic. For updates and more information on the stream, follow @paulwintermusic. We hope you will join us.

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.”

1047 Amsterdam Avenue
at 112th Street & Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan;
near Columbia Univ.
New York, NY 10025

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.”

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.

STAY UP TO DATE
WITH THE PAUL WINTER CONSORT

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

CONTACT THE CATHEDRAL

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

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

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.