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The 2019 – 2020 Season

Empire's Ebb

From West African kingdoms to clashing kings on a field of gold, from queens both triumphant of wit and vanquished by love, our eleventh New York season explores through myth, music, and history the fragility of empire and the fault lines of conquest.

Tuesday, November 12th 7:30pm
The Bernie Wohl Center
647 Columbus Avenue

​In the Beginning
Early Music of Western Africa

Ensemble Longbor Mor
Dawn Padmore, Soprano
Yacouba Sissoko, Kora
Kevin Nathaniel Hylton, mbira & percussion

Is "Early Music" only about Europe?

Thriving for centuries before and surviving four centuries after, persisting in a hostile foreign land long after the first ship bearing human cargo arrived in 1619, the chants and dances of Western Africa pre-date by centuries any music that we currently refer to as "early.”

Come hear some of the oldest music known to us today – music that survived a harrowing ocean journey, flickering in the shadows of the Land of the Free, pulsing with enduring power through the amplified soundscape of modern American popular song.

Acclaimed Liberian soprano Dawn Padmore and kora master Yacouba Sissoko join Afro Roots Artistic Director, percussion virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist Kevin Nathaniel in a thrilling performance of traditional Western African music from lands now known to us as Ghana, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone.

Our New York season opens with music from the beginning. Don't miss this very special evening, co-presented by our friends at Afro Roots Tuesdays.


Thursday, December 12th 8:00pm
The Players Club
16 Gramercy Park South

Carthage Conquer’d
Dreams of Tunis in the Baroque Imagination

Ensemble Aeneid
Jessica Gould, soprano
Mary Riccardi, violin
Christa Patton, recorders & baroque harp
Arash Noori, theorbo
John Mark Rozendaal, viola da gamba
Kenneth Merrill, harpsichord
Fatima Gozlan, ney
Brian Prunka, oud

The capital of Tunisia was once the legendary city of Carthage. Its Queen Dido, loved then abandoned by Aeneas on his mission to found Rome, inspired countless musical masterworks from the baroque era to Berlioz.

This concert alternates baroque cantatas and arias dedicated to the Carthaginian Queen with the Arabic form of improvisation known as Taksim, as two ensembles – one baroque and the other North African, share a stage, offering a new hearing of Dido the misused monarch and the site of Northern Africa as both exploited resource and object of fantasy in the Western European mythscape.

Music of Cavalli, Couperin, DeVisée, Legrenzi, Montéclair, and Purcell, in alternation with traditional Taksim improvisations close our fall season, in this original program, previously presented by the Sorbonne and NYU Villa La Pietra in Florence, Italy

Click here to read the program notes.


Thursday, March 5th 8:00pm
The Brotherhood Synagogue
28 Gramercy Park South

Sunday, March 8th 3:00pm
The Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street

Ester, Liberatrice del Popolo Ebreo
Alessandro Stradella

Gould, Pillow, Lemos, Lombardi, Tipton
Members and guests of the Stradella Consort,
Estevan Velardi, Director

Co-produced by NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò and the American Society for Jewish Music

The Old Testament story of a blustering genocidal despot and the canny queen who resists and brings him down finds voice in one of the most innovative works of the violent, volatile, and tragically short-lived genius Alessandro Stradella.

Please join us for this groundbreaking masterwork by “the Caravaggio of Music" in a return of last year’s critically praised production celebrating the story of a minority’s triumph over religious persecution.

Click here to read the program notes.


Click above to purchase tickets to the performance at Brotherhood Synagogue


Click above to purchase tickets to the performance at CJH


Friday, April 17th 8:00pm
The Kosciusko Foundation
15 East 65th Street

The Field of the Cloth of Gold
Michal Gondko and Nigel North, Renaissance Lutes

Inspired by the1520 summit between Henry VIII of England and François I of France, known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, which celebrated a brief glimmer of peace in the historically bellicose Anglo-French relationship, Nigel North and Michal Gondko honor this spirit of accord with an international program of Renaissance lute duets and solos, exalting the lute’s frequent role as an instrument of international diplomacy and courtly delight. Works of Francesco da Milano, Albert de Rippe, Pierre Phalèse, John Johnson, John Dowland, and others.


A New Partnership in Venice


Palazzo Grimani interior

In addition to our annual Florence Festival, Salon/Sanctuary Concerts has had the honor of collaborating with a number of prestigious institutions abroad, bringing our original programming to audiences in Montréal, Rome, Sabbioneta, and now Venice. For a complete roster of our European producing partners, please click here.

This season, we are delighted to inaugurate our partnership with the Scuola di Musica Antica Venezia at Palazzo Grimani in the winter of 2019 – 2020. As the 400th anniversary year of the great Barbara Strozzi (1619 – 1677) draws to a close, we commence our Venetian residency with a mini-series in her honor, beginning with our program of I Sacri Musicali Affetti, Opus 5, then a program of secular works including those of her teacher Cavalli and his teacher Monteverdi, all in exciting multidisciplinary performances with the resident historic dance troupe of the Scuola di Musica Venezia at Palazzo Grimani.

Previous collaborations with our Italian partners have included our original programs From Ghetto to Cappella at the Teatro all’Antica di Sabbioneta, one of three remaining Renaissance theaters in the world today and a UNESCO world heritage site, and At the Pleasure of Mazarin at the stunning landmark Borromini and Bernini-designed church Sant’Agnese in Agone on Piazza Navona in Rome.

If you would like to join us on our international adventures, please get in touch. We can always design a bespoke patron tour for you and a small group to coincide with our concerts, including daily private guided museum tours, exquisite evening concerts of early music in stunning settings, and sumptuous overnight accommodations in historic palaces that will take your breath away and make your historical travel complete.


Can't make any of the performances but want to support out work? We are grateful for your generosity! To check out the various levels of donating and the associated benefits, please click here.

Thank you!

Salon/Sanctuary Concerts is a project of the Fire Department Theatre Company, Inc., a 501 (c ) 3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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