JoAnn’s Classical Christmas
Maestro JoAnn Falletta is joined by operatic soprano and Buffalo resident, Sirgourney Cook in a heart-warming selection of traditional favorites. Wintry classical treasures including Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Polonaise” from Christmas Eve, selections from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, Handel’s Messiah and Glazunov’s The Seasons, and the always popular Leroy Anderson carols anchor a program that will unwrap even more holiday joy!
The Coffee Concert Series is presented by
MASKING AND VACCINATION PROTOCOLS FOR KLEINHANS MUSIC HALL
In order to further protect the health, safety and enjoyment of all, we will be implementing a COVID-19 vaccination requirement and a masking policy for all staff, volunteers, performers and audiences at Kleinhans Music Hall over the age of 12. Youth under age 12 must present a recent negative test for COVID-19 or proof of vaccination. Details at bpo.org/safety-protocols.
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Sirgourney Cook, soprano
Nikki Chooi, violin
Christine Bailey Davis, flute
Linda Greene, flute
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Polonaise from Christmas Eve
TCHAIKOVSKY Act II Pas de Deux from The Nutcracker, Op. 71
TCHAIKOVSKY Valse Finale et Apotheosis from The Nutcracker, Op. 71
BIZET Farandole from L’Arlésienne, Suite No. 2
ADAM/Arthur Luck O Holy Night
J.S. BACH Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049
arr. Sean O’Loughlin Christmas Canticles
GLAZUNOV Winter from The Seasons
HUMPERDINCK Evening Prayer from Hansel and Gretel
HANDEL I Know That My Redeemer Liveth from The Messiah
ANDERSON A Christmas Festival (Sing-along)
Joy to the World
Deck the Halls
Good King Wenceslas
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
About Sirgourney Cook
Sirgourney Cook, a professional opera singer and educator, is a Chicago, IL native.
In 2010, she earned a Bachelor of Music Degree and a minor in Philosophy from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. She debuted with the Goodman Theatre of Chicago in the Linz, Austria premier production of Joan Dark (Director, Aida Karic), in collaboration with the Linz 2009 European Capital of Culture Festival. Sirgourney completed her graduate education at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA in May of 2016; where for two years she was a Presidential Scholar and earned a Master of Music Degree in Opera Performance. She was a student of the late renowned baritone, Robert Honeysucker.
Prior to pursuing graduate education, for more than three years, Sirgourney toured as the soprano background vocalist for Oscar and Grammy Award Winning actress and recording artist, Jennifer Hudson, performing nationally and internationally at events such as President Barack Obama’s 50th Birthday Celebration and Second Campaign Party, the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, and The Grammy Academy’s 2019 Tribute to Aretha Franklin. Sirgourney was the featured soloist in Duke Ellington’s “Concerts of Sacred Music” conducted by Ellington’s protégé, Maestro Randall Keith Horton, at Boston University’s 2017 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Commemoration.
Passionate about arts, education and accessibility, from 2014-2016, Sirgourney served as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the David A. Ellis Elementary School in Roxbury, MA in partnership with Longy School of Music of Bard College and Boston Public Schools. She also served as the Performing Arts Teacher for grades 5-8 at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School of Dorchester, MA. Sirgourney was cast as a handmaid in The Boston Lyric Opera’s 2019 production of Poul Ruders’ The Handmaid’s Tale. In 2017, Sirgourney performed the role of Aphrodite in the world premiere of the opera Triangle, composed by Tony Solitro with the Boston Opera Collaborative. Additionally, in 2017, she debuted her one-woman show, What Am I Doing Here?, at the Central Square Theatre, in Cambridge, MA, as an Artist-in-Residence with The Boston Opera Collaborative of which she was a member for two years. In 2018, she performed the principal role, Cora (Nat Turner’s wife), in the world premiere of the musical production, Brother Nat written by Liana and Jabari Asim and composed by Allyssa Jones at the Paramount Theatre in Boston, MA. Sirgourney made her debut with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra in their 2019 Summer Concert Series.
Sirgourney continues her work in harnessing the transformative power of arts and education through her involvement in the Buffalo public and charter school systems and educational and family programming as the Executive Director of Buffalo’s King Urban Life Center, and through her membership in the Erie County (NY) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. Sirgourney is honored to be performing with the renowned Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra this season. She shares in her life’s walk with her best friend and husband the Rev. Julian Armand Cook, an accomplished pastor and scholar, and her son Langston Armand Cook.
About Nikki Chooi
Canadian born violinist Nikki Chooi, praised for his passionate and poetic performances, has established himself as an artist of rare versatility. Described as “vigorous, colorful” by the New York Times, he has received critical acclaim in engagements at Chicago’s Harris Theatre, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, New York’s Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall, Vancouver’s Recital Series, as well as appearing as soloist with orchestras across Canada including the Montréal Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Edmonton Symphony, and internationally with the St. Petersburg State Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Wallonie, National Orchestra of Belgium, Auckland Philharmonia, Malaysian Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Nikki has been featured at many international festivals with performances at the Marlboro Festival, Ravinia Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Toronto Summer Music, Moritzburg Festival, Kammermusik Utrecht, Dresden Music Festival, Olympus Festival in Russia, and Fundación Beethoven in Chile. His many collaborators have included Jan Vogler, Inon Barnatan, Desmond Hoebig, Kim Kashkashian, David Shifrin, Anthony Marwood, and members of the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets. Nikki has embarked on nation-wide performance tours with Musicians from Marlboro in the United States, as soloist with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Canada, Chamber Music New Zealand, and Selby and Friends in Australia.
Nikki served as Concertmaster of New York’s MET Orchestra in 2016/2017 while working closely with singers and conductors including Renee Fleming, Elīna Garanča, Eric Owens, Fabio Luisi, and Esa-Pekka Salonen. His solos can be heard through The Met: Live in HD broadcasts in productions of Verdi’s La Traviata, Janacek’s Jenufa, and the Grammy-nominated recording of Strauss’ Rosenkavalier released on the Decca Label. He has also appeared as Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Houston Symphony, and Sydney Symphony.
With his brother, violinist Timothy Chooi, they perform together in selective projects. The duo gave the world premiere performance of Sheridan Seyfried’s Double Violin Concerto at the Lake George Festival, toured Canada through Jeunesse Musicale and Prairie Debut, and were featured Canadian artists at the 2018 International G7 Meeting held in Whistler, British Columbia. In 2015, Nikki was a violinist in the cross-over ensemble, Time for Three, performing in genres ranging from Bluegrass to Pop. In collaboration with From the Top and Universal Music, the group released a rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” to record-breaking views on YouTube.
A passionate educator, Nikki has presented masterclasses at the San Francisco Conservatory, Morningside Music Program at the New England Conservatory, Sphinx Academy at the Curtis Institute of Music, Hong Kong Cultural Center, and the University of Auckland. Nikki is also immersed in projects involving the engagement of classical music through Astral’s Community Program for schools and learning centers in Philadelphia, New Zealand’s Sistema Aotearoa Program, and Music from Angelfire’s Outreach events in New Mexico.
Nikki began his studies at the Victoria Conservatory, Mount Royal Conservatory, and at the National Arts Centre Young Artist Programme with Pinchas Zukerman. He completed his formal studies at the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School under the mentorship of Joseph Silverstein, Ida Kavafian, and Donald Weilerstein. A recipient of prizes at the Queen Elizabeth and Tchaikovsky Competitions, Nikki was the 1st Prize Winner of the Montreal Symphony’s Standard Life Competition, the Klein International Strings Competition, and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition. He released his debut album of works by Prokofiev, Ravel, and Gershwin on the Atoll Label.
About Christine Bailey Davis
Christine Bailey has been the principal flutist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, she has also performed as guest flutist with the St. Louis Symphony and Erie Philharmonic. Ms. Bailey has been performing around the Buffalo area as both soloist and ensemble player since she was 11 years old. After soloing with the BPO on two daytime youth concerts in 1990, she made her professional debut in 1992 at age 18 as soloist with New York City chamber orchestra Philharmonic Virtuosi at Artpark in Lewiston, NY. She has also performed as soloist with Ars Nova Musicians, and Amherst Symphony. After two performances of Carl Nielsen’s Concerto for Flute and Orchestra with the BPO in 1997, the Buffalo News called her playing “immaculately accurate, but with a winning, casual, often jaunty approach to phrasing, while extremely complex runs and ornamentations seemed artlessly simple, beguiling sculptures of sound.” Ms. Bailey has performed on almost a dozen studio and live recordings with the BPO. After the BPO’s release of Rhapsodie, a disc of French music, the American Record Guide said that her solo in Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe Suite 2: “… is one of the sweetest and most touching ever captured on records.” Christine commissioned Tracing Mississippi, a concerto for flute and orchestra, from American Indian composer Jerod Impinchchaachaaha Tate, and performed the world premiere with the BPO in 2002. The performance was named in the Buffalo News’ top ten concerts of 2002. She recorded the concerto in June 2007 with the San Francisco Symphony. The disc was released on Thunderbird Records, a new label dedicated entirely to American Indian music. In 2017, she released her first book, The No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming a Professional Flutist.
About Linda Greene
Linda Greene, flutist, was born and raised in Central New York and attended Syracuse University’s School of Music. She joined the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra as Second Flute in 2014 and has also been Second Flute in the Glimmerglass Festival opera orchestra since 1996. Additional temporary duties in the Glimmerglass orchestra have included Acting Principal Flute for three seasons and Principal Recorder in the 2012 production of Lully’s “Armide.” Previous orchestral positions include Piccolo/Third Flute in the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Second Flute in the Albany Symphony Orchestra including one season as Acting Principal, Principal Flute in the Catskill Symphony Orchestra (Oneonta, NY) and Piccolo/Third Flute in the Binghamton Symphony Orchestra, now known as the Binghamton Philharmonic.
Ms. Greene has also been active as a teacher. In addition to maintaining private studios throughout her career, she was adjunct music faculty at Hamilton College from 1986-2014 and SUNY Oswego from 1993-1998, with duties at both colleges as a flute teacher and chamber ensemble coach and conductor. Prior to joining the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in 2005, Linda freelanced over a large swath of Central and Eastern upstate New York. In doing so, she’s been a member of chamber orchestras and small chamber ensembles, presented recitals, been a concerto soloist, recorded with many ensembles large and small, and played music from the early Baroque to the avant-garde on flute, piccolo, alto flute, and recorder.
When not playing flute, Linda can generally be found outdoors walking, bicycling, cross country skiing and gardening.
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