ARTISTS: DO-IT-YOURSELF MESSIAH
STANLEY SPERBER, Conductor
Maestro Sperber, one of Israel’s preeminent choral and orchestral conductors, served as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra from 1985 to 2000, following which he was appointed Laureate Conductor. A native of New York, he immigrated to Israel in 1972, and made his debut with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1973. He has toured extensively in Europe and North America and was the first Israeli conductor to take the podium in the former Soviet Union and in Czechoslovakia.
Maestro Sperber has appeared as guest conductor with the Symphony Orchestra of Baku, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra (London), the Budapest Philharmonic, the Saloniki Philharmonic Orchestra, the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. The Israeli Composers Association awarded him its Order of Merit, and he and the Haifa Symphony Orchestra were accorded First Prize for the Performance of Israeli Music by the National Council for the Arts and Culture.
Over recent seasons, Maestro Sperber has conducted orchestras in North America and Europe, including the Edmonton Philharmonic, the Oakland Symphony Orchestra, the Hamburg Chamber Orchestra, in addition to performances with the Israel Philharmonic and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. In 2004, Mr. Sperber made his debut in China with the Shanghai Opera Company, and returned in 2006 to conduct Messiah.
In 2014, he led the Gala Opening Concert of the prestigious International Rubinstein Piano competition in Tel Aviv with Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy. In 2015, he led a concert tour of the Jerusalem Chamber Choir to Frankfurt and Munich where he conducted concerts in commemoration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany. And in June 2016, he led the Jerusalem Chamber Choir in a series of concerts in Wroclaw, in honor of that city being chosen the Cultural Capital of Europe for 2016.
In 2017, Maestro Sperber conducted an all-Mozart program with the Israel Chamber Orchestra including a fully staged production of Mozart’s The Impresario. In May, with the combined forces of the Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Jerusalem Chamber Choir, he led a performance of the B Minor Mass in the annual Jerusalem Festival.
He has served as conductor of the Do-It-Yourself Messiah for 18 annual performances.
In 1998, Maestro Sperber was appointed to the faculty of Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he holds the position of Professor of Conducting.
A man of varied talents, Stanley Sperber is also an internationally certified tennis chair umpire, and has represented Israel in many major competitions including the Davis Cup and the U.S. Open.
MICHELLE AREYZAGA, Soprano
Michelle Areyzaga has sung leading roles with the New York City Opera and the Chicago Opera Theater, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s In the Neighborhoods programs, Chicago Light Opera Works, Chicago Chamber Opera. She has appeared as soloist with the Grant Park Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, Chicago Master Singers, Apollo Chorus, the Rochester Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Springfield Symphony, and the San Antonio Symphony. Ms. Areyzaga is a frequent guest of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the New York Festival of Song. She has recorded song cycles by Gwyneth Walker, The Sun Is Love, Songs from Spoon River by Lita Grier, and The Small Hours, songs by William Ferris. She was named Artist of the Year by Pioneer Press and has been an award recipient from the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, William C. Byrd International Young Artist Competition, Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year, Marguerite McCammon Vocal Competition (Ft. Worth Opera), NATSAA—National Finalist Outstanding Artist chosen by Teresa Stratas, Metropolitan Opera National Council (Central Region), Viñas Concurs International, and the Concert Artist Guild.
MARK S. DOSS - Bass Baritone
Grammy Award winner, Mark S. Doss has sung with the major orchestras of San Francisco, Philadelphia,Cleveland, Chicago and Toronto, while additionally performing 100 roles with more than 60 major opera companies around the world.
The 2018/19 season saw a revival of Shell Shock in Paris for the anniversary of the Armistice (available on DVD), recitals in Greenwich, Connecticut and New York City, ending with a swing to the UK for his 99th performed role of Nabucco. He began the 2019/20 season with an Opera and Organ concert in downtown Chicago, followed by 12 performances of his 100th performed role, Rigoletto with Welsh National Opera.
Mr. Doss, who began his career on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera, is noted for having sung 8 major roles at the famed Teatro alla Scala in Milan, while also receiving critical acclaim for his portrayals of Scarpia in Tosca, Wagner’s Dutchman, Verdi’s Macbeth, and Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust, among others.
Upcoming engagements include Toronto’s Volcano Company in performances of Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha in San Francisco, the World Premiere of The Time of Our Singing with La Monnaie in Brussels, and Aida with the Dallas Opera.
DAVID SCHRADER, Harpsichord
David Schrader is a musical omnivore, excelling on the organ, the harpsichord, the clavichord, and the early and modern piano. He has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under many different conductors, has performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Staunton Music Festival, and was a founding member of both the Rembrandt Chamber Players and of Baroque Band. As an organist, he has been a featured performer for the American Guild of Organists’ National Conventions on four different occasions, and for three National Conventions of the Organ Historical Society. For thirty-five years, he served as the organist of The Church of the Ascension in Chicago, and has also played with Callipygian Players, the Newberry Consort, and many other groups. Mr. Schrader has performed many times on Chicago’s WFMT radio station from the Levin Studio, and has recorded for the London, Crest, CRI, Centaur, and Cedille labels. He teaches at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of the Performing Arts, where he teaches, among other things, baroque, classical, and romantic performance practice. Among his most influential teachers have been Abbey Simon, Storm Bull, Anthony Newman, and McNeil Robinson. This is Mr. Schrader’s twentieth performance as harpsichordist for the DIYM.