Hudson Valley Philharmonic Brings Down Curtain on Season with Beethoven’s Ninth at UPAC

Ludwig Van Beethoven

(KINGSTON, N.Y.) – The Hudson Valley Philharmonic concludes its 57th season with a program entitled “The Ninth,” conducted by longtime HVP Music Director Randall Craig Fleischer, the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) on Saturday, April 29, at 8pm. The performances includes Cappella Festiva, Vassar Choir (Choral Director Christine Howlett) and soloists Rachael Rosales, Joshua Blue, Philip Cutlip and Helen Karloski. The program will also include a rendition of Haydn’s Symphony 100, G major.

Ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert talk by Maestro Fleischer one hour prior to each concert.  Round trip shuttles from Bardavon to UPAC are available for $20. Call the box office for more info.

Randall Craig Fleischer is the dynamic, engaging music director of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and celebrates his 21st season with the HVP this year. He is a leading force in the classical music scene all over the United States. His charismatic personality and contagious love of music ignite orchestral brilliance in every concert he conducts.

Randall Craig Fleischer

Fleischer has an active guest conducting career with many major orchestras in the United States and internationally including repeat engagements with the Israel Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Boston Pops, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Houston Symphony, and others. Additionally, Mr. Fleischer is currently music director of the Anchorage Symphony and Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

Also a composer, Fleischer is a national leader in symphonic rock and world music fusion. Pioneering these new and growing genres for more than 20 years now, he has worked with artists such as John Densmore (The Doors), Natalie Merchant, Blondie, Ani DiFranco, John Cale (Velvet Underground) Garth Hudson (The Band), and Kenny Rogers. Mr. Fleischer’s arrangements and orchestral works have been and are performed around the world.

Canadian conductor, choral director and soprano Christine R. Howlett is the Director of Choral Activities at Vassar College where she conducts the Vassar College Women’s Chorus, and Vassar College Choir, and teaches music theory and voice. Her choruses have sung at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, and have toured in Italy, Turkey, Germany, Spain, and in the United States. The Vassar College Women’s Chorus performed at both the National Collegiate Choral Association at Yale University in 2009 and at the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Conference in Philadelphia in 2010.  Ms. Howlett is the Artistic Director of Cappella Festiva, an auditioned choral ensemble with a 35-year history of performing in the Hudson Valley. In 2006, she co-founded the Summer Choral Festival at Vassar College and the Cappella Festiva Treble Choir, an auditioned choral ensemble for treble voices ages 10-16.

Soprano Rachel Rosales

Blessed with a sumptuous voice of magnificent proportions, soprano Rachel Rosales can deliver the fiery intensity of Verdi’s most demanding works or spin out the delicate filigree of Handel’s intricate embellishments – from Early Music to Modern – and has achieved both popular and critical acclaim on national and international stages in opera, oratorio and solo recital. A ubiquitous presence on the New York City scene, she has performed as a soloist in major New York concert venues from Lincoln Center to Carnegie Hall with New York City Opera, New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Musica Sacra, the Orpheus Orchestra, Sacred Music in a Sacred Space, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Oratorio Society of New York, Voices of Ascension, American Virtuosi/Baroque Opera Theatre, New York Collegium, Little Orchestra Society of New York, The New York Choral Society and the Ensemble for Early Music.

Baritone Philip Cutlip has garnered consistent critical acclaim for his performances across North America and Europe. Established on both concert and opera stages, he has performed with a distinguished list of conductors that includes Nicholas McGegan, Charles Dutoit, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Osmo Vänskä, and Donald Runnicles. His appearance as Joseph De Rocher in Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, with Houston Grand Opera, has been released on Virgin Records. Mr. Cutlip’s engagements in the 2016-17 season include Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte with Opera Omaha, Sprecher in Die Zauberflöte with Clarion Opera, Count Almaviva in the U.S. premiere of Milhaud’s La mère coupable with On Site Opera, Méphistophélès in La damnation de Faust with Eugene Symphony, Haydn’s The Creation with Back Bay Chorale, Messiah with Minnesota Orchestra, Carmina Burana with National Philharmonic, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Portland Symphony Orchestra, and Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Bruckner’s Te Deum with Oratorio Society of New York.

Tenor Joshua Blue

British-American tenor and Toulmin Foundation Scholar, Joshua Blue is a first-year Masters Student at The Juilliard School in New York City, NY pursuing a degree in vocal performance under the tutelage of Dr. Robert White. His previous instructors include Salvatore Champagne at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, OH where he received his Bachelors in Music with a concentration in vocal performance in 2016, and Jennifer Barnickel-Fitch at Waubonsie Valley High School, a Grammy Signature school located in Aurora, Illinois. As a tenor soloist, Blue has been featured in Schubert’s Mass No. 6 in E-flat Major and Ramirez’s Missa Criolla, he has also performed such operatic roles as Gabriel von Eisenstein in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, the title role of Britten’s Albert Herring, Sam Kaplan in Weil’s Street Scene, the Student in Torke’s Strawberry Fields, Don Ottavio in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Spoletta in Puccini’s Tosca, and Ruggero in Puccini’s La Rondine, performing with the Oberlin Opera Theater; Franco-American Vocal Academy in Salzburg, Austria; Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and DuPage Opera Theater; CityMusic Cleveland; and the Oberlin in Italy program. Blue will have his Alice Tully Hall debut in New York City this November singing with The Juilliard School’s historical performance orchestra, Juilliard 415. Joshua graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory with a B.M. in vocal performance in 2016 and anticipates graduating from the Juilliard School with a M.M. in vocal performance in 2018

Helen Karloski (photo Josh South)

Equally at home in oratorio, opera, and chamber music, Helen Karloski is an in-demand mezzo-soprano based in New York City.  Ms. Karloski most recently won the Ellen Lopin Blair Award for First Place in the 2015 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Solo Competition. Her notable performances include Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore under the direction of Iván Fischer, The Cunning Little Vixen (Hen) and Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic, and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Brahms Alto Rhapsody with the St. Andrew Chorale and Orchestra. Ms. Karloski was featured on the 2015 Grammy-Award Winning recording The Sacred Spirit of Russia with Conspirare under the direction of Craig Hella Johnson.  As a successful freelance singer, she has actively performed with the New York Philharmonic, Conspirare, Voices of Ascension, Musica Sacra, Mostly Mozart Festival, Bard SummerScape Festival, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Tucson Chamber Artists, Oregon Bach Festival, and the Handel and Haydn Society.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University.  Helen is a proud member of AEA and AGMA.

The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 “Choral”, is the last complete symphony composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. Completed in 1824, the choral Ninth Symphony is one of the best-known works of the Western repertoire, considered both an icon and a forefather of Romantic music, and one of Beethoven’s greatest masterpieces.

Symphony No. 9 incorporates part of An die Freude (“Ode to Joy”), a poem by Friedrich Schiller written in 1785 (first published in 1786 in the poet’s own literary journal, Thalia), with text sung by soloists and a chorus in the last movement. It is the first example of a major composer using the human voice on the same level with instruments in a symphony, creating a work of a grand scope that set the tone for the Romantic symphonic form.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 plays a prominent cultural role in the world today. In particular, the music from the fourth movement (Ode to Joy) was rearranged by Herbert von Karajan into what is now called the Anthem of Europe. Further testament to its prominence is that an original manuscript of this work sold in 2003 for $3.3 million at Sotheby’s, London. Stephen Roe, the head of Sotheby’s manuscripts department, described the symphony as “one of the highest achievements of man, ranking alongside Shakespeare’s Hamlet and King Lear.”


Tickets for the HVP’s THE NINTH range in price from $34 to $57. Student Rush tickets will be available one hour prior to the concert for $20. Tickets can be purchased at:

Bardavon Box Office           UPAC Box Office

35 Market Street                  601 Broadway

Poughkeepsie, NY               Kingston, NY

845.473.2072                       845.339.6088

or through TicketMaster 800.745.3000 or .


Audience members are invited to a pre-concert talk with the conductor and soloists and/or members of the orchestra one hour prior to each performance.

The Bardavon 1869 Opera House, Inc. (the Bardavon) is a New York State nonprofit corporation that owns and operates two historic theaters – the 944-seat namesake theater in Poughkeepsie and 1515-seat Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) in Kingston – and the region’s premiere orchestra, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. It presents top-notch music, dance, theater, and classic films for diverse audiences in both its venues; stages free annual outdoor events in local communities; and partners with regional schools to offer unique arts-based learning experiences. The Bardavon also continues to restore and preserve its historic theaters for today’s audiences and future generations to enjoy.





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