WESTFIELD — Dr. John Sichel will give a pre-concert lecture on Felix Mendelssohn’s Oratorio Paulus (St. Paul), Op. 36, on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7:00 PM at The Presbyterian Church in Westfield located at the corner of Mountain Avenue and East Broad Street, prior to the 8 p.m. performance by The Choral Art Society of New Jersey. Concert admission is $20, $15 for seniors and students, at the door.
In his lecture Dr. Sichel will be discussing Mendelssohn’s connection to both the traditions of the past, particularly to the oratorios of Handel and the sacred music of Bach, and what, for him, was the Romantic present. He will also place the work in biographical context, in terms both of Mendelssohn’s musical life and his spiritual life.
Dr. Sichel studied at the Yale School of Music, where his teachers included Jacob Druckman, Nicholas Maw and Martin Bresnick, and from which he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1990. His compositions have been performed around the world. He is a member of the full-time music faculty at Raritan Valley Community College, where he is conductor of the college Chorale, and also teaches theory, composition, piano, music history and rock-and-roll history at the college. He is also music director of the Madrigal Singers, a Renaissance vocal ensemble based in Cranford, New Jersey. A lifelong resident of the Garden State, he currently lives in Union County with his wife and two sons. His hobbies include birding and astronomy and he has self-published science fiction under the pen name of F.L. Green.
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