Johannes Somary (1935-2011)

It was with sadness that I read of the death of Johannes Somary, the founder of Amor Artis, the chamber chorus and orchestra that has contributed much to the world of Baroque music in New York City and elsewhere. 2011 is the group’s 50th anniversary–Somary created the group in 1961.

I always looked forward to the ensemble’s concerts of Bach passions, Handel oratorios, or lesser known Baroque works, usually at a church on the Upper West Side. Although Somary’s Amor Artis ensembles were well-known and the performances well attended, it always seemed like each performance was a secret experience that I, and a few others, were privileged to to know about.

I was glad to hear that the group has decided to  continue the 2010-2011 season, which will offer  a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor on Saturday, April 16, at the Church of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, on the Upper West Side. The performance will be conducted by Johannes’s son, Stephen Somary. I couldn’t miss it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Johannes Somary (1935-2011)

  1. Robert J Campbell

    Johannes Somary has for years been one of my favorite conductors of passions and masses, especially of Bach. My favorite by him is a Vanguard of him conducting the English Chamber Orchestra and the Ambrosian Singers. He always had excellent soloists, and this album is no exception, with Haefliger as evangelist, McDaniel as Jesus, and the excellent Elly Ameling, Birgit Finnilae, Seth McCoy and Benjamin Luxon. Truly an all star casts. I have much enjoyed his work over the years.