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.