Press

Review of Silent Voices

“Since its founding 25 years ago by its indefatigable artistic director, Dianne Berkun Menaker, it has given voice to children and young adults from a wide range of backgrounds. Musically, too, it fosters diversity with a targeted training program that teaches choristers to sing in a variety of styles and sounds. Typical members of the chorus’s professional-level concert ensemble know how to shade their voices to sound idiomatically pop, classical or gospel. [of Caroline Shaw’s ‘So Quietly’]…Using novel vocal techniques, including sharp, rhythmic breathwork, the music…(also demonstrated the enormous versatility and polish of these young singers.)” —The New York Times, May 2017

Review of Silent Voices

“Right out of the gate, in Shaw’s “so quietly,” the seven-stage musicianship program required for the BYC singers paid off as they conquered extremely complex rhythms with accuracy, not to mention perfect intonation. Even the microtonal slides and widely changing vocal timbres – including audible breathing – typical of Shaw were child’s play to these teens.”…“Everybody’s been really transformed.” She was referring to the choristers who created Silent Voices. But it was true of the audience who heard the piece as well.”  —Classical Voice North America, May 2017

New York Premiere of James MacMillan’s St. Luke Passion with the New York Choral Society

“The Brooklyn Youth Chorus, prepared by its artistic director Dianne Berkun Menaker, proved equal to its prominent role and then some. By the choice of a children’s choir, MacMillan evidently intended to give Christ’s words an otherworldly sheen, and this chorus delivered with pure unisons, finely tuned polyphony and secure high entrances, and gave its elders some lessons in diction as well.” —New York Classical ReviewApril 2017

Review of Black Mountain Songs Album

“Originally staged as a choreographed pageant at bam’s Harvey Theatre, in 2014 (the late Harvey Lichtenstein, bam’s dynamic director, was a Black Mountain alumnus), “Black Mountain Songs” earned a rave review in the Times—and when you hear the astonishingly secure performance of the young singers, who have been tasked with executing some formidably complex choral textures, you immediately understand why.” —The New Yorker, April 2017

Review of Aging Magician at the New Victory Theater

The score is vividly performed by the impressive members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus(Dianne Berkun Menaker, conductor), who become a kind of Greek chorus, and the fine string players of the Attacca Quartet. Some of the choral writing is ethereal, unfolding in long-spun lines and chantlike phrases. Yet there are complex stretches of cluster chords that the choristers sing with precision (and from memory)…During some frenetic, ha-ha-ha outbursts, the young singers draw upon their inner demons to chilling effect. —The New York Times, March 2017

Review of Black Mountain Songs at BAM

Black Mountain Songs,” an exhilarating 90-minute staged choral work with readings, videos, dancers and, at its core, the singing of the impressive Brooklyn Youth Chorus … The choral songs at the heart of this work are performed with confidence, energy and tenderness (and from memory) by the 50 skilled singers of the Brooklyn Youth ChorusThe sheer beauty of their singing was captivating … Ms. Berkun-Menaker is a remarkable choral director … It was heartening to see them basking in the standing ovation that “Black Mountain Songs” won from the audience that filled the theater.” —The New York Times, November 2014

Joan of Arc at the Stake with Marion Cotillard and the New York Philharmonic

“The members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus (Dianne Berkun-Menaker, director), models as always of musical and dramatic confidence, appear as sheep, little beasts, they’re called, to cheer on the trial.” —The New York Times, June 2015

Feature of the Chorus

“Among New York’s choral groups, Brooklyn Youth Chorus stands alone.” —New York Magazine, May 2009

Review of The Lord of the Rings Live in Concert at the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus sings with unflinching energy and polish in a variety of languages — including, of course, Elvish and Sindarin.” —New York Magazine’s Vulture, April 2015

Feature of the Chorus

Brooklyn Youth Chorus is as fine as it gets, in demand with the greatest orchestras and the most important composers.” —Brooklyn Rail, November 2012

More Press Features

Silent Voices: Classical Voice North America Review

June 12, 2017

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Youth Speaks Transformatively In Silent Voices according to Classical Voice North America

Silent Voices: New York Times Review

By Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim | May 15, 2017

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The New York Times reminds us all that "a new generation is already impatient to take the stage and make itself heard."

Black Mountain Songs Album Receives Rave Reviews from The New Yorker

By Russell Platt | March 27, 2017

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“Black Mountain Songs” earned a rave review in the Times—and when you hear the astonishingly secure performance of the young singers, who have been tasked with executing some formidably complex choral textures, you immediately understand why. But when divorced from the production the unevenness of the selections is inevitably apparent. "

New Amsterdam Records to release Brooklyn Youth Chorus’ debut album, Black Mountain Songs, March 31

February 14, 2017

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New Amsterdam Records is proud to announce the release of Black Mountain Songs, the debut album from the Grammy Award-winning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, out March 31.

Concert Ensemble performs Ellis Ludwig-Leone and Max Posner’s Envelopes

December 5, 2016

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus performs Envelopes from 67 by Ellis Ludwig-Leone and Max Posner.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus named WQXR Artists-in-Residence

October 10, 2016

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WQXR, New York’s only all-classical radio station, has selected Brooklyn Youth Chorus as its Artists-in-Residence for the 2016-17 season.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus on PBS Kids

November 20, 2015

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus appears in the promo of Wild Kratts: A Creature Christmas, airing on PBS Kids. See the commercial on TV and in movie theaters near you.

Splash at New York Fashion Week

September 16, 2015

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The Spring/Summer collection for rag & bone was unveiled at the new St. Ann's Warehouse Monday night. Thom Yorke of Radiohead provided a haunting, ethereal track that members of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus sang during the show. Fashion and music critics from Vogue, The New York Times, Women's Wear Daily, to the Washington Post praised the Chorus for their beautiful sound.

“The Future Maestros of Brooklyn”

By Rebecca Bratburd | May 22, 2015

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The Brooklyn Youth Chorus gala offered a sneak peek into a work four years in the making.

Crowds gather at the Air and Space Museum to hear Men’s Ensemble

March 30, 2015

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The Men's Ensemble toured to Washington, DC to perform at the US Capitol building before members of Congress and the public.

Men’s Ensemble brings down the house with “Empire State of Mind”

February 20, 2015

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Hear the enthusiastic response from students at Brooklyn's IS 285, Meyer Levin School for the Performing Arts as Brooklyn Youth Chorus Men's Ensemble performed Alicia Key's hit song "Empire State of Mind," arranged by Curtis Moore. Also, hear from senior Raheim Williams as he shares with the students of IS 285, and his alma mater, about what Brooklyn Youth Chorus has meant to him.

Black Mountain Songs in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal

November 22, 2014

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Black Mountain Songs, commissioned and produced by BAM and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and curated by Bryce Dessner and Richard Reed Parry—eight composers, Dessner, Parry, Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Jherek Bischoff, Aleksandra Vrebalov, John King, and Tim Hecker, collaborate with filmmaker Matt Wolf (Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell) to create an expansive choral and visual work that celebrates and rekindles Black Mountain’s utopian spirit.

Q2’s Meet the Composer Podcast features Brooklyn Youth Chorus with Caroline Shaw

October 14, 2014

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus is featured on Q2's podcast Meet the Composer, with Black Mountain Songs composer Caroline Shaw. Hear Dianne and Caroline talk about "Its Motion Keeps."

Brooklyn Youth Chorus Appoints Elise Bernhardt Executive Director

September 23, 2014

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Bernhardt Comes to Unique and Growing Arts Organization After Leading the Foundation for Jewish Culture, The Kitchen, and Dancing in the Streets.

BYC sings with Glen Hansard on Letterman

August 14, 2014

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus appeared live on the Late Show with David Letterman backing up Academy Award®-winning rock sensation Glen Hansard.