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

The 2014 Online Auction Is Now Live!

May 13, 2014

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The online auction runs from May 8 through May 18, 2014, and will be followed by a silent and live auction at the 2014 Brooklyn Youth Chorus Spring Gala on May 20th.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus in Bloom!

April 21, 2014

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus burst into spring with back-to-back rave reviews from The New York Times for its collaborative performances with sax legend Colin Stetson at the Ecstatic Music Festival and with Kronos Quartet at their 40th Anniversary Concert. Praised as “a consistently bold organization,” with an “unusually broad stylistic range” and singers that are “wonderfully talented children,” Brooklyn Youth Chorus didn’t wait for the weather to catch up before taking off on the wings of spring.

Ecstatic Music Festival Collaboration with Colin Stetson gets ‘bold’ New York Times Review

March 25, 2014

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In the spirit of adventurous collaboration on which the Ecstatic Music Festival was created, Brooklyn Youth Chorus joined artists Colin Stetson (Bon Iver and Arcade Fire) and Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire) to premiere new works composed by Stetson for the chorus as well as arrangements by both artists of existing pieces...

Brooklyn Youth Chorus Impresses at ACDA Conference in Baltimore & Settlement Music School in Philadelphia

February 27, 2014

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On February 8-9, Brooklyn Youth Chorus boarded buses and traveled to Baltimore and Philadelphia for a weekend of music and fun. First stop was the 2014 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Eastern Division Conference where the Dianne Berkun-Menaker presented two Interest Sessions on Cross-Choral Training®.

Dazzling Holiday Harmonies Concerts Pack Brooklyn College’s Walt Whitman Theater

January 24, 2014

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"the chorus performed...with stunning clarity and force," Peter Matthews, FeastOfMusic.com. Snow didn't deter audiences of more than 1,500 for Brooklyn Youth Chorus's two Holiday Harmonies concerts at Walt Whitman Theater on December 14th. With a new format comprising performances by all six...

Holiday Harmonies 2013: An Unprecedented Brooklyn Youth Chorus Celebration

December 9, 2013

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On Saturday, December 14, for the first time ever, 450 Brooklyn Youth Chorus singers, ranging in age from 7 to 21, share the stage at Brooklyn College's Walt Whitman Theater for two spirited performances of an all-new Holiday Harmonies.

Carnegie Hall Family Concert of Britten’s Songs and New Commission Enchant Audiences

December 2, 2013

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Hosted by Charlotte Blake Alston, the interactive family concert, which celebrated the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, featured such favorites as A Ceremony of Carols and Flower Songs and a new commission by Caroline Shaw.

Senior Chorus Backs Indie-Pop Star Ingrid Michaelson at Malaria No More Gala Honoring Hillary Clinton

November 14, 2013

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Senior Chorus performed with indie-pop star Ingrid Michaelson at a gala concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center benefiting Malaria No More and honoring Hillary Clinton for her work spreading awareness about the disease she called "(an) ancient scourge".

Angel Heart at Carnegie Hall Features 20 Brooklyn Youth Chorus Across Divisions

October 15, 2013

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Twenty Brooklyn Youth Chorus students from across four divisions (Junior, Intermediate, Senior, and Concert Chorus) will perform in Angel Heart, a music storybook at Carnegie Hall on Monday, October 21, 2013.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Kronos Quartet Perform Tour Eiffel on new Bryce Dessner album

October 14, 2013

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus is prominently featured on Aheym ("homeward" in Yiddish), Bryce Dessner's debut album as a composer, slated for release on November 2013 via Anti-Records.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus closes out 2012-13 with performance at Lincoln Center Out of Doors

July 25, 2013

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Saturday's KRONOS AT 40 event is a free, outdoor concert that is tailored towards families, so bring the kids! The festivities begin at noon.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus Gives Spirited Performance at Bang on a Can; Photo Contest Winner Revealed

June 19, 2013

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The Brooklyn Youth Chorus Concert Chorus joined an all-star lineup of renowned musicians from all over the world at this year's Bang on a Can Marathon at Pace University's jam-packed Michael Schimmel Center.

We Want To See Your Bang on a Can Photos! The Best Photographer Wins a $25 iTunes Gift Card

June 13, 2013

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus is happy to announce a special photo contest in conjunction with the upcoming Bang on a Can Marathon performance.

Bang on a Can Marathon on Sunday, June 16

June 12, 2013

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus will take part in this year's Bang on a Can Marathon on Sunday, June 16.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus to Host Two Free Public Programs with Composers from Exploring the Metropolis

May 22, 2013

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On Friday May 31, innovative composer/cross-disciplinary artist Gabrielle Herbst – along with new music upstarts Contemporaneous – presents a free public program as part of EtM’s Con Edison Composers Residency at Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Gabrielle will present her opera short, BODILESS, and a few songs from her band: GABÍ. Q&A to follow.