Recent Press

 

Verdigris Ensemble again proves itself invaluable with its latest concert of works by Nicholas Reeves, Mason Bates, and Howard Skempton.

Richard Oliver, TheaterJones.com

The Verdigris Ensemble presents a thought-provoking and, admittedly, unsettling program with Mass Transmission. It is an evening intense in both music and narrative, constructed with evident purpose and care—all the way down to the attire, which came together to suggest a loose interpretation of the 1930s. Given the poignant imagery, the useful context, and the masterful level of overall musicianship, this group proves that it is among the most creative and effective storytellers in North Texas. Read more.

 

Dallas' Verdigris Ensemble redefines choral music in show inspired by radio and Earhart mystery

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News

Each of these works, about 21 minutes long, required fastidious tuning and ensemble. But Brukhman's 16 singers were the crème de la crème of the area's professional choral voices. Their enthusiasm and commitment were as evident as their skill and responsiveness to Brukhman's direction. These were impressive performances of challenging music. Read more.

 

80 years after Amelia Earhart vanished, Dallas' Verdigris Ensemble explores her mystery through music

Manuel Mendoza, Dallas Morning News

More than 80 years after Amelia Earhart vanished from the skies, interest in the mystery surrounding her final flight hasn't waned. Investigators unsatisfied with the official explanation -- the aviation pioneer crashed in the Pacific Ocean and quickly perished -- have produced alternate theories. The best known skeptic, Ric Gillespie, is coming to Dallas for the premiere of a musical work based on claims by shortwave radio listeners that they heard transmissions from Earhart after the accident. Read more.

 

Verdigris Ensemble’s Mass Transmission To Include a World Premiere of Electronic Choral Music

Eve Hill-Agnus, D Magazine

2/6/2019 - For their concert Mass Transmission, performed this Friday through Sunday, Feb. 8-10, in three distinct venues, Verdigris Ensemble will bring together electronic music and vocal work, a continuation of their impetus to make choral work cutting-edge. The program’s guiding principle, connecting the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance with the notions of transmission, dispatch, and transference, sent chills down my spine. With performances at a private residence, a church, and the Texas Theatre, it promises to be transcendent in the way that choral music can. Read more.

 

Texas Native Sets Amelia Earhart Mystery to Music for Verdigris Ensemble

Kimberly Richard, NBCDFW.com

2/5/2019 - Could a teenager's notebook provide clues to one of history's greatest mysteries? When Amelia Earhart disappeared during an attempt to fly around the world in 1937, the official explanation was simple: Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, got lost, crashed into the Pacific Ocean and died immediately. Skeptics have been disputing that explanation for more than 80 years, now pointing to Betty Klenck's notebook as evidence of a different theory. Read more.

 

The Year in Music, Part 1

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, TheaterJones.com

12/30/2018 - Mention must be made of Verdigris Ensemble. Here is what I said and I stand by it every time I hear/see them perform. “If you think that a choral concert consists of a group of singers on risers singing a range of music from uninteresting to esoteric, passing through wonderful on occasion, then you haven’t seen Verdigris Ensemble.” Sam Brukhman’s innovative chorale, populated by some of the top local singers, is always as excellent as it is surprising.  A recent concert paired them with the Avant Chamber Ballet in a creative collaboration. The choir moves around while they sing, always in a manner appropriate to the music. The group’s The Consolation of Apollo performance in April was a highlight of the year. Read more.

 

The Year in Dance, Part 2

Katie Dravenstott, TheaterJones.com

12/29/2018 - Always one willing to break the mold when it comes to classical ballet, Katie Cooper paired her company, Avant Chamber Ballet, with the vocalists of choral outfit Verdigris Ensemble for a very sobering and elegantly danced performance of David Lang’s A Little Match Girl Passion at Moody Performance just a few weeks ago. Cooper took a very different approach for the choreography in this performance. Instead of bouts of group allegro and adagio movements Cooper had the corps act as scenery and story imagery, which only added to the balletic lines and character portrayal of lead dancer Juliann McAloon. ACB took a risk with such a somber show, but while the show brought to the surface the feelings of loss and sadness, it also presented airs of beauty and spiritual awakening. Read more.

 

The Year in Dance: Part 1

Cheryl Callon, TheaterJones.com

12/29/2018 - This collaboration resulted in a vastly different aesthetic for ACB, and a new type of performance for Verdigris, founded by Sam Brukhman. The minimalist, modern David Lang score of the same name conjures a much different vocabulary than artistic director Katie Cooper’s usual musically-driven neo-classical style, but she and her dancers rise to the occasional for a somber, introspective holiday performance. The singers are as much a part of the staging as the dancers, since they perform barefoot and move around the stage, as well. Read more.

 

A Bold Endeavor

Cheryl Callon, TheaterJones.com

12/12/2018 - Running approximately one and a half hours, the show is an intriguing viewing experience. Instead of ending on a high note, like many mixed repertoire dance concerts do, the performance delivers a grim finale. The stark contrast between acts takes some time to process, and the intricacies of the second work require quite a bit of contemplation. It’s a far cry from most of ACB’s repertoire. The collaboration proves a bold endeavor, and all artists involved rise to the challenge, presenting an impeccable, cohesive work. Read more.

 

Verdigris Ensemble and Avant Chamber Ballet Bring Pathos to The Little Match Girl Passion

Eve Hill-Agnus, D Magazine

12/10/2018 - Under founder and artistic director Sam Brukhman, Verdigris’s singers are remarkable in their versatility and command of articulation and nuanced tonal quality, picking up on the Passion’s transcendent, ethereal qualities. The final result was shimmering in its terrible beauty. Read more.

 

Dallas music and dance groups collaborate on Pulitzer-winning choral work inspired by dark fairy tale

Manuel Mendoza, Dallas Morning News

12/7/2018 - "His repetitious nature and this sequence of pitches entrap you in a world that you can't get out of," he says after the rehearsal. "He creates a soundscape that he doesn't really deviate from unless it's her hallucinations. There's something about that that's really haunting but also sucks you in." Read more.

 

Match Pointe

Katie Dravenstott, TheaterJones.com

12/6/2018 - “The collaboration marks a new challenge for Cooper who is known for breaking boundaries when it comes to classical ballet traditions. ‘Creating dance to almost acapella voice is a much different process than what I have done in the past,’ Cooper says. ‘It has breath to it in a very literal way, plus David Lang’s score is quite modern and tells the story in a very different way than if I had picked more traditional dance music for the choreography.’” Read more.

 

Collaborating Companies Breathe Life Into Pulitzer Prize-Winning Music

Kimberly Richard, NBCDFW.com

11/30/2018 - When Sam Brukhman, Verdigris Ensemble’s artistic director, suggested the piece that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Music, Cooper initially hesitated. Although the ballet company uses live chamber music for all performances, the company had never worked with a choir and she was not familiar with the music. Read more.

 

All About Lenny

Gregory Isaacs, TheaterJones.com

10/17/2018 - If you think that a choral concert consists of a group of singers on risers singing a range of music from uninteresting to esoteric, passing through wonderful on occasion, then you haven’t seen Verdigris Ensemble. Sam Brukhman’s innovative chorale, populated by some of the top local singers, is always as excellent as it is surprising. The choir moves around while they sing, always in a manner appropriate to the music. Read more.

 

Concert Explores Leonard Bernstein, the Man Behind the Music

Kimberly Richard, NBCDFW.com

10/12/2018 - To celebrate the centennial of his birth, Verdigris Ensemble reveals the musical genius’ humanity with Lenny, Lenny, Lenny, a choral concert featuring the innovative choir and the Temple Emani-El Choir on October 21 at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas. “Rather than just playing his music and singing his music, we’re showing the relationship between the music and his life events,” Sam Brukhman, Verdigris Ensemble’s founder and artistic director, said. Read more.

 

Lenny in Letters

Keith Mankin, TheaterJones.com

10/6/2018 - To Sam Brukhman, the ever-creative founder and director of Dallas-based chorus Verdigris Ensemble, the letters provided a unique source of celebration for the group’s contribution to the continuing festival. Their upcoming concert, Lenny Lenny Lenny! features a bevy of choral works punctuated by excerpts from Bernstein’s letters written at the same time. Read more.

 

There’s a Place For Us

Nancy Cohen-Israel, PATRON Magazine

10/1/2018 - Brukhman and his board also share a strong rapport. Inspired by Brukhman’s contagious enthusiasm, their collective expertise is fostering the growth of the organization. Among them, artist Stephen Zhang, a creative director in branding, designed this year’s marketing materials. Read more.

 

Choral Music for Modern Audiences: Verdigris offers a new perspective in Dallas

Amy Bishop, Arts&Culture Texas

9/19/2018 - Today, [Brukhman is] on a mission to make the world fall in love with choral music through imaginative and innovative approaches. Creating the Verdigris Ensemble is his first step. “There’s something about vocal music that is profound and like no other instrument,” Brukhman says. “There’s some sort of communal feeling that we’re working together to make a piece of art that’s never going to happen in the world ever again together, right now, in this moment. It’s something very spiritual and very sacred.” Read more.

 

2017-18 Season

Passion Indeed

Richard Oliver, TheaterJones.com

6/22/18 - What made this particular screening of the film special was the masterful collaboration between the members of various local arts groups. A string quartet made up of members of the American Baroque Opera Company’s orchestra and a four-part vocal ensemble from local choral group Verdigris Ensemble joined forces with California-based electronic artist and composer George Sarah to provide a stirring musical compliment to the silent film. Read More.

 

Galaxy Quest

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, TheaterJones.com

5/5/18 - This concert, each time it was presented, announced Verdigris as a major artistic force, not afraid to experiment while still pleasing the audience; not an easy programming task. Read More.

 

Brahms at the Bar: Dallas’s Open Classical Re-frames Music Experience

Amy Bishop, Arts and Culture Texas

4/16/18 - One of Open Classical’s newest collaborators is the Verdigris Ensemble, a new Dallas-based choral group led by Artistic Director Sam Brukhman...When Brukhman told him about their upcoming concert based on the Apollo 8 mission, the two agreed that it was a perfect opportunity to work together. Read More.

 

Star Search

Keith Mankin, TheaterJones.com

4/12/18 - Immersion is at the core of Verdigris’s art. In young history of the group, they have either chosen music that is a full-fledged story unto itself or have used music to enhance an existing story. Read More.

 

Lost In The Stars

Gregory Isaacs, TheaterJones.com 

3/13/18 - The sound was rich and vacant at the same time, much like the blazing glory of the stars in space surrounded by a complete vacuum. Musically, this concert was superb. Read more.

 

Verdigris Ensemble Is A Choir With Stars In Its Eyes

 Hady Mawajdeh, KERA's Art&Seek Artist Spotlight

3/8/18 - The Verdigris Ensemble is a North Texas choral group made up of singers from around North Texas (Dallas, Denton, Arlington and Addison). They're led by the group's founder and artist director Sam Brukhman. Brukhman's a New Jersey native who studied at Westminster Choir College in Princeton. The group's goal is to introduce choral music to a modern audience using creative concert programming, technology and an nontraditional use of space. Read More.

 

Big Dreams, Strong Vision

Interview with Ryan Guth, Choir Ninja Podcast

2/26/18 - Artistic Director, Sam Brukhman, talks to Ryan Guth about the 6 primary qualities of a successful choral startup. Listen to the podcast.

 

Ready for some fresh sounds in classical music? Themes range from 'Beowulf' to Apollo 8

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News

2/24/18 - Innovative programming is a prime focus for the Verdigris Ensemble, a new professional chamber choir led by Sam Brukhman. With 16 singers for its next program, Verdigris is certainly living up to its credo. Read More.

 

Interview with Artistic Director, Sam Brukhman

John. C. Hughes, Choir Chat Podcast  

1/13/2018 - Artistic Director, Sam Brukhman, talks about how he got started in choral music and why he created Verdigris Ensemble. Listen to the podcast.

 

The Most Inspiring Stories in Dallas

VoyageDallas

1/3/2018 - Artistic Director, Sam Brukhman, featured in Voyage Dallas Magazine's "Most Inspiring Stories in Dallas." Read more.

 

Choral Fans Have a Season to Celebrate thanks to Orpheus and Newcomer Verdigris

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News

12/15/2017 - The group had negotiated the intonation minefields of the Poulenc motets with impressive assurance...these were accomplished performances by a group that sang its first concert only two months ago. These were capable and attentive singers, very much committed to Brukhman and his vision. This will be a group to watch. Read More.

 

Beyond 'parking and barking'" Verdigris brings surprises to choral music

Elizabeth Hamilton, Dallas Morning News

12/6/17 - Sam Brukhman believes in the power of choral music. Just not always in the traditional approach of, as many choral directors put it, "parking and barking"...Through modern instrument technology, unconventional use of space and creative concert programming, Brukhman hoped his ensemble would expand the reach of choral music. Read more.

 

What is Real? Engaging Choral Music! 

Laurie Lynn Lindemeier, LLLOpera Blog

10/10/2017 - But, I was surprised to see that the spoken sections of the story were not nearly as intriguing to this little girl as the singing. That’s a testament to the group’s mesmerizing skill and showmanship. Read More.