Saugerties Pro Musica
   2010 / 2011 Concert Season

April 3rd, 2011


Kurt Briggs, Violin
Renée Cometa Briggs, Piano
Matt Goeke, Cello

All concerts are on Sunday at 3 PM

at the Saugerties United Methodist Church

on the corner of Washington Avenue & Post Street


Trio in g minor, Hob. XV:19                                                   Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)

I.                 Andante – Presto

II.               Adagio ma non troppo

III.             Presto


Three Concert Studies for Piano, Violin, and Cello                  Alan Bush (1900-1995)

I.                 Moto Perpetuo

II.               Nocturne

III.             Alla Bulgara


Trio in Eb Major, Op. 2                                                          Albert Roussel (1869-1937)

I.                 Modéré, sans lenteur – Très animé

II.               Lent

III.             Très lent – Vif et gaiement



di.vi.sion was founded in 1997 by Music Director Kurt Briggs. It was incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) in 2001. An inaugural series was given at Church of the Holy Apostles in New York. Since that time its 35-member core group has given numerous concerts in New York and the tri-state area, sometimes dividing into smaller combinations and sometimes expanding for larger programs. The group comprises experienced freelance players in the New York musical community who have performed with many of the major orchestras, authentic-practice ensembles, and new music ensembles in the area. Their work has also been heard on television, radio, and many of the major record labels.

di.vi.sion’s aim is to present concerts and educational programs that reflect the spirit of the early pleasure gardens of London and New York. This concert tradition started in London in the early 17th century. New York’s earliest pleasure garden was Vauxhall, founded in 1765 and named for its British counterpart. The tradition continued uninterrupted for more than 225 years, and left a legacy of permanent buildings for music, opera, dance, theater and art. This list includes the Tivoli (Copenhagen); Covent Garden, Saddler’s Wells (London); Castle Garden and Madison Square Garden (New York). Most importantly, this cultural practice democratized the concert experience.

di.vi.sion continues this tradition into the 21st century. di.vi.sion’s repertoire ranges from early composers (Bach, Buxtehude, and De Fesch) to classical ones (Haydn and Mozart) through the second Viennese school along with Janacek, Khachaturian and Strauss, and into the present with contemporary composers Constance Cooper, Gwyneth Walker and Thad Wheeler. We have presented works by Frank Zappa and Lalo Schfrin; performed several Bach choral works, including the Missa Brevis in F, in collaboration with CHA; and demonstrated historic performance traditions in Buxtehude’s Seven Membra Jesu, utilizing gut strings, two choirs, and viol consort.

The di.vi.sion piano trio comprises Kurt Briggs Violin; Matt Goeke, Cello; and Renée Cometa Briggs, Piano. It was formed in 2001 as part of di.vi.sion. This tenth season includes concerts at Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library, Dweck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, Saugerties Pro Musica, NY, and St. Peter's Church at Citicorp Center. The season will feature the music of British composers Frank Bridge, Alan Bush, and Hilary Tann, as well as the works of Faure, Haydn, Roussel and a premiere of a new work commissioned by di.vi.sion for the piano trio’s tenth anniversary: Douglas Anderson's Chamber Symphony No. 4 for Piano Trio.  For additional information and to join our mailing list, please visit www.division-artsandeducation.org

Violinist Kurt Briggs has appeared with many chamber ensembles and orchestras, including Bethlehem Bach Choir, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Connecticut Grand Opera, Harrisburg Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, New Jersey Symphony, New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, the New York City Opera National Company, and the Vermont Symphony. Some of his chamber music projects have ranged from performances of Webern, and Hindemith with di.vi.sion to a series of concerts on original instruments with Capitol Artists, in Vermont and New York. His Broadway credentials include Les Miserables, Titanic, Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady, Meet Me in St. Louis, Anything Goes, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber with Michael Crawford, and the full run of Sunset Boulevard, in which he appeared on stage with Glenn Close, Betty Buckley and Elaine Paige. His performances in stage roles in Kuni-Leml and Sunset Boulevard are archived in the Richard Rogers Video Archive at Lincoln Center.

As a performer, Mr. Briggs has recorded for Sony, Koch, Newport Classics, Iota, Amphonic, and Hallmark Records. He has been heard in New York on WBAI (Paul Lazarus Show), WNYC (as concertmaster of the conductorless group Galatea), WQXR (performing Bartok’s Rhapsody and Franck’s Sonata on Bob Sherman’s: The Listening Room), and in London on the BBC. His recording of Constance Cooper’s: Concerto for Soprano Violin, recorded live at Church of the Holy Apostles in 2001, is available on Quixotic Records as Coming From Us (Quixotic 5007). He has also played and recorded for such well known popular and jazz artists as Harry Connick Jr., Celine Dion, Dominic Duval, Grand Funk Railroad, Barry Harris, Incognito, Alicia Keys, Karen Mack, David Murray, Regis Philbin, Smokey Robinson, and Frank Sinatra Jr.

Cellist Matthew Goeke performs as soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player in a broad range of musical styles. Classical recordings include North/South Recordings and 4Tay, Inc. He has also recorded for Opus One Records, Polygram, Elektra, Tzadik and Koch International Classics labels. He performs and records with the bands, GIANTfingers and Voltaire, and the experimental instrumental group Another Silent Day. He can be heard on Angelique Kidjo’s 2007 Grammy Award winning album, Djin Djin, and with David Bowie on Time Will Crawl. Mr. Goeke is a member of the award winning trio Eight Strings and a Whistle, the di.vi.sion piano trio, Moderncelli Cello Quartet, and The Glass Farm Ensemble. In addition to maintaining an active teaching studio, he is an adjunct lecturer at the Borough of Manhattan Community College/CUNY.

Pianist Renée Cometa Briggs leads an active career as a performer. As a soloist, her repertoire ranges from Mozart on the fortepiano to the complete Debussy Etudes. Ms. Briggs won the award for best interpretation of a French Composition by the French Piano Institute for which the prize was solo recitals of French repertoire in Paris at La Schola Cantorum and the French Embassy in Washington D.C.  She has also performed at the Foundation Pierre Gianadda, Martigny, Switzerland.

As the pianist for di.vi.sion, she has performed chamber music and various piano trio repertoire. In addition, Ms. Briggs has appeared in the American Composers Alliance Festival at the Kosciuszko Foundation and at the Flea Theater in New York City. From 1999 to 2004 Ms. Briggs created and administered the Bronx Conservatory of Music Outreach Concert Music Series, providing free concerts throughout the Bronx. The series received partial funding from the Bronx Council of the Arts.

Ms. Briggs holds a DMA from SUNY Stony Brook; an MM from Mannes College of Music, NY; and a BM from North Carolina School of the Arts. She also studied in Switzerland under the auspices of the Semans Art Fund. Ms. Briggs serves on the music faculties at College of Staten Island, CUNY, and Kingsborough Community College, CUNY.



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