Schenectady Symphony virtual performance of ‘Bach to Basics’ announced

Tenor Brent Weber, left, and pianist Philip Fisher will be guest performers with the SSO. (photos provided)

Tenor Brent Weber, left, and pianist Philip Fisher will be guest performers with the SSO. (photos provided)

The Schenectady Symphony Orchestra has announced its second virtual concert of this COVID-affected season.

Artistic Director Glen Cortese has arranged an all-Bach program titled, “Bach to Basics,” which will feature two of the Brandenburg Concertos, numbers 3 and 5, along with Cantata #160 and his own arrangement of “Sheep May Safely Graze.”

The concert, which is being performed and recorded Saturday night at Proctors, will begin streaming at 10 a.m. on March 15 and be available through the end of the day on March 31.

Joining the symphony for the performance will be tenor Brent Weber from the School of Music at SUNY Fredonia and internationally renowned pianist Philip Fisher.

Also making an appearance will be the Walden Harpsichord from Schenectady County Community College and guest narrator Rob Brown, the WMHT music director.

Said Brown, “I get to work with a dedicated team of true professionals who care deeply about bringing this community the very best classical music. We are thrilled to partner with the Schenectady Symphony and all the world-class musicians and presenters in our area. And we’re thrilled to remain a trusted partner and your classical companion.”

The Walden Harpsichord, donated to SCCC by Nancy Walden, will be making its first public appearance since being restored.

Tickets for viewing “Bach to Basics,” priced at $20, are available at the Proctors online box office ( or over the phone 518-346-6204. Tickets go on sale March 1.

After ticket purchase, access will be given to the stream, which is good for unlimited concert viewing throughout the run.

The video recording of the concert is being done by Open Stage Media..

Guest performers

Philip Fisher is recognized widely as a unique performer of refined style and versatility. He has appeared across his native United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. His extensive recording credits include a 2-disc set of Handel Keyboard Suites on the Naxos label, while his recent release for Chandos — Piano Works by “The Mighty Handful” — was shortlisted in the Best Solo Instrumental Album category of the International Classical Music Awards.

He has appeared with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Tampere Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, and the Symphonies of Albany, San Antonio, Toledo and the Juilliard School.

Fisher holds degrees from the Royal Academy of Music and the Juilliard School.

Weber has performed many leading operatic roles throughout the U.S. and Canada. A featured soloist at Carnegie Hall in New York City, The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. He has also performed on Broadway with productions of “Encores, Great American Musicals” and for three years, he performed the role of Piangi in “The Phantom of the Opera” in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada.

Weber is an instructor of voice at Duquesne University, and at Fredonia State, SUNY, where he has taught Opera Workshop, diction and repertoire classes.

Brown, WMHT music director, was born and raised in Albany. He started working at WMHT as an intern in 1995. He is on the air from 1 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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