2013 Mendelssohn Medley Coming to the Historic Oaks Cloister in the Wissahickon


March 12, 2013


Janelle McCoy, Executive Director
Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

Edward McNally
Above The Fold

2013 Mendelssohn Medley coming to the historic Oaks Cloister in the Wissahickon

Maestro Rossen Milanov serving as Honorary Chair of Mendelssohn Club’s Annual Spring Fundraiser

It’s fitting that the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia should be holding its annual Mendelssohn Medley fundraiser at a landmark as historic as the Oaks Cloister nestled in the Wissahickon Woods. Mendelssohn Club had been presenting choral concerts throughout the city for four decades when the magnificent residence was built in 1900. On Sunday, April 14, supporters of the beloved cultural institution will gather to listen to choral selections, enjoy exquisite hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Chef Amy Lutz and bid on an array of exciting auction items. The Honorary Chair for this year’s Mendelssohn Medley is Maestro Rossen Milanov, who serves as the Music Director of both the Princeton Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony in C in Camden.

Among the many fine items that will be available in the silent auction are a weekend at beach residence in Brigantine, NJ, a Cunningham piano, Philadelphia Phillies tickets along with a baseball signed by Phillies pitcher Jesse Biddle, original artworks by Chuck Kalick and Rebecca Thornburgh, and a portrait sitting with Paul DuSold.

The Oaks Cloister is an elegant Tudor estate located on a hill overlooking the greenery of Fairmount Park. Since it was built over 112 years ago, it has been considered one of the most magnificent private residences anywhere in Philadelphia. Every detail was conceived by Joseph Miller Huston, who designed Pennsylvania’s State Capitol building, The venerable landmark was abandoned and threatened with demolition when Dr. Russell Harris and Mr. John Casavecchia bought it in 2002. The new owners spared no expense in restoring the home to its former glory.

Every room is rich in architectural and design details. Visitors to this year’s Mendelssohn Medley at the Oaks Cloister will be able to enjoy the home’s original leaded stained glass windows, its murals by Violet Oakley. the Mercer tiles, a plaster and gold leaf ceiling, numerous European fireplaces, a panel carved by sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder, a mini-grotto with a Carrara marble statue sculpted by George Grey Barnard and the mansion’s large enclosed cloister.

“We’re very grateful to Russell and John for opening their home to us,” said Mendelssohn Club Board President Ellie Elkinton. “Everyone in the chorus and our many friends across the city are excited to be able to gather at the Oaks Cloister this year. Between the beauty of the home and the generosity of our supporters, we are definitely looking forward to a wonderful event this year.”

2013 Mendelssohn Medley
4 – 6:30 pm
Sunday, April 14
The Oaks Cloister
5829 Wissahickon Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19144

To purchase a ticket, click here.

The Oaks Cloister

The Oaks Cloister is one of the most magnificent private residences in Philadelphia. Designed in 1900 by Joseph Miller Huston, the architect of the Pennsylvania State Capitol, this elegant Tudor estate stands on a hill overlooking the greenery of Fairmount Park. Superbly restored under its current owners, Dr. Russell Harris and Mr. John Casavecchia, the Oaks Cloister has the distinction of achieving historical certification as one of Pennsylvania’s treasured landmarks.

Honorary Chair Rossen Milanov

Rossen Milanov serves as the Music Director of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, as well as the nationally recognized Symphony in C in Camden. He is the newly appointed Principal Conductor of Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain. Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Maestro Milanov has established himself as a conductor with a considerable international
presence. During his eleven-year tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra he conducted more then 200 performances with that great orchestra, both as Associate Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestra’s summer home at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts. An artist with distinct personal style, his performances are characterized by sharp musical intellect, artistic ingenuity, freedom and coherence.

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

For nearly fourteen decades, Mendelssohn Club Chorus has been devoted to sharing great choral music as a way to connect artists, audiences and communities. Mendelssohn Club, one of America’s oldest choruses, continues to expand its repertoire in the 21st century by collaborating with a wide range of musical organizations, each of which is devoted to representing, or reaching out to, new audiences in innovative ways. Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia performs choral music to create a shared transcendent experience among its singers and audiences. Through the excellence of its adventurous performances, Mendelssohn Club advances the development of choral music as an art form.

“Few organizations have so strategically embraced innovation and collaboration.” explains Tom Kaiden of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, “Mendelssohn Club constantly finds new ways to bring the audience into the experience. It’s why they are one of the most exciting choruses in America today.”

For information about Mendelssohn Club’s concerts and programs, or to order tickets for the 2012-2013 season, visit www.mcchorus.org. You can also find Mendelssohn Club on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mcchorus.


2nd Half of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia 2012 – 2013 Season

Sunday, April 7, 2013
2:30 pm

Fall of the Berlin Wall: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
presented as part of the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (PIFA)

with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia
Ignat Solzhenitsyn, conductor laureate
Layla Claire, soprano
Marietta Simpson, mezzo-soprano
Norman Reinhardt, tenor
Sam Handley, bass-baritone

Meine Wind of Change
Smirnov Epitaph for the Victims of Repression

Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, Choral

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
260 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

This epic program, under the baton of conductor laureate Ignat Solzhenitsyn, commemorates the mass protests at the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent demolition of the Wall and the entire Iron Curtain.  This historic moment directly led to the reunification of Germany and the end of the Cold War.  This concert is presented as part of PIFA 2012 and is co-produced by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in collaboration with The Center for Emerging Visual Artists and features photography by James B. Abbott.

For tickets for this concert at 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 7, please contact The Chamber Orchestra of
Philadelphia at 215-545-5451.

Saturday, May 11, 2013
8 pm

The Creation
with Symphony in C , conducted by Maestro Rossen Milanov

Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts
Gordon Theater
Third & Pearl Streets
Camden, NJ 08102

Sunday, May 19, 2013
4 pm

Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral
3723 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Creation, Haydn’s masterpiece, depicts and celebrates the creation of the world as based on the Book of Genesis and Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost.” This concert, conducted by Maestro Rossen Milanov will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Symphony in C.

For tickets to this concert at 8 pm on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts in Camden, NJ, visit http://symphonyinc.org

Sunday, June 2, 2013
7:30 pm

Mahler’s Symphony No. 2
with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Louis Scaglione, conductor

Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
260 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102

A magnificent opportunity to hear Mendelssohn Club Chorus with Philadelphia’s best young instrumentalists! The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and Mendelssohn Club join forces in Mahler’s dramatic Symphony No. 2 with Maestro Louis Scaglione conducting.

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