Johannes Somary

Biography

Born: April 7, 1935; Zurich, Switzerland  
Johannes Somary is a composer, conductor, organist, and co-founder of the Amor Artis chamber choir and orchestra in New York City. Born to American parents in Zurich, Switzerland, Somary studied at the Yale University School of Music with Quincy Porter. In 1961, Somary made good use of an opportunity when Margaret Hillis decided to disband the American Chamber Choir; along with manager Milton Goldin, the American Chamber Choir was reorganized Read more into Amor Artis. Starting in the 1960s, Somary and Amor Artis, which eventually had a chamber orchestra to go along with the choir, embarked on a number of recordings for the Vanguard label in an association that lasted into the 1970s. This resulted in many recordings of works by J.S. Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Wolfgang Mozart considered state of the art in their time in terms of period consciousness and historical accuracy. Amor Artis also gave the first performances in America of three of Handel's oratorios, "Esther," "Theodora," and "Susanna." Amor Artis has also recorded under Somary for Vox, Leonarda, American Decca, Newport Classic, and Premier. Somary has also guest conducted on many occasions outside New York and regularly appears as an organ soloist. Somary has compositions stretching back into the late '50s, but the bulk of them date from the 1980s forward. His secular cantata "What is Life?" was premiered in 1994 at Lincoln Center with actor Michael Moriarity as narrator. Read less
Browse 1-24 of 24 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Handel: Acis And Galatea, Hwv 49 / Somary, Baird, Hirst
    Label: Newport Classic   Catalog: 60045 Release Date: 11/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Stephen Oosting,  John Ostendorf,  Grayson Hirst,  Julianne Baird  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amor Artis Orchestra,  AmorArtis Orchestra
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  • 2.
    A Handel Portrait
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94214 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Robin Miller,  Maria Grafova,  Stefanie True,  Kristine Gether  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Haydon Clark,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Hartmut Haenchen,  John Lubbock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of London,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Janácek Philharmony  ... 
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  • 3.
    George Frideric Handel: Theodora
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 101752 Release Date: 01/13/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Lawrenson,  Edgar Fleet,  Harold Lester,  Alexander Young  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
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  • 4.
    Handel: Theodora / Somary, Harper, Forrester, Young, Et Al
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 2005 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Maureen Lehane,  Maureen Forrester,  John Lawrenson,  Harold Lester  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  AmorArtis Chamber Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Sing Unto The Lord - Handel, Mozart: Choruses / Somary, Abravanel, Et Al
    Label: Sheridan Square   Catalog: 6713 Release Date: 03/18/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Harold Lester,  Colin Tilney
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary,  Stephen Somary,  Helmut Koch,  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amor Artis Chorale,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir  ... 
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  • 6.
    Handel: Semele / Somary, Diaz, Watts, Armstrong
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 2003 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Sheila Armstrong,  Robert Tear,  Felicity Palmer,  Justino Diaz  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Amor Artis Chorale
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  • 7.
    Handel: Judas Maccabeus / Somary, Harper, Et Al
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 2002 Release Date: 08/07/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  Helen Watts,  Heather Harper,  Alexander Young
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 8.
    The Best Bach
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 2015 Release Date: 02/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Mieczyslaw Horszowski,  Feliz Elias,  Joseph Brezina,  André Lardrot  ... 
    Conductor:  Felix Prohaska,  Antonio Janigro,  Johannes Somary,  Miltiades Caridis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Chamber Orchestra,  Camerata Romana,  I Solisti di Zagreb  ... 
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  • 9.
    Handel: Messiah / Somary, Price, Minton, Young, Diaz
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1969 Release Date: 08/22/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Yvonne Minton,  Alexander Young,  Colin Tilney,  Margaret Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  AmorArtis Chamber Choir,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Music Of Johannes Somary / Waldman, Sharapov
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 756 Release Date: 05/31/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Somary
    Performer:  Igor Sharapov,  Yuval Waldman,  Jonathan Goodman,  Richard Holmes  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra,  Amor Artis Orchestra,  Amor Artis Chorale
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  • 11.
    Bach: Cantatas No 10 And 47 / Steinitz, London Bach Society
    Label: Lyrichord   Catalog: 8050 Release Date: 09/21/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Noehren,  Nigel Rogers,  Kimberly Reighley,  Tom Moore  ... 
    Conductor:  Elaine Comparone,  Paul Steinitz,  Gwendolyn Toth,  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Le Triomphe de L'Amour,  Queens Chamber Band,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 12.
    Prokofiev: Orchestral Masterpieces /Rossi, Somary, Abravanel
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1513 Release Date: 06/08/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Conductor:  Mario Rossi,  Johannes Somary,  Maurice Abravanel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Mozart: Choral Masterpieces / Somary, Bogard, Lewis, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1508 Release Date: 04/27/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Ann Murray,  Richard Lewis,  Carole Bogard,  Michael Rippon
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Amor Artis Chorale
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  • 14.
    Bach: Mass In B Minor / Somary, Palmer, Watts, Tear, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1242 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Helen Watts,  Robert Tear,  Michael Rippon
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Amor Artis Chorale
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  • 15.
    Adler: Memento Mori - An Aids Requiem /Somary, Dutton, Et Al
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 463 Release Date: 10/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Adler
    Performer:  Jane Dutton,  Máire O'Brien,  Steve Huffines,  Victoria Livengood  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amor Artis Orchestra,  Amor Artis Chorale
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  • 16.
    American Choral Music - Shaffer, Somary / Amor Artis Chorale
    Label: Leonarda   Catalog: 347 Release Date: 05/23/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Somary,  Jeanne Ellison Shaffer
    Performer:  Kevin Jones,  Karen Kruger,  Arlene Travis,  Zizi Mueller  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amor Artis Chorale,  Leonarda Orchestra
    On sale! $22.99
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  • 17.
    Bach: Cantatas Bwv 158, Bwv 211, Motets / Somary, Et Al
    Label: Lyrichord   Catalog: 8039 Release Date: 09/21/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Stephen Oosting,  Bernd Osten,  Ann Monoyios,  John Ostendorf
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amor Artis Orchestra,  Amor Artis Chorale
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  • 18.
    Bach: Cantatas No 80 And 11 / Somary, Palmer, Watts, Et Al
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 01/26/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Felicity Palmer,  Robert Tear,  Michael Rippon,  Helen Watts
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  Amor Artis Chorale
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  • 19.
    The Art Of The American Singer
    Label: Newport Classic   Catalog: 85636 Release Date: 09/15/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Amy Marcy Beach,  George Frideric Handel,  André Messager,  Victor Herbert  ... 
    Performer:  Mary Ellen Callahan,  Frederick Urrey,  Ted Christopher,  Julianne Baird  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolph Palmer,  J. Lynn Thompson,  Johannes Somary,  Michael Butterman  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rudolph Palmer Singers,  Brewer Baroque Chamber Orchestra,  Ohio Light Opera  ... 
    CD: $7.49
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  • 20.
    Explore The Classics - Love
    Label: Allegro   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 03/31/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Martin,  Alexander Scriabin,  Gustav Mahler,  Ralph Vaughan Williams  ... 
    Performer:  Julianne Baird,  Ronn McFarlane,  Martin Jones,  Simon Keenlyside  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers,  Leopold Stokowski,  Maurice Abravanel,  Sir Charles Groves  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen,  Houston Symphony Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 21.
    Haydn: Creation / Somary, Amorartis, Harris, Halvorson, Etc
    Label: Newport Classic   Catalog: 85627 Release Date: 03/17/1998   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn
    Performer:  Brenda Harris,  Carl Halvorson,  John Cheek
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amor Artis Orchestra,  Fairfield County Chorale
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  • 22.
    Mozart: Requiem / Somary, Haywood, Fortunato, Romano, Cheek
    Label: Vox Classics   Catalog: 7534 Release Date: 11/01/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Lorna Haywood,  D'Anna Fortunato,  Patrick Romano,  John Cheek
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amor Artis Orchestra,  Amor Artis Chorale
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  • 23.
    The Tsar - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62683 Release Date: 10/29/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Anonymous,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Jennie Tourel,  Allen Rogers,  Gary Karr
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  Claudio Abbado,  Eugene Ormandy,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 24.
    Handel: Sosarme / Somary, Aler, Baird, Minter, Fortunato
    Label: Newport Classic   Catalog: 85575 Release Date: 06/28/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Aler,  Julianne Baird,  Drew Minter,  D'Anna Fortunato  ... 
    Conductor:  Johannes Somary
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amor Artis Orchestra,  Taghkanic Chorale
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