Keep the songs coming with a gift to NYFOS Records!

The majority of our recordings are funded by individuals like you, and gifts in any amount are appreciated! All this month, we are thanking donors with free downloads, CDs and more. More details below

Coming Soon

From Rags to Riches album cover

Released in physical and digital formats and on all major streaming platforms on Fri, Mar 8, 2024.

Pre-ordered CDs will be available for pickup in the lobby at NYFOS’s Merkin Hall concert “Eros & Co” on March 19th.

Want a preview? Listen to these singles, available now, wherever you stream music:

Kate Lindsey sings “Abendlied” by Georg Jokl

Kurt Ollmann sings “Lied” by Emmanuel Chabrier

NYFOS has gathered together a collection of treasured performances on this wide-ranging album. Spanning over 20 years of memorable moments and voices, it features performances by stars of the opera and concert world – Michael Spyres, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Kate Lindsey, Sasha Cooke, Bernarda Fink, Justin Austin, Kurt Ollmann, Brett Polegato, and Lucia Bradford – alongside singing actors like Darius de Haas, Jennifer Aylmer, Hal Cazalet, James Martin, and Dana Hanchard.

“In typical NYFOS fashion this album embraces not just a wide range of music sung by a galaxy of star vocalists, but also a span of venues,” NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier said. “Some are from live concerts; some were done at the old WQXR studios on lower Fifth Avenue, where we briefly had carte blanche to record songs for a broadcast radio show. We even made a few gorgeous recordings in my living room, where Sasha Cooke sang Brad Mehldau’s haunting Love Sublime; it’s also where I recorded the piano parts for Kate Lindsey’s two tunes during the Covid quarantine.” 

Repertoire includes classics like Come Sunday by Duke Ellington Auf der Bruck by Schubert, and En sourdine by Fauré, as well as rarities—the premiere recording of a stunning German art song, Abendlied, written by a now-forgotten Holocaust survivor, Georg Jokl; a super-charming 18th Spanish song called El dulce de América; and a hidden gem from the Harlem Renaissance, What Harlem Is to Me, with lyrics by the great Andy Razaf. It is this distinctive programming that Opera News has praised by saying, “If you’ve never had the pleasure of attending an NYFOS concert, now is your chance to hear what the fuss is about from the comfort of your home.”

This album would not have been possible without significant support from Carll Tucker and the Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation. Our deepest gratitude to them and to Steven Blier for underwriting “Addio ai Viennesi”; Peter Kazaras & Armin Baier for underwriting “Auf der Bruck”; Claire Molloy & Seth Lloyd for underwriting “Psyché”; the Julian Autrey Song Foundation for underwriting “What Harlem Is to Me”; Eileen Caulfield Schwab for underwriting “It Makes My Love Come Down”; and Peter Thall for underwriting “Abendlied”.

Support NYFOS Records!

Two years ago, we announced a new endeavor, an in-house record label devoted to sharing the exceptional music-making of NYFOS artists, past and present, with the wider world. With your invaluable support NYFOS Records launched in September 2021. Since then NYFOS Records has released 4 albums and 10 singles, featuring 29 different artists, and earning more than 750,000 streams to listeners in over 100 countries around the globe.

We could not have done it without the stalwart support of our community. Over three-quarters of our funding has come from individuals like you. We are immensely grateful and hope that we can count on you again, as we make plans for more releases over the coming seasons.

We’re currently working on two new projects. The first is a studio recording of an audience favorite, Schubert / Beatles, with baritone Theo Hoffman, pianist Kunal Lahiry, violinist Charles Yang, tenor Andrew Owens, and a cameo appearance by Julia Bullock. The playlist pairs jazz arrangements of Beatles songs with Schubert Lieder on similar themes, in combinations that are startlingly à propos including “She’s Leaving Home” with “Der Wanderer an dem Mond,” and “Waldesnacht” with “Norwegian Wood.” Schubert brings out the best in the Beatles—and vice-versa.

The second project is called Road Trip, a compilation of American songs performed by one of the starriest crews in our history, including John Brancy, Julia Bullock, Sasha Cooke, Susan Graham, Kate Lindsey, Will Liverman, Kelli O’Hara, Ying Fang, and others. Each track takes you on a journey across the country, evoking the spirit of America from north to south, east to west.

We’ll also be digging into the archives to unearth more treasures, like Marc Blitzstein’s rarely-heard 1941 musical No For an Answer—one of NYFOS’s great successes in the concert hall—about a workers’ social club whose members are unjustly arrested, and who declare that “singing is a form of battle”.

Your contributions keep these tunes coming! And to show our appreciation, we will be providing public credit if you underwrite one of our forthcoming albums or tracks. We also have some gifts for donors to NYFOS Records this month, including free digital downloads, physical CDs, and tote bags.

Thank you so much for your continued help with this project! Even just listening to our songs on your favorite music streaming service or sharing a track on Instagram makes a difference. We couldn’t appreciate it more.

NYFOS Records is part of New York Festival of Song, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All donations are deductible to the full extent of the law. 

Donor Benefits

A album download for gifts of $50+

A physical CD for gifts of $100+

A NYFOS Records tote bag for $250+

Tote bag with all 4 albums for $500+

Underwriting credit for an archival single $1500

Underwriting credit for a newly-recorded single $2500. 

Interested in underwriting a specific recording project, including full albums? Contact NYFOS at info@nyfos.org for more information. 

Recent Releases

From Rags to Riches album cover

Program notes by Steven Blier included in a Spanish translation by D. P. Snyder.

Released in physical and digital formats and on all major streaming platforms on Fri, Sept 15, 2023.

Stream the album wherever you listen to music! 

Mi País: Songs of Argentina is the latest studio album from NYFOS Records, featuring bass-baritone Federico De Michelis and pianist and NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier. In addition to De Michelis and Blier, the album features César Andrés Parreño (tenor), Shinjoo Cho (bandoneon), Sami Merdinian (violin), and Pablo Lanouguere (double bass). 

“When I first heard Federico De Michelis in the winter of 2022,” Blier said, “I knew I was in the presence of an authentic Buenos Aires voice, filled with all its tenderness, its poetry, and its bruised machismo. Five minutes after our first concert together I asked him to make a CD with me to celebrate our shared love of porteño song. Mi país: Songs of Argentina is the realization of that dream, a dive into the spellbinding delicacy of its art songs as well as the sultry five o’clock shadow of its tangos.”

“The songs on Mi País come directly out of my soul,” said Federico De Michelis. “I feel fortunate to have a partner like Steve Blier, who feels them as deeply as I do.” 

The prolific composer Guastavino, known for his lyricism, simplicity, and faith in tonality, was nicknamed the “The Schubert of the Pampas” and the album features four of his works, alongside three songs by Carlos López Buchardo, whose “music glows with a soft sensuality unlike that of any other Argentinean composer,” explains Blier.

The album naturally turns to tango, which Blier said is “as intrinsic an expression of [Argentinean] culture as the blues is for North Americans.” Journeying from the classic “El día que me quieras (If ever you should love me)” from the 1920s and 30s “King of Tango” Carlos Gardel, the album also includes tracks by other renowned tangueros: Mariano Mores and Héctor Stamponi.

Astor Piazzolla, who melded elements of jazz with the counterpoint of Bach, lifted tango to some of its greatest heights. His music bears the imprint of Gardel, Ginastera, Nadia Boulanger, and Bartók, and his “Siempre se vuelve a Buenos Aires (You always come back to Buenos Aires)” captures the addictive feeling of nostalgia that runs through much of Argentina’s music and poetry.

“I carry a deep longing for Buenos Aires, even though I have never even been there and may never get to see that magical city,” said Blier. “But I’ll always have these beautiful songs to show me ‘that melancholy’—and irresistible—’way to love.’ And I shall always come back to Buenos Aires through her music—just as Piazzolla’s song predicts.”

This recording was funded, in part, by a generous grant from dear friends of NYFOS. Our deepest gratitude to them, and to all our founding NYFOS Records supporters.

From Rags to Riches album cover

Released in physical and digital formats and on all major streaming platforms on Fri, March 31, 2023.

Now streaming on all major platforms!

This recording was funded, in part, by a generous grant from Martin Fridson and Elaine Sisman. Our deepest gratitude to them, and to all our founding NYFOS Records supporters.

Black & Blue is the debut solo album of British-American tenor Joshua Blue. Recorded at Big Orange Sheep in November 2022, and produced by Steven Blier and Jonathan Estabrooks, Black & Blue explores themes of racial equality and human resilience, in songs spanning over five decades. The disc includes two songs receiving their first-ever recordings: Freedom Train and Negrita. Blue performs together with NYFOS Artistic Director Steven Blier at the piano, showcasing their long-standing artistic relationship.  

“In the past few years, Josh Blue and I have established an incandescent musical partnership,” Steven Blier said. “This is due as much to Josh’s soaring vocalism as to our repertoire, which includes a few mainstream pieces like Black & Blue and Day Dream, but also a number of extraordinary songs that haven’t been heard in many decades, including Freedom Train, Red Beans and Rice, The Yellow Dog Blues, and Negrita. Most of the composers and lyricists on our CD are Black, and several of the songs will be receiving their first-ever recording. All of them are unforgettable, and speak to the issues of our time with surprising power.”

The title track, Black & Blue, was written in 1929 by Broadway lyricist, Andy Razaf, and his writing partner, “Fats” Waller. Razaf was coerced at gunpoint by NYC mobster “Dutch” Schultz into writing a “comic song about how hard it was to be Black”; the song, a passionate lament,  received an ovation upon its premiere and a grudging, affirming nod from Schultz. Similarly Freedom Train, written by Langston Hughes in 1947 and set to music by Thomas Hayward, explores themes of racial tension during the post WWII era. Receiving its first recording by Blue and Blier, the song was inspired by a cross-country Freedom Train tour that was meant to unite Americans in the post-war era, but also exposed racial inequality in several Southern cities that insisted on segregated viewing. The resulting controversy inspired Hughes to write his famous poem.

Performed alongside well-known works including Paul Simon’s American Tune and Lewis Allen’s Strange Fruit, Negrita is a sizzling rumba that was published by W.C. Handy in 1935. Blier and Blue have collaborated on many of Handy’s songs for NYFOS concerts, who is best known for his career as the “Father of Blues” with songs like St. Louis Blues and Memphis Blues.

“This album to me is about two things,” Joshua Blue said. “An opportunity to share the magic that happens when Steve and I perform together with the world, and a celebration of the music that shaped me as an artist before opera was even a blip on my radar. From Big Brother to Black and Blue to Ride on King Jesus, these songs and musical styles helped make me, well, me.” 

From Rags to Riches album cover

Released in physical and digital formats and on all major streaming platforms on Fri, Nov 18.

Pre-orders will be available for early pick up at Merkin Hall during the November 16 performance of Kabarett.

A Picnic Cantata is the result of a one-time collaboration between the piano-duo team of Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale, the composer Paul Bowles, and the poet James Schuyler. Originally premiered at New York’s Town Hall in 1953, A Picnic Cantata was well-received, but never published.

The seven-movement work balances sensuality with innocence and lightness with hints of foreboding. In its hyper-realistic world, a picnic basket seems to hold the entire contents of Zabar’s and a car materializes on cue, as four friendstwo sopranos and two altos—magically gather together. Bowles’ music dips into the exotic sounds of Morocco and Ceylon, Poulenc-style post-impressionism, and pure American tunefulness to paint the journey, and Schuyler’s libretto melds the directness of Gertrude Stein with the fantasy of Maurice Sendak, allowing simple things to become paradoxical and mysterious. 

Having wanted to make a studio recording of the work for over three decades, Mr. Blier said, “Paul Bowles’ A Picnic Cantata has been something of a NYFOS signature since the early 1990s. Alternatively spiky and lyrical, utterly unpredictable, and oddly graceful, Bowles’ music won me over. Coming home to Paul Bowles’ music and James Schuyler’s words has been a pleasure and something of a revelation. In the 25 years since we first encountered A Picnic Cantata, we’ve learned more about both the composer and the poet. Its colors seem more vibrant than ever.” 

Select Singles

One Life To Live artwork

“Abendlied”
by Georg Jokl and Fritz Lampl
Performed by Kate Lindsey and Steven Blier

Released on NYFOS Records on January 5, 2024
Sponsored by NYFOS Trustee Peter Thall

This is the premiere recording of a beautiful German art song from the late 1930s. The Austrian composer Georg Jokl escaped from Nazi Germany, emigrated to America, and then…disappeared. We don’t know very much about him, but he did leave us this ravishing song as a memento.  — Steven Blier

One Life To Live artwork

“Auf der Bruck”
by Franz Schubert
Performed by Brett Polegato and Steven Blier

Released on NYFOS Records on November 17, 2023
Sponsored by Peter Kazaras and Armin Baier

In Franz Schubert’s “Auf der Bruck”, a man gallops through the night in the hopes of a tryst with his girlfriend. It is one of Schubert’s most thrilling and most difficult songs—four minutes of pounding chords in the right hand over booming octaves in the bass, kind of ‘Schubert channels Jerry Lee Lewis.’ The vocal line is a challenge too, and the Canadian baritone Brett Polegato nailed it. He was just at the beginning of his career when we performed this—and nowadays he’s singing at the Met!  — Steven Blier

One Life To Live artwork

“Love Sublime”
by Brad Mehldau
Performed by Sasha Cooke and Steven Blier

Released on NYFOS Records on July 22, 2022

This is a gorgeous song by Brad Mehldau, one of America’s greatest jazz musicians, with a dark, erotic atmosphere unlike anything else I’ve ever played. It’s in that area where classical music, jazz, and popular music blend their best qualities—people from all walks of musical life will claim it as their own. And Sasha Cooke has just the right juicy, mysterious voice to bring this masterpiece to life. — Steven Blier

One Life To Live artwork

“Black & Blue”
by Fats Waller and Andy Razaf
Performed by Joshua Blue and Steven Blier
Released on NYFOS Records on June 10, 2022

Fats Waller and Andy Razaf premiered “Black & Blue” 93 years ago and it still detonates as powerfully as the day it was written. Rising tenor Joshua Blue belts it out like nobody’s business, backed up by Steve Blier’s juicy arrangement. And it will be the title track of an album they are planning for next season! Get a taste wherever you stream music. 

One Life To Live artwork

“El dulce de América”
Performed by Jennifer Aylmer, Oren Fader, James Saporito, and Steven Blier

Released on NYFOS Records on April 15, 2022

Created by an unknown composer and poet around 1780, this sweet Spanish-language tune is a cautionary tale of the dangers of  indulgence.

Our First Album

Featuring Stephanie Blythe, William Burden and Steven Blier, this gem of a performance finds new life on the first full album from the NYFOS Records. After over 20 years in the archives, this vital record was released on January 28th, 2022 in physical and digital formats.

Featured singles from the album:

‘Round Midnight
by Thelonious Monk / Bernie Hanighen,
arr. Ricky Ian Gordon performed by Blythe and Blier

Take the Moment
by Richard Rodgers / Stephen Sondheim; performed by Burden and Blier

The album is taken from a live concert recording at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York on March 23, 2000: From Rags to Riches, a compendium of American songs celebrating the last century as the new century began.

Steven Blier describes Stephanie Blythe’s voice as “a natural wonder, an uncanny mix of power and flexibility.” Of William Burden and his collaboration with Blythe, Blier recounts, “His sweet sound and patrician phrasing were the perfect foil for Stephanie’s volcanic energy, and the two of them were able to navigate all the stylistic zigzags of twentieth century American song.”

From Rags to Riches: 100 Years of American Song embraces a wide spectrum of music – art songs by Barber (“Nocturne”) and Griffes (“Evening Song”), musical theater pieces by Rodgers (“Take the Moment”) and Sondheim (“The Ballad of Booth”), jazz tunes by Eubie Blake (“Hit the Road”) and Thelonious Monk (“‘Round Midnight”), and an opera aria by William Bolcom (“New York Lights”). As the program proceeds chronologically through the century, America grows up, sometimes confronting its problems head-on, sometimes working it all out on the dance floor.

Blier explains that he is always on the lookout for songs that deal with important social issues: Cook’s “My Lady Frog” is a subtle parable about race and inclusion; Larson’s “Hosing the Furniture”, a hilarious feminist tract; and Blitzstein’s “Nickel Under the Foot”, an eloquent indictment of class struggle. The newest song, Bolcom’s “New York Lights”, is about the immigrant’s dream of America, and the oldest one, Lowry’s “How Can I Keep from Singing”, is a testament to the nation’s resilience in the face of injustice – as well as a hymn to the power of song itself.

Our First Single!

One Life To Live artwork

“One Life To Live”
from Lady In the Dark
music by Kurt Weill
lyrics by Ira Gershwin

Recorded live at Greenwich House in 1993 by the beloved mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and pianist Steven Blier. 

Released on NYFOS Records on October 8, 2021

Listen wherever you stream music!

iTunes
NYFOS Records Logo

Over NYFOS’s 36-year history, audio recordings have always been a vital part of our work. In fact, our Grammy Award-winning recording of Leonard Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles helped establish NYFOS as New York City’s premiere home for song during our earliest years. In 2021 we built on that legacy by launching a record label of our own, dedicated to sharing extraordinary live performances from our extensive archives, as well as new studio recordings with some of today’s most exciting voices. Our projected releases for the first year included a full-length live concert from our archives; a studio recording of a rarely-heard mid-century American masterpiece; and up to a dozen singles featuring artists like Julia Bullock, Kate Lindsey, Joshua Blue, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Bernarda Fink, and many others. Two more albums followed in 2023 and more incredible music is on the horizon. Keep the music coming with a contribution today!  

Thank you to NYFOS Records’ Founding Supporters!

Mark Adamo
Earl Adams
Carl Adkins
Terry Agriss
Amy Asch
Judith Auchincloss
Jamie Bernstein
Steven Blier
Perry Brass
Neal Brilliant
Michael Brofman
Barbara Brookes
Hillary Brown
Benjamin Brudney & Patrick Crosetto
Mark Campbell
Miriam Charney
Susan Chin & Charles McKinney
John Feather
Katie Firth
Martin Fridson & Elaine Sisman
Corey Friedlander
Joseph Goldfarb
Margaret Goodman
Joanna Grossman
Hunter Harris
Philip and Alexandra Howard
Margaret Jones
Sandra Joys
Sylvia Kahan
Philip Kalikman
David Kamp & Michael Rubin
Ellen Kirschner
Karen Koch
Alan Kornberg & Harold Koda
Robert and Carol Krinsky

Patricia Kvochak
Toni Levi
Arietha Lockhart
Lela Love
Ellen Marcus
William Marmer
Jeffrey Craig Miller
Claire Molloy & Seth Lloyd
Anthony Napoli
Steve Novick
Edward Osterman
Katharine Pracht
Barry Qualls
Cathy Rand
Robert and Rhoda Roper
Shira Rosan
Richard Rosen & Joyce Silberstang
Phyllis Ross
W. Bradley Rubenstein
Jon Rupp
Ellen and Dan Schumm
Eileen Schwab
Lucy Shelton
David Shengold
Dorothy Potter Snyder
Gilbert Tauber
Jonathan Taylor
Socrates Triantafillou
Kent Tritle
Jack and Linda Viertel
Kate and Seymour Weingarten
Robert White
James Wilentz
Lauren Worsham
Robert Youngs & Susan Cohen

Support NYFOS Records Today!

NYFOS Records is part of New York Festival of Song, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. All donations are deductible to the full extent of the law. 

Add your name to the list with a contribution today! We are also looking for underwriters for specific recordings. Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring a single or full-length album. With your support, we can ensure that audiences anywhere can enjoy the best of NYFOS, and that the magic we experience together in the concert hall lives on for future listeners around the world.

Special thanks to 

 

Malcolm & Victoria Blier

Martin Fridson & Elaine Sisman

The Marcia Brady Tucker Foundation 

Richard Rosen & Joyce Silberstang