The Crypt Sessions

Classical Music at the Church of the Intercession Crypt


The Crypt Sessions – Season 2

Unison Media is excited to announce Season 2 of its acclaimed concert series The Crypt Sessions, curated by Andrew Ousley. Each concert to follow will be announced immediately after the preceding one – tickets are limited and will sell out quickly, so please join our Mailing List to get the first crack at them!

Before the concerts, we will have a special wine and food tasting paired specially to the music on that night’s program. Wine will be selected by Magnvm Opvs, with food by Ward 8 Events.

And let us please take a moment to thank our amazing, amazing sponsor Yamaha for generously providing their world-class pianos!


Official Sponsor of The Crypt Sessions

Joshua Roman

May 3, 2017 | Wine & Food Tasting 7PM | Show 8PM

The Long Version: You might have been one of the millions to watch Joshua Roman’s post-election Bach Cello Suite performance (livestreamed on the Facebook page of TED, where Josh acts as a Senior Fellow). Either way, you should spend more time with this mind-boggling talented cellist/composer/curator, and we’re pleased offer you that opportunity on May 3, 2017, as Josh descends into the Crypt for a solo cello recital entitled Riding Light.

The music begins in darkness with Bach’s spare, haunting Suite No. 2 in D Minor, before moving through sonatas by György Ligeti and George Crumb – both written during the period of lovestruck adolescence, with music that alternates between shaded meditation and stormy intensity – and finishing with a composition of his of his own, the transcendently radiant Riding Light.

Roman performed in the Crypt with Gregg Kallor in last season’s finale concert of The Tell-Tale Heart, and his playing was praised by Berkshire Fine Arts, saying: “Roman is a musician who can afford to expose his talent in long drawn out single tones..often miraculously drawn from his instrument.”

If you aren’t quick enough to get tix to this performance, it’s worth noting that Josh will be performing a few days later (May 6, to be exact) at SoHo’s The Sheen Center – pick up tix here before they’re gone:

The Short Version: Come ride the lightning with us, in what promises to be a profoundly impactful performance by one of classical music’s brightest stars.

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The Location

The Church of the Intercession Crypt is located on West 155th and Broadway in New York City, convenient to the 1, C, B and D trains. Once you reach the church, follow the cemetery path on the northern side until you see the double doors to the crypt.

Past Concerts

Alexandre Tharaud

April 4, 2016 | Wine & Cheese 7PM | Show 8PM

The Long Version: Internationally-renowned French pianist Alexandre Tharaud will perform Bach’s towering Goldberg Variations, one of the most technically-demanding, transcendent works ever written. Tharaud’s recent recording of the piece was among the New York Times‘ “Best Recordings of 2015,” and he performed the work by candlelight shortly after the ISIS shootings in Paris.

The Short Version: An intimate, intense evening of music with one of today’s greatest pianists.

*Thank you to our sponsor Yamaha for the gorgeous CFX piano!*

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The Attacca Quartet

June 8, 2016 | Wine & Cheese 7PM | Show 8PM

The Long Version: One of chamber music’s brightest voices, the Attacca Quartet perform with a sense of commitment and maturity far beyond their years. For the Crypt, they will perform Haydn’s great masterwork The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, arranged for quartet by Andrew Yee and the Attacca themselves. The work is an extended meditation on the final moments of life.

The Short Version: Four young stars perform a work that could not be more perfectly suited to the Crypt space.

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Christina & Michelle Naughton

August 25, 2016 | Wine & Cheese 7PM | Show 8PM

The Long Version: The beautiful, talented young twin sister piano duo Christina and Michelle Naughton bring their near-telepathic talents to the Crypt, performing one of the most staggering works ever written: Messiaen’s haunting, gripping, wrenching Visions de l’Amen.

The Short Version: Just don’t miss this one.

*Thank you to Yamaha for not one, but TWO pianos!*

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Gregg Kallor, Joshua Roman, and Elizabeth Pojanowski

October 26 & 28, 2016 | Wine & Cheese 7PM | Show 8PM

The Long Version:When you’re pianist/composer Gregg Kallor, instead of celebrating Halloween with a $5 mask and one too many Kit Kats, you give the world premiere of your new musical rendition of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-tale Heart for piano and mezzo-soprano-slash-rockstar Elizabeth Pojanowski. A collaboration with On Site Opera, the The Tell-tale Heart features a semi-staging setup by the always-awesome director Sarah Meyers, whom you might know from a little place called The Metropolitan f-ing Opera. Oh, and if you’re Gregg then you also perform your cello sonata, Undercurrent, as well with cello superstar Joshua Roman, just for good measure.

The Short Version: The perfect, creepy-tastic way to end the 2016 season and enjoy the work of some of NYC’s fastest-rising musical talents.

*Thank you to our sponsor Yamaha for the piano!*

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Lara Downes

February 1, 2017 | Wine & Food Tasting 7PM | Show 8PM

The Long Version: Season 2 of The Crypt Sessions kicks off on February 1, 2017, with pianist Lara Downes (dubbed “Luscious, moody and dreamy” by The New York Times) performing a program remembering her father and his Harlem childhood, while also paying tribute to the many artists who made Harlem their home and inspiration.

You’ll hear music from Downes’ new album America Again (NPR loves it!) by Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Florence Price, Nina Simone, William Grant Still, as well as a world premiere by composer/violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, and a spoken word tribute to Langston Hughes (it’s his birthday Feb 1!) by poet Joshua Bennett.

The Short Version: Come help us start off Season 2 in proper fashion, with one of our absolute favorite pianists who will make you laugh, cry, smile and generally feel all of the feels.

*Thank you to our sponsor Yamaha for the piano!*

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Conrad Tao

April 5, 2017 | Wine & Food Tasting 7PM | Show 8PM

The Long Version: Season 2 of The Crypt Sessions continues on April 5, 2017 – we had planned to have David Greilsammer perform, but due to sudden and severe illness, he has withdrawn. Fortunately, the ridiculously, awesomely badass Conrad Tao has agreed to step in and perform what he fondly refers to as his “American Rage” program: Aaron Copland’s Piano Sonata bookended with works by Frederic Rzewski – a musical mix that moves from intense to overwhelming to tender, aching nostalgia. It’s going to be remarkable…

More on Conrad: he’s one of today’s most extraordinary young musical talents – The New York Times called him a performer of “probing intellect and openhearted vision” NPR called him “a musician of deep intellectual and emotional means” while TimeOut New York just called him “ferociously talented.”

The Short Version: Any opportunity to see Conrad Tao should be seized upon like a leopard seal seizes upon a slow-swimming penguin. Join us for an amazing evening of American Raging…


*Thank you to our sponsor Yamaha for the piano!*

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andrewousleyClassical Music concerts in a Crypt in Harlem