Though the six-man ensemble Hudson Shad (five singers and a pianist) debuted officially in 1992 in a concert featuring the music of the legendary German group The Comedian Harmonists, their nucleus formed in 1977 when three of them made their Carnegie Hall debuts as soloists in Penderecki’s Magnificat. In 1989, the Arts at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn asked bass Wilbur Pauley to contract a quartet to perform as The Family in Kurt Weill’s “Seven Deadly Sins” with Marianne Faithfull. The response was favorable.
Over the last quarter century, Hudson Shad has most likely racked up more performances as The Family in the Seven Deadly Sins than any other group in history. They have performed in almost 40 different locations, from Arezzo to Zagreb, numbering over 100 performances worldwide. They participated in a staging of the work, in a double bill with Weill’s Der Lindbergflug, at the Macerata Festival. They have twice recorded the work, once with Masur and the NY Philharmonic and once with Ms. Faithfull, Dennis Russell Davies and the RSO-Wien. In NYC alone, Hudson Shad has sung the Sins in six different venues, most recently in 2008 with Ute Lemper at the Carnegie Hall premier of the work.
Other orchestra appearances by Hudson Shad have featured more Weill: “Kleine Mahagonny” with the St.Paul Chamber Orchestra, and ”Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny” at the Salzburg Festival. The Schubert bicentennial found Hudson Shad returning to the NY Philharmonic for orchestral works with men’s voices, and they performed Schubert songs using the Reger orchestrations with the Bruckner Orchester in Linz. Hudson Shad debuted with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as “Wild Things” in Oliver Knussen’s “Where the Wild Things Are,” conducted by the composer. They have developed their own English translation of Stravinsky’s “Renard” and have performed it with Charles Dutoit at the Miyazaki Festival and at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
In 1999 Hudson Shad was featured on Broadway in a musical tribute to the Comedian Harmonists: Band in Berlin. Since their German debut in 1995, they’ve presented the Comedian Harmonists’ repertoire in major opera houses, concert halls and prestigious cabarets throughout Europe.
Recent performances in 2014 included five performances with Storm Large of the Seven Deadly Sins at the Ojai Festival, the Britt Festival, and with the Louisville Orchestra; two tours of the Midwest under the auspices of Allied Concert Services; and their debut at Joe’s Pub last October.