The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Sunday brings the winners’ concert of the UW Concerto and Composition Competition plus a harpsichord recital

March 9, 2019
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By Jacob Stockinger

Two more noteworthy concerts will take place this coming Sunday, March 10.

UW-MADISON CONCERTO AND COMPOSITION COMPETITION

On Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall, the annual winners’ concert of the UW-Madison Concerto and Composition Competition will take place.

The concert features the UW Symphony Orchestra (below top) under conductor Chad Hutchinson (below bottom) with four instrumentalists, one singer and one composer. All are current students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Mead Witter School of Music.

Admission is $12, but free to students, children, music majors, faculty and staff.

Well-know works on the program include: Adalia Hernandez Abrego and Jiawan Zhang playing the Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor by Francis Poulenc; Richard Silvers playing the first two movements of the Violin Concerto in A minor by Antonin Dvorak; soprano Cayla Rosché singing the first and third songs of the “Four Last Songs” by Richard Strauss; and Chia-Yu Hsu playing the Concertino for Bassoon and Orchestra by Marcel Bitsch. In addition, there will be the world premiere of “Fanfare for Orchestra” by student composer Anne McAninch.

To learn more about the concert, and to see photos and videos of the performers who discuss themselves and the works they will play, see the YouTube video below and go to:

https://www.music.wisc.edu/event/symphony-showcase-concerto-winners-solo-with-the-uw-madison-symphony-orchestra/

HARPSICHORD RECITAL

Earlier on Sunday afternoon is a concert that should appeal to early music fans: At 3 p.m. the First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Bay Drive, will present the fifth Annual Mark Rosa Harpsichord Recital.

The performance features harpsichordist Jason J. Moy (below), with special guests bass violist Katherine Shuldiner and baroque violinist Kangwon Lee Kim.

The all-French baroque program is called “The Angel, The Devil and The Sun King: Music and Rivalry in the Court of Louis XIV” and features works by Marin Marais, Antoine Forqueray, Jacques Duphly and Jean-Philippe Rameau.

Tickets will be available at the door: $20 for general admission, $12 for seniors, students and veterans.

Moy is director of the Baroque Ensemble and a harpsichord instructor at the DePaul University School of Music. He has performed across the United States, Canada and Europe, including every Boston Early Music Festival since 2013.

One of Chicago’s most sought-after early keyboard specialists, Moy was recently named artistic director of Ars Musica Chicago. He also plays as part of the Dame Myra Hess International Concert Series at the Chicago Cultural Center. Madisonians may be familiar with his playing from his appearances with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.

You can hear him discuss playing the harpsichord and talk about its modern history in the YouTube video below. For more information, go to: www.jjmoy.com

Kangwon Lee Kim (below) is a versatile violinist on both baroque and modern violins. She is familiar to Madisonians as the concertmaster and assistant artistic director of Madison Bach Musicians. She has also given recitals throughout the U.S. and in Korea, Canada, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Norway and the Czech Republic.

Katherine Shuldiner (below) graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory in viola da gamba. She performs regularly with other early music specialists, and ensembles such as the Bach and Beethoven Experience, VOX3 Collective and the Newberry Consort. She has taught at the Whitewater and Madison Early Music Festivals. www.kateshuldiner.com


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Classical music: New York Polyphony opens the 17th annual Madison Early Music Festival with a perfectly rendered composite portrait of Elizabethan sacred music. Plus, the winners of the fourth annual Handel Aria Competition are announced

July 11, 2016
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ALERT: In case you haven’t yet heard, the winners (below) of the fourth annual Handel Aria Competition, held on Friday night in Mills Hall and accompanied by the Madison Bach Musicians, have been announced.

Eric Jurenas (center), countertenor, won First Prize; Christina Kay (right), soprano, won Second Prize; and Nola Richardson (left), soprano, won Third Prize and Audience Favorite.

Handel Aria winners 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear left the concert hall thinking: Well, this will be an easy review to write.

Just give it an A-plus.

An easy A-plus.

On Saturday night, the acclaimed a cappella quartet New York Polyphony (below) opened the 17th annual Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF) with a flawless performance.

new york polyphony

This year, the MEMF is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the death of poet and playwright William Shakespeare (below top) and the 45-year reign of Queen Elizabeth I (below bottom), who oversaw the English Renaissance.

shakespeare BW

Queen Elizabeth I

And the program – performed before a large house of perhaps 450 or 500 enthusiastic listeners — was perfectly in keeping with the festival’s theme. It used sacred music rather than stage music or secular music, which will be featured later in this week of concerts, workshops and pre-concert lectures.

In fact, the program of New York Polyphony was based on two of the group’s best-selling CDs for BIS Records and AVIE Records: “Tudor City” and “Times Goes by Turns.” It was roughly divided into two masses, one on each half. (You can hear a sample in the YouTube video at the bottom.)

Adding to the variety was that each Anglican or Roman Catholic-based mass was a composite, with various sections made up like movements written by different composers. Thrown in for good measure were two separate short pieces, the “Ave Maria Mater Dei” by William Cornysh and the “Ave verum corpus” of William Byrd.

The Mass on the first half featured music by Byrd, John Dunstable, Walter Lambe and Thomas Tallis. The second half featured works music by Tallis, John Pyamour, John Plummer and excerpts from the Worcester Fragments. The section were typical: the Kyrie, Gloria in Excelsis, Credo, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei.

There was nothing fancy about this concert, which marked the Wisconsin debut of New York Polyphony and which spotlighted superbly quiet virtuosity. The four dark-suited men, who occasionally split up, just stood on stage and opened their mouths and sang flawlessly with unerring pitch and superb diction.

New York Polyphony MEMF 2016

A cappella or unaccompanied singing is hard work, but the four men made it seem easy. The countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass each showed confidence and talent plus the ability to project clarity while not overshadowing each other. This was first-class singing.

The beautiful polyphony of the lines was wondrous to behold even, if like The Ear, sacred music from this era – with its chant-like rather than melodic qualities – is not your favorite fare.

New York Polyphony provided a good harbinger of the treats that will come this week at the MEMF from groups like the Newberry Consort of Chicago with soprano Ellen Hargis (below top) and the Baltimore Consort (below bottom) as well as from the faculty and workshop participants. On Friday night is an appealing program that focuses on Shakespeare’s sonnets and music.

MEMF newberry consort

Baltimore Consort

And on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., with a pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m., will be the All-Festival concert. That is always a must-hear great sampler of what you perhaps couldn’t get to earlier in the week. This year, it will feature the music as used in a typical Elizabethan day.

Here is a link to the MEMF website:

https://artsinstitute.wisc.edu/memf/

And here is a link the website of New York Polyphony if you want to hear more:

http://www.newyorkpolyphony.com


Classical music: Spend a week in the Age of Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I when the 17th annual Madison Early Music Festival is held, starting this Saturday. Part 1 of 2.

July 5, 2016
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By Jacob Stockinger

Starting this Saturday, the 17th annual Madison Early Music Festival will take place on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

The theme this year focuses on music in the work of William Shakespeare and the Age of Queen Elizabeth I.

You can check out all the details of the festival at: http://www.madisonearlymusic.org

The co-directors of the festival – the wife-and-husband team of singers Cheryl Bensman Rowe and Paul Rowe (below, in a photo by Katrin Talbot and signaled in the answers by the initials CBR and PR) took time out from the hectic preparations to answer an email Q&A with The Ear:

Paul Rowe and Cheryl Bensman Rowe 2016 CR KATRIN TALBOT

How successful is this year’s 17th annual weeklong festival (July 9-16) compared to others in terms of enrollment, budgets, performers, etc.? How well established is MEMF now nationally or even internationally?

CBR: Enrollment is up this year, with over 100 people enrolled in the workshop. Shakespeare (below) and the Elizabethan era is a great draw.

Other exciting news it that MEMF is one of five organizations that was chosen to be part of the “Shakespeare in Wisconsin” celebration, which includes the touring copy of the first Folio of Shakespeare’s plays from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. It is The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, and it will be at the Chazen Museum of Art this fall. https://shakespeare.library.wisc.edu/

MEMF is definitely on the map in the early music world due to our great faculty and our concert series that features musicians from all over the country, Canada and Europe.

We are also excited to be a part of the Arts Institute on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The institute is bringing us into the modern world of Facebook, e-letters, Twitter and so much more. We also have a new program director, Sarah Marty, who is full of fresh ideas and has many new contacts in the UW and the Madison community.

shakespeare BW

What is new and what is the same in terms of format, students, faculty members and performers?

CBR: Our format has stayed the same because, after 17 seasons, it seems to be working. We are excited about everything that will be happening during the week. https://artsinstitute.wisc.edu/memf/concerts.htm

New to MEMF this year is the ensemble New York Polyphony (below). They will be performing their program “Tudor City,” featuring the music of the Church, including the sacred music of Thomas Tallis and William Byrd, Christopher Tye and Walter Lambe. Their recording of this program, Tudor City, spent three weeks in the Top 10 of the Billboard classical album chart. You can read more about them on their website: http://www.newyorkpolyphony.com/

To get a preview of what you will hear please visit: http://www.newyorkpolyphony.com/media2/

new york polyphony

MEMF goes to the Movies! The Newberry Violin Band (below top) will be performing as a live accompaniment to the silent film, Elizabeth I, made in 1912. Sarah Bernhardt is the star, even though she was 68 years old when the movie was made. The music is a great sampler of many of the most famous Elizabethan composers. Ellen Hargis (below bottom) will also be singing some classic John Dowland songs. An early movie with early music! http://newberryconsort.org/watch-listen-2/

Newberry Violin Band

ellen hargis 2016

Also, we have several unique programs that have been created just for this 400th “deathaversary” year.

The Baltimore Consort (below) is returning to MEMF with a program created especially for this anniversary year, The Food of Love: Songs, Dances and Fancies for Shakespeare, which has musical selections chosen from the hundreds of references to music in the works of Shakespeare. Shakespeare had directions in his plays for incidental music used for dancing, interludes and ceremony.

Specific songs are included in the text of the plays, and these texts were set to the popular songs of the day. Very few of these were published, but there are some early survivors which were published and from manuscripts.

Watch the YouTube video “From Treasures from the Age of Shakespeare” by the Baltimore Consort.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soqw5oSdkVs

Baltimore Consort

On Friday night we have a very unique program, Sonnets 400, a program that actor Peter Hamilton Dyer, from the Globe Theatre, conceived to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

The program is a pairing of Shakespeare’s words with Anthony Holborne’s music. Holborne was one of the most respected lutenists of his and Shakespeare’s time. Madison actor Michael Herold (below) will be reciting the narrative arc of the selected sonnets, and the music of Holborne will be played as interludes, or softly under the narration.

Recorder player and MEMF favorite, Priscilla Herreid, brought this program to our attention. Several years ago she performed with Peter in the Broadway production of “Twelfth Night,” and he told her about this pairing of music and sonnets from the Elizabethan era. Lutenists Grant Herreid and Charles Weaver will be joining Priscilla on Friday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m. The pre-concert lecture –“Repackaging Shakespeare’s Sonnets” — will be given by UW-Madison Professor of English Joshua Calhoun.

Michael Herold

Tomorrow: Part 2 of 2 — What makes Elizabethan English music special and what will the All-Festival wrap-up concert include?

 


Classical music: The early music group Ensemble SDG will perform psalms by Heinrich Schütz and other composers as well as sonatas and a canticle this Saturday night at Luther Memorial Church.

November 20, 2014
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By Jacob Stockinger

The Madison-based duo Ensemble SDG will perform a concert of early music on this Saturday night, November 22, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the Luther Memorial Church (below), 1021 University Avenue, in Madison, Wisconsin.

luther memorial church madison

The concert will feature special guests William Hudson, tenor, and Katherine Shuldiner, viola da gamba.

The program includes settings of Psalm texts by Heinrich Schütz (below with his psalms at bottom in a YouTube video), Johann Hermann Schein, and Jacques de Bournonville, with a setting by Johann Philipp Krieger of the anonymous canticle Laetare anima mea, as well as sonatas by Giovanni Battista Fontana, Dieterich Buxtehude and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre.

Heinrich Schutz

Ensemble SDG (below) features Madison musicians Edith Hines, baroque violin, and John Chappell Stowe, professor of harpsichord and organ at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. The duo has performed across the United States, and their recording of the complete works of J. S. Bach for violin and keyboard is soon to be released by Arabesque Records.

William Hudson is a founding member and director of LIBER: Ensemble for Early Music and was recently appointed Assistant Professor of voice and diction at Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, Ill.).

Katherine Shuldiner recently graduated from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, specializing in viola da gamba performance. She lives and works in Chicago, Illinois.

ensemble sdg new USE

Admission to the concert on November 22 is $15; admission is free for students with a valid ID.

Ensemble SDG, a baroque violin and keyboard duo formed in 2009, performs music spanning the entire Baroque period, with a particular focus on the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The duo has presented works by German, French and Italian composers of the 17th and 18th centuries in recitals from the Midwest to the East Coast. Venues include Fringe Concerts at the 2009, 2011, and 2013 Boston Early Music Festivals; a recital featuring the Brombaugh organ at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois; the biennial meeting of the American Bach Society and the annual joint conclave of the Midwest and Southeastern Historical Keyboard Societies; the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music; Wisconsin Public Radio’s Sunday Afternoon Live from the Chazen; and multiple appearances at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, one being a performance of J.S. Bach’s six sonatas for violin and obbligato keyboard. This fall the duo will release a recording of Bach’s complete works for violin and keyboard.

Ensemble SDG takes its name from the epigraph (below top) used by Johann Sebastian Bach (below bottom) to sign many of his works. Soli Deo Gloria (“to God alone the glory”) represents the members’ common approach to music and to life, and it is with this grounding that they approach their technique, choice of repertoire, and interpretative decisions.

sdg

Bach1

Highly sought after as a specialist in historical performance, tenor William Hudson has been described as “positively hypnotic” by Gramophone magazine.  An accomplished ensemble singer, Mr. Hudson has performed with many of the nation’s leading early music ensembles including the Boston Early Music Festival Opera, The New York Collegium, The Waverly Consort, The Rose Ensemble, Boston Bach Ensemble, and Ensemble Project Ars Nova (PAN).

As a founding member and director of LIBER: Ensemble for Early Music (formerly Liber unUsualis), he has performed extensively throughout North America and abroad at international music festivals in England, Wales, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France, Latvia, Estonia, and Spain. Mr. Hudson also enjoys an active solo career, singing the Evangelist in Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. John Passion, Apollo in Claudio Monteverdi’s Orfeo, the title role in Giacomo Carissimi’s Jephte, Lucano in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Mercury in Eccles’ Judgment of Paris, and Alessandro Stradella’s oratorio San Giovanni Battista with the Jerusalem Baroque Orchestra.

An active scholar and clinician, Mr. Hudson (below, in a photo by Tall & Small Photography) was the winner of the 2009 Noah Greenberg award and has presented at the International Congress of Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo. He has led master-classes and given lecture-demonstrations in medieval performance practice at universities throughout North America. He has recorded with Naxos, Passacaille, Arsis, Titanic and Dorian. Mr. Hudson holds a Master’s degree in Historical Performance from the Longy School of Music and a Doctor of Music in Early Music from Indiana University. He is a Visiting Assistant Professor of voice and diction at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois.

William Hudson Tall & Small Photography

Katherine Shuldiner graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in viola da gamba performance under the tutelage of Catharina Meints. She has performed with Chicago based ensembles such as The Newberry Consort, BBE: Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, and The OC (The Opera Company).

She has also performed with Washington Bach Consort and La Follia Austin Baroque. Katherine recently finished her two-year term on the board of the Viola da Gamba Society of America and was chosen to perform in the first Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival during Boston Early Music Festival. This past summer, Katherine taught at the Madison Early Music Festival as well as the VdGSA Conclave.

katherine shuldiner USE

 


Classical music: Baroque arias and Schubert songs will be performed by Madison Bach Musicians harpsichordist Trevor Stephenson; guest artist Tallis Scholars soprano Amy Haworth; and Chicago viola da gambist Anna Steinhoff.

October 3, 2012
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By Jacob Stockinger

The acclaimed local early music group Madison Bach Musicians will kick off its new season this Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in the Landmark Auditorium of the historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed First Unitarian Society, below), 900 University Bay Drive.

The MBM-sponsored program features “Baroque Vocal Masterworks” with English soprano
 Amy Haworth (below top) of the famed Tallis Scholars; MBM founder and harpsichordist Trevor Stephenson; and viola da gambist
 Anna Steinhoff (below bottom) who lives in Chicago and performs with the Newberry Consort and other well-known early music, period-instrument groups.

The chamber music program featuring vocal gems from the Baroque 
era composed by Monteverdi, Caccini, Luzzaschi, Caldara, Cesti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Purcell, J. S. Bach and G.F Handel.

Advance tickets are: $20 general, $15 students/seniors (over 65). At the door: $25 general, $20 students & seniors (over 65), $10 children ages 6-12
. Advance-price discount tickets are on sale at: A Room of One’s Own, Farley’s House of Pianos, 
Willy St. Co-op (east and west), Orange Tree Imports and Ward Brodt.
 Tickets are also available at the door.

The Baroque Vocal Masterworks 
Concert is part of a CD-Release Tour that runs Oct. 5-17. Other performances include: Friday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. in the 
Christ Church Episcopal, 5655 N. Lake Drive, Whitefish Bay, Wis.;
 Saturday, Oct. 6, at 7:30 p.m. at the
First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Drive in Madison, Wis.; Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in
 Sundin Hall at Hamline University, 1531 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul, Minn.
 (For advance tickets for Oct. 13 in St. Paul: call 651-523-2459, press 4); and Wednesday,
Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m. in
 Nichols Hall at Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Avenue, in Evanston, Ill.

Then on Wednesday evening, Oct.  10, at 7 p.m., soprano Amy Haworth (from the Tallis Scholars) and keyboardist Trevor Stephenson on the fortepiano will give an informal  “house concert”  of art songs by Franz Schubert (below, at the keyboard in a print by Moritz Schwind), that social amiable composer who often premiered his works at gatherings of friends called “Schubertiades.” That same week the two performers will be in the process of recording these 16 lieder for an upcoming CD.

The concert is at the home of Rose and Trevor Stephenson (below) 
at 5729 Forsythia Place on Madison’s far west side. Tickets are $35 with refreshments served. About 35 to 40 people can be accommodated. Reservations are required: email trevor@trevorstephenson.com or call 238-6092.

Says Stephenson (below), who is a master guide to and explainer of music: “We’re thrilled to have a chance to run the set for you and to discuss the pieces some as we go along. These are simply some of the most beautiful songs ever written, and I believe that the way in which the fortepiano’s vibrant immediacy and Amy’s outstanding pitch and diction combine will shed new light on these masterpieces. I hope so very much that you will be able to attend. The concert will be in our home music studio. Yummy treats and drinks will appear as well!! Please let us know if you can make it. It would be great to see you.”

For more background and information about both concerts, visit madisonbachmusicians.org or www.trevorstephenson.com, or call (608) 238-6092.


Classical music Q&A: The 13th annual Madison Early Music Festival starts this Saturday and will focus on Canadian and early American music from the Colonial period and Revolutionary War to the Civil War. Part 1 of 2.

July 5, 2012
3 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

The 13th annual Madison Early Music Festival (MEMF) will take place on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus from this Saturday, July 7, though next Saturday, July 14. (And this year, the public All-Festival concert on July 14 will NOT have to compete with the Madison Opera’s FREE Opera in the Park concert, slated for July 21.)

Continuing the theme it started last year of Early Music in the Americas, the festival will turn its attention  from the south to the north. Specifically, it will change its focus from South America and Latin America to the United States and Canada. “Welcome Home! An American Celebration’’ will focus on music from the Colonial and the Revolutionary War periods through the Civil War.

For complete information about the many lectures, master classes and public concerts, visit the festival’s homepage: http://continuingstudies.wisc.edu/lsa/memf/

Co-director and soprano Cheryl Bensman Rowe (below) recently gave The Ear an extended interview about the festival, its events and its participants, which includes the acclaimed singing group Anonymous 4. Her interview will appear in two parts, today and tomorrow:

How successful is this year’s festival compared to others in terms of enrollment, budgets, performers, etc.? Is MEMF clearly established now nationally and internationally?

MEMF’s enrollment is a bit larger in participant numbers, although we are seeing more singers enrolled this year because of the tradition of singing in early America. We do have national recognition due to many factors, including ads and articles in the publication Early Music America: earlymusic.org/ and the ensembles and artists we bring in to perform on the MEMF Concert Series.

For the first time this year we were the only festival from Wisconsin listed in the New York Times Summer Festivals for Classical Music and Opera: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/20/arts/music/summer-festivals-for-classical-music-and-opera.html?_r=1&_

Internationally speaking, we are contacted regularly by ensembles in Europe, Canada and the United States, who would like to perform at MEMF.  We have had several international students at our workshops, from Germany, France, Canada, several South American countries, and Puerto Rico. Like every arts organization, we have had to be careful about our budget, to write grants, to cultivate our donor base and to get the word out that we are here and have interesting and unique programming to offer the public.

What is new and what is the same in terms of format, students, faculty members and performers?

Our format is basically the same as it has been for the past 10 years.  It seems to be working, so we don’t feel the need to tweak things at the point.  The workshop runs in conjunction with the concert series, and the teaching faculty is drawn from the ensembles performing on the concert series. We have brought in several new ensembles this year, including the rock stars of early music, Anonymous 4, the opening performers of the festival on Saturday, July 7. For background, see, www.anonymous4.com/

The baroque and wooden flute player Chris Norman (below top), who is a true crossover artist in both the early music and folk worlds: chrisnorman.com/ will be performing with Chatham Baroque (below bottom) on Sunday, July 8.

We also added another special event this summer, which will be free and open to the public.  On Wednesday, July 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. there will be “A Singing Introduction to Four-Shape Music.” It is an evening of shape note singing taught by specialist Jim Page, which is an early American a cappella choral folk music form that emphasizes participation, not performance. There is a great DVD documentary on this tradition that I’ve pasted in below if people would like more information:

On Friday night, audiences will hear Michael Miles (below top), the first banjo player to perform at MEMF, on the program by the  Newberry Consort (below bottom) “Beautiful Dreamer: The Music of Lincoln’s America,” with a pre-concert lecture by Madison filmmaker Jim Carrier, on his documentary “The Librarian and the Banjo Player.”

Another first, which pianists in the community will be happy to know, is the Chicago keyboard phenom, David Schrader (below top), will be playing works of Louis Gottschalk on the newly rebuilt 1879 Steinway Centennial Grand Piano (below bottom), lent to us by Farley’s House of Pianos for this concert.

Why was the topic of the New World chosen for an early music festival last summer and this summer? How will this year’s sequel pick up from last year’s topic and further the exploration?

We chose the New World theme because we had spent so much time over the past 10 years in Europe.  I have a great love for American music due to the five years I was a member of the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, where we performed works of early American composers, such as William Billings (below). See www.westernwind.org.  (Another former member of that ensemble, Lawrence Bennett, will present the opening night lecture at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night.)

So, when were in the planning stages for 2011, we decided to group the two years together, beginning with the New World in South America, then traveling North to the United States and Canada. Three years ago the group Piffaro, who have been part of the festival almost from the beginning, had recently taken part in Bolivia’s most prestigious cultural event, the 22-town festival, Bolivia International Renaissance and Baroque Festival, so we had a wealth of ideas and repertoire to plan MEMF 2011. http://piffaroipower.ipower.com/index.html

All of the music presented for these two festivals has shown or will show the influence that immigrants brought to their new countries and how it mixed with indigenous cultures, especially the music from religious groups, which include the Catholic church in South America and Mexico, and the Moravians, Shakers, Harmonists and the great Singing Schools all over the United States that were created to help the congregation sing better in their churches.

Tomorrow: More specifics about the Madison Early Music Festival’s focus on early American and Canadian music.


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