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Chicago Early Music Festival

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Tel: (312) 742-1938
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Description of Chicago Early Music Festival

Date: April 20-25, 2010


Organizer: City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs

What to expect: A six-day celebration of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque-era music at the Chicago Cultural Center and Millennium Park.

The full schedule (descriptions via City of Chicago):

Tuesday, April 20
The English Nightingale: Virtuoso Recorder Music from Renaissance to Romantic, 12:15 p.m. at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (enclosed stage)
A self-styled modern Pied Piper, British recorder virtuoso Piers Adams performs music spanning four centuries with duo-partner, harpsichordist Howard Beach. The incredibly diverse program includes renaissance selections by Bassano and Van Eyck, tracing the development of the sonata through Castello, Corelli, and J.S. Bach before arriving at the 19th century with a set of variations by Ernst Kraehmer.

Being Dufay, 7:30 pm at Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
The hauntingly beautiful Being Dufay combines early music with some of today’s most cutting-edge digital techniques in a lush, harmonic sound world. Sound artist Ambrose Field realizes his own score, a mesmerizing series of electronic soundscapes, with former Hilliard Ensemble tenor John Potter’s expressive rendition of vocal fragments by 15th century composer Guillaume Dufay. Note: Due to travel delays as a result of the Icelandic volcano eruption, Field and Potter will not be able to perform. However, there will be a high-quality recorded version with visuals from filmmaker Michael Lynch.

Wednesday, April 21
Dame Myra Hess Concert: A Musical Voyage: Baroque Music from Italy, Germany & France, 12:15 p.m. at Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
Embark on a journey through 18th century Italy, Germany, and France with violinist Brandi Berry, cellist Anna Steinhoff, and harpsichordist Jason Moy, in this program of violin sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli and J.S. Bach, and an exquisite but rarely-heard chaconne of Jacques Morel. Dame Myra Hess Concerts are a celebrated series of weekly concerts featuring solo and ensemble classical music performed by young musicians. Produced by the International Music Foundation and supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the concerts are broadcast live on WFMT (98.7 FM).

Thursday, April 22
Ensemble Lipzodes: Shakespeare & the Bassano Family, 12:15 p.m. at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (enclosed stage)
Ensemble Lipzodes presents a program inspired by the relationship between Shakespeare and the Bassano family, and their trip to Venice together at the end of 1593. Famous as performers and instrument makers for the royal courts and churches of English and Italy, the Bassanos are thought to have invented the dulcian family of instruments featured in this concert. The program includes sonnets about the Emilia Bassano, the “Dark Lady”, and quotations from The Merchant of Venice inspired by the Bassano family.

Mitzi Meyerson, 7:30 p.m. at Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
Harpsichordist and fortepianist Mitzi Meyerson returns to her native Chicago to present a recital of solo harpsichord music. Meyerson is one of the world’s most highly regarded early keyboard specialists, with over 50 internationally-acclaimed recordings; a busy teaching schedule at the esteemed Universität der Künste in Berlin, where she is Professor of Harpsichord; and numerous concert engagements both as a solo artist and with her ensemble, The Bottom Line, which is dedicated to the performance of repertoire for bass and continuo instruments.

Friday, April 23
Baroque Dance Performance: Paige Whitley-Bauguess with the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, 12:15 p.m. at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (enclosed stage)
Baroque dancer Paige Whitley-Bauguess interprets, recreates, and performs baroque theatre dance in venues all over the world. She is accompanied in this performance by the Bach and Beethoven Ensemble, one of Chicago’s newest, rising-star period instrument ensembles founded by violinist Brandi Berry and oboist Curtis Foster.

Saturday, April 24
Early Music Youth Concert, 12:15 p.m. at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park (enclosed stage)
Showcasing the next generation of early music stars including performers from Northwestern University, DePaul University, Midwest Young Artists, and the Music Institute of Chicago.

Sunday, April 25
Sunday Salon Series: Fêtes Galantes, 3 p.m. at Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall
Period instrument ensemble Trio Settecento combines the virtuosic talents of Rachel Barton Pine (violin), John Mark Rozendaal (viola da gamba/‘cello), and David Schrader (harpsichord/organ)in "... some of the most refreshing, life-enhancing Baroque playing heard in years" (Chicago Tribune). Their French Baroque program includes festive music by Marais and Forqueray, virtuoso sonatas of Leclair and Rebel, one of Rameau’s Pieces de Clavecin en Concert, and a suite from Francois Couperin’s Concert Royaux.

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