Music from Pandemics Past: Purcell, Biber, and Schmelzer

September 25, 2021

Music from Pandemics Past: Purcell, Biber, and Schmelzer

The Clarion Orchestra, under the direction of Cynthia Roberts, performs a program of Baroque favorites featuring virtuoso strings. From 17th-century Austrian innovators Biber and Schmelzer and masterpieces from Henry Purcell’s fire and plague-torn London, Clarion’s period band will perform music composed during and after past pandemics. The program also includes Vivaldi’s influential concerto from L’estro armonico and Geminiani’s Concerto Grosso in D Minor, ‘La Folia.’ A kaleidoscope of emotions, colors, and creativity make for an exciting evening of Baroque orchestral music.

The Clarion Orchestra

Cynthia Roberts, director

Edson Scheid, violin solo

Vivaldi: Concerto Grosso in D Minor, op. 3, no. 11 

Biber: Battaglia 

Schmelzer: Sonata a tre 

Purcell: Three Parts Upon a Ground 

Purcell: Suite from The Fairy Queen

Geminiani: Concerto Grosso in D Minor, ‘La Folia’

Program is approximately one hour in length, without intermission.

For more information about the program, click here.

To reserve press tickets, please contact Lauren Ishida: [email protected].

Cynthia Roberts is one of America’s leading Baroque violinists, appearing as soloist, concertmaster, and recitalist throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. She is a faculty member of the Juilliard School and also teaches at the Curtis Institute, University of North Texas, and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. She is the concertmaster of The Clarion Orchestra since 2008, and has given master classes at the  University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, Indiana University, Eastman School of Music, the Cleveland Institute, Cornell, Rutgers, Minsk Conservatory, Leopold-Mozart-Zentrum Augsburg, Shanghai Conservatory, Vietnam National Academy of Music, and for the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique in France. She performs regularly with the Trinity Baroque Orchestra, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Tafelmusik, and the Boston Early Music Festival. She has performed as concertmaster of Les Arts Florissants and appeared with Bach Collegium Japan, Orchester Wiener Akademie, the London Classical Players, and the Taverner Players.  She was featured as soloist and concertmaster on the soundtrack of the Touchstone Pictures film Casanova and has recorded on the Sony, CPO, and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi labels.

The Clarion Orchestra was founded in 1957 by conductor and musicologist Newell Jenkins. Beginning on modern instruments, then switching to period instruments in the 1970s, Clarion became one of the first period ensembles with a concert series in the United States. Shortly after Jenkins’ tenure, the series had a nearly ten-year hiatus until its revival in 2006 by the Clarion Board of Directors and Steven Fox. Since its revival the Orchestra has received critical acclaim. Many of the ensemble members are acclaimed as solo and chamber musicians and serve on renowned music faculties at The Juilliard School, Bard College, SUNY Purchase, Mannes School of Music and Yale School of Music; other members of the Orchestra are recent graduates of such programs. The Orchestra has played on such prestigious stages as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Frick Collection in repertoire that has ranged from the early Baroque to the early Romantic. In 2009, The Clarion Orchestra was featured in Jonathan Miller’s iconic production of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at BAM. And in the spring of 2017, the Orchestra, in collaboration with Christodora, produced its first-ever staged opera production, Mozart’s Magic Flute. The sold-out performances received critical acclaim in The New York TimesOpera NewsThe New York Concert Review and Opera magazine, which reported, ‘the generously sized period orchestra played superbly.’ In recent years, the Orchestra has been a recipient of three Art Works grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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