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Handel and Haydn Society Presents Vivaldi Virtuosi, led by Ian Watson
Handel and Haydn Society Presents Vivaldi Virtuosi, led by Ian Watson
Friday, April 5, 2013 at 8pm
Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 3pm
NEC’s Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street, Boston, MA
VIVALDI: Sinfonia, Il coro delle Muse
LOCATELLI: Introduzione in D Major, Op. 4, No. 5
AVISON: Concerto Grosso No. 6 in D Major after Scarlatti
GEMINIANI: Concerto grosso detto La follia
VIVALDI: Concerto for Two Cellos in G Minor, RV 531
TORELLI: Sinfonia for two violins and cello
DURANTE: Concerto a cinque in A Major
VIVALDI: Concerto in B Minor for four violins
Ian Watson, Director and Harpsichord
Period Instrument Orchestra
Subscriptions and single tickets may be purchased through the Handel and Haydn (H&H) Box Office by phone at 617 266 3605, online at handelandhaydn.org, or in person at the Handel and Haydn Society office, Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston (M–F, 10am–6pm). Single tickets range from $20 to $78. Student rush is available starting 90 minutes before the performance: $15 cash only with valid ID, best available seats subject to availability. Groups of 10 or more receive a 20% discount.
Harpsichordist Ian Watson returns to the front of the stage to lead a dynamic program of Vivaldi and other Baroque luminaries. Watson and Handel and Haydn’s principal players take the spotlight with works by Antonio Vivaldi as well as other composers had a strong connection to Italy.
The Handel and Haydn Society professional Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus is comprised of a roster of talented performers and leaders in the field of Historically Informed Performance. The musicians perform and record internationally as well as teach both privately and at universities. Part of H&H’s mission is to bring to life the finest music of the Baroque and Classical eras, and solo and chamber works like those on this program allow the ensemble to shine spotlight on the vast array of talent in its ranks.
Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos in G Minor features H&H principal cello Guy Fishman, a member of the orchestra since the 2002–2003 Season, and Sarah Freiberg, who has performed with H&H since the 2001–2002 Season. His Concerto in B Minor for four violins showcases H&H’s talented violinists, Concermaster Asslinn Nosky, appointed Concertmaster in 2011; Susanna Ogata, who is in her tenth season with H&H; Abigail Karr, a member of the ensemble since the 2004–2005 Season; and principal second violinist Christina Day Martinson, also in her tenth season with H&H. The program is rounded out with compositions by Locatelli, Avison, Geminiani, Torelli, and Durante.
Pietro Locatelli was born in Italy but later moved to Amsterdam; Charles Avison never lived in Italy but based his twelve concerto grossi on music by the Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti; Francesco Geminiani was born in Italy but spent much of his later life in London and taught composition to Charles Avison; Torelli was Italian but became Maestro di concerto at the court of the Margrave of Brandenburg in Germany;l and Francesco Durante was Neapolitan and spent time in Austria. Their output had a profound influence on many other great composers, not least Bach, Handel and Mozart, all of whom are represented in the Handel and Haydn Society’s 2012–2013 Season. In the 17th and 18th centuries, many of Italy's greatest composers were in prominent positions throughout Europe, resulting in widespread appreciation of Italian musical style. Vivaldi Virtuosi is a musical sampler of pieces written by expatriate Italians, both well-known and less familiar, who composed both at home in Italy and abroad in the capitals and artistic centers of Europe.
“No country has been more influential in the the development of art and music than Italy. Its contribution in many fields — sculpture, painting, instrument-making, string-playing, vocal technique, and opera — are unsurpassed,” commented Watson. “The Vivaldi Virtuosi program was inspired by the The Italian Masters of the 17th and 18th centuries who left an indelible mark on all forms of music, both in their own time and for centuries after. I am eager to share with our audiences this roller-coaster European tour with it's common thread of Italian inventive genius!”
Ian Watson has been playing with the Handel and Haydn Society since 2008, and last led the ensemble in Bach’s Brandenburgs in January of 2011. Watson has appeared as soloist or conductor with the London Symphony, London Philharmonic and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, BBC and London Concert Orchestras, City of London Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber, English Chamber, Polish Chamber, Irish Chamber and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, Bremen Philharmonic, Rhein-Main Symphony Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Handel and Haydn Society, Bach Society, Houston, English Baroque Soloists, and The Sixteen amongst others. He has been featured on more than 200 recordings and film soundtracks including Amadeus, Polanski’s Death and the Maiden, Restoration, Cry the Beloved Country, Voices from a Locked Room, and BBC‘s David Copperfield.
Watson has a distinguished career as both a solo and collaborative pianist. He has appeared in recital with Nigel Kennedy, Iona Brown, Julian Lloyd Webber, QX Boston, and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble amongst many others. He is featured as a pianist on a number of films and recordings including an award-winning CD with Renee Fleming. As soloist, he has played and directed piano concerti with, notably, the English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, and London Mozart Players as well as orchestras in Europe, Scandinavia and the USA. Watson’s many prestigious conducting engagements include Monteverdi's Vespers at St. James's Palace in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen; Bach's B Minor Mass at the Rheingau Festival with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Orchestra and Chorus; the opening concerts of the newly renovated Châtelet Theater in Paris with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and tours with Nigel Kennedy and the English Chamber Orchestra of Bruch and Mozart concerti. He was invited to be the assistant conductor, organ and harpsichord soloist and continuo player for Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, performing all Bach’s Cantatas on the correct liturgical day in places where Bach lived and worked.
Born in England in the Buckinghamshire village of Wooburn Common, Ian won a scholarship to the Junior School of the Royal Academy of Music in London, at the age of 14. He later won all the prizes for organ performance and others for piano accompaniment including the coveted Recital Diploma, the highest award for performance excellence. Ian’s first major appointment was as Organist at St. Margaret's, Westminster Abbey, at the age of 19, a position he held for ten years. Alongside the position of Artistic Director with Arcadia Players, Ian is Principal Guest Conductor of Karlstad Baroque, Sweden, Music Director of The Shakespeare Concerts, Choral Director and faculty member of Anna Maria College, Paxton, and Chapel Organist of Assumption College Worcester.
Teresa Neff received her PhD in Musicology from Boston University. Her research interests center around Gottfried van Swieten, a late 18th-century Viennese patron and composer. Artaria will publish Neff’s edition of Swieten’s symphonies later this year. She has presented papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society, and the Architecture/Music/Acoustics Conference. She presents concert preview lectures for Elderhostel and Boston Lyric Opera, and also teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
HANDEL AND HAYDN SOCIETY
Handel and Haydn Society (H&H) is a professional Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an internationally recognize¬d leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Founded in Boston in 1815, H&H is considered the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). Handel and Haydn today, under Artistic Director Harry Christophers’ leadership, is committed to its mission to enrich life and influence culture by performing Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence, and by providing engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education and training activities. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 Grammy Award and two of its recordings, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. Since the release of its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label in September 2010, it has made available three live commercial recordings of works by Mozart – Mass in C Minor (2010), Requiem (2011), and Coronation Mass (2012) as well as Haydn in Paris (to be released in September 2013) and of an a cappella holiday program with its professional choir (to be released in October 2013). The 2010–2011 Season marked the 25th anniversary of Handel and Haydn’s award-winning Karen S. and George D. Levy Educational Outreach Program, which brings music education, vocal training, and performance opportunities to 10,000 students annually throughout Greater Boston and beyond.
Handel and Haydn Society is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Friday, April 5, 2013 at 7pm
Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 2pm
Conversations will take place in the concert hall
Free with concert tickets
Musicologist Teresa Neff gives an illuminating look inside the music and historical context of the program.