The beautiful pictures from the High Baroque that surround the Italian organ in the Memorial Art Gallery create the perfect backdrop for the next Organ Showcase Concert at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17.
“Musical Pictures from the High Baroque” will explore the importance of visual images to Baroque composers. From Biblical stories to Greek classical myths and imitations of pastoral scenes, baroque “instrumental” music was often far from abstract.
Guest artist Joel Speerstra will perform keyboard pieces that were designed not just to communicate a visual idea on paper, but to use that idea to inspire and teach students to rise to new challenges and be actors at the keyboard. The program includes “Pachelbel and the Singing Muses,” “Kuhnau and the Madness of King Saul,” “Young Sebastian’s Brother Goes to War,” and “Pasquini and the Cuckoo Bird.”
Speerstra teaches organ and clavichord at the Academy of Music and Drama at Göteborg University in Sweden and serves as the director of research and publications at GOArt, Göteborg Organ Art Center. He is active as an instrument builder, performer, and musicologist, is a frequent recitalist and lecturer in Europe and the United States, taught at Eastern Michigan University, and served as guest professor of organ and musicology at the Eastman School in the fall of 2004.
Tickets to the Italian Baroque Organ Showcase Concert are $12 for the general public and $8 for students. They are available at the door one hour before the concert and are payable by cash or check.
The Italian Baroque Organ was built around 1770 in central Italy. Restored and installed in 2005 at the Memorial Art Gallery, the instrument is the only one of its kind in North America. More information on concerts is available online at www.esm.rochester.edu/concerts.
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Sunday, February 17
Italian Baroque Organ Showcase Concert: “Musical Pictures from the High Baroque,” with Joel Speerstra, guest artist
Memorial Art Gallery, 500 University Ave.
Tickets: $12; students $8; available by cash or check one hour before the concert. Seating is limited.