Eastman School of Music’s 10th anniversary celebration of its Italian Baroque Organ continues with a Third Thursday concert titled “Adventurous Italians” on Thursday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Art Gallery.
In this concert, Publick Musick returns to the Memorial Art Gallery for a performance with one of Rochester’s hidden treasures: Eastman’s magnificent Italian Baroque Organ, the only one of its kind in North America. The program will focus on Italian music for strings and organ from the 1600s, a time of great musical innovation that saw the birth of the ensemble sonata as one facet of the new musical style that we now call the baroque. This era also saw the development in Italy of music written specifically and idiomatically for the instruments of the violin family (at the same time as those instruments themselves were being crafted in Northern Italy by some of the finest makers in history). Violin virtuosi were exploring new techniques of expression on their instruments, spreading their ideas through travel (which was itself an adventure) and through the publication of their music.
The works of two acclaimed violin virtuosos of this era, Biagio Marini and Giovanni Battista Fontana, are featured on our program, as well as those of other composers who were at the forefront of formal innovation and harmonic expression, such as Dario Castello and Giovanni Paolo Cima. The program will feature organist Edoardo Bellotti and members of Publick Musick: Boel Gidholm (baroque violin), Mary Riccardi (baroque violin), Molly McDonald (baroque violin), Christopher Haritatos (baroque cello), Deborah Fox (theorbo), Naomi Gregory (organ).
Edoardo Bellotti has extensive teaching experience, having been Professor of Organ, Harpsichord and Improvisation in several musical institutions and universities including the Conservatory of Trossingen and the University of Bremen in Germany, the University of Udine and the Conservatory of Trento in Italy, and joined the Eastman School of Music’s faculty in 2013.
A virtuoso organist and renowned improviser, Bellotti performs at leading festivals and concert venues throughout the world. He is currently collaborating in a project of new organ music and visual art in Milan, in conjunction with the art installation of the American minimalist Dan Flavin. He has performed the complete works of Cesar Franck, and has worked with orchestras in Italy and abroad, performing a wide spectrum of repertoire, including the Italian premiere of Satyagraha by Philip Glass. He is also considered a leading expert in the performance of renaissance and baroque keyboard music.
He combines his international performing career with musicological research and teaching, publishing articles as well as new critical editions of music of the 17th and 18th centuries. He is a frequent guest lecturer at international conferences. He has made several critically acclaimed recordings on historical instruments, including Promenade (Loft Recordings), a recording of organ repertoire and original improvisations on the Eastman School of Music’s Italian Baroque Organ at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester.
Founded in 1995, and under the artistic leadership of violinist Boel Gidholm and cellist Christopher Haritatos since 2011, Publick Musick is a Rochester-based period-instrument ensemble that enriches the cultural landscape of Western New York by producing and presenting vibrant, historically informed performances of music from the 17th and 18th centuries and beyond. In our informal and engaging concerts, we perform well-known masterpieces, as well as sharing with our audiences the excitement of discovering and bringing to life unknown musical gems from the past. Our performers are nationally and internationally renowned Early Music professionals both from the local area and from further afield. For performers’ bios, please visit: www.publickmusick.org.
Admission to the concert is included in Gallery admission, which is half-price on Thursday nights and free to UR student ID holders. Seating is limited and cannot be reserved in advance so please arrive prior to 7:30 p.m. to secure a seat. This Third Thursday concert is made possible by the Rippey Endowed Trust. Publick Musick concerts are made possible by our generous donors, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
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