Italian Organist Francesco Cera Performs at the Memorial Art Gallery
On Thursday, April 21, 2016 the Memorial Art Gallery’s Third Thursday concert series continues with a concert on the MAG Italian Baroque Organ by renowned Italian organist and harpsichordist Francesco Cera. The concert, which begins at 7:30 p.m., will feature keyboard music from Baroque Naples and Rome, with works by Frescobaldi, Pasquini, Pergolesi, Scarlatti, and Trabaci.
A pre-concert lecture will be given by Edoardo Bellotti, Associate Professor of Organ, Harpsichord and Improvisation at the Eastman School of Music. The lecture, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the Memorial Art Gallery Auditorium, is titled “Naples and the Seconda Prattica.” It will address the development of new styles in music and art in Naples in the early Baroque era, in relation to the concert, which follows immediately.
Both events are free with gallery admission (half-price on Thursday evenings, and free to University of Rochester students with ID). Seating is unreserved, and available on a first-come, first-served basis. These events are a continuation of the 10th anniversary celebrations of Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ at the Memorial Art Gallery.
Francesco Cera will present a master class on the keyboard music of Baroque Naples on Friday, April 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. performing on Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ at the Memorial Art Gallery. This master class is open to the public and admission is free.
These events are sponsored by the Humanities Project, a program of the University of Rochester Humanities Center. This concert is also made possible by the support of the Rippey Endowed Trust.
Presented by the Rochester Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Eastman School of Music, and in partnership with WXXI FM Classical 91.5, this concert is the first performance that will be featured on an upcoming Pipedreams Live! broadcast consisting of five concerts taking place in Rochester from April 21 to April24. Michael Barone, host and founder of American Public Media’s Pipedreams, will introduce the programs and interview the performers during each concert.
Francesco Cera was born in Bologna, Italy. He studied organ and harpsichord in Bologna, specializing in early repertoire under Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, and later with Gustav Leonhardt at the Amsterdam Conservatory. Regarded as one of Italy’s leading early music specialists, he has performed as a soloist and leader of Ensemble Arte Musica in important international festivals such as Festival Resonanzen in Vienna, Festival of Flanders, Musica e Poesia in San Maurizio in Milan, Festival de Saint-Michel-en-Thiérache, Les Gouts Réunis Lausanne, Musica Transalpina in London, and on historical organs throughout Europe.
Since 2006 he has been invited regularly to the United States to give master classes and recitals on early Italian organ repertoire (Eastman School of Music; Oberlin Conservatory; Yale Institute of Sacred Music; Cornell University; Arizona State University; Wellesley College; Old West Church, Boston; St. Cecilia Cathedral, Omaha; Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago. An interview with Cera and Michael Barone has been broadcast on the radio program Pipedreams (American Public Media).
Francesco Cera applies his distinctive interpretative approach not only to early keyboard instruments, but also to Baroque vocal and instrumental music. From 1991 to 1994 he was a member of the ensemble Il Giardino Armonico, and since 1996 he has directed the Ensemble Arte Musica, performing vocal Italian repertoire from Gesualdo’s madrigals to 18th-century cantatas.
Francesco Cera has recorded harpsichord and organ works by 17th-century Italian composers (Rossi, Merula, Storace and Valente), on historical Italian organs, for the Tactus label. The recording has been praised by some of the most important music magazines. His Bach recordings include the French Suites, four harpsichord concertos (Arts), and the complete Orgelbüchlein with alternated sung chorales (Brilliant Classics). His recent recordings for Brilliant Classics include Henri D’Anglebert’s complete harpsichord works and Giovanni Maria Trabaci’s keyboard music.
He has held master classes and workshops at the Royal Academy of Music London, Académie d’Orgue de Fribourg, Smarano International Organ Academy, Accademia di Musica Italiana per Organo, and Piccola Accademia in Montisi. He is Honorary Inspector of Early Organs for Rome and the Lazio region.
For more details and the most up-to-date information, please visit https://www.esm.rochester.edu/organ/.
Pipedreams can be heard Sundays at 8:00 p.m. on WXXI 91.5 FM in Rochester, and on WXXY 90.3 FM in the Southern Tier.