Baroque Keyboard Masterpieces Illustrate ‘The Power of Musick’

February 23, 2017

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For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057,

The great keyboard masterpieces of the 17th century explored music’s power to invent and imagine. Works by both well-known and lesser-known composers of that time will be presented by organist Annette Richards as part of the Eastman School of Music’s “Third Thursday Concerts” series on the Italian Baroque Organ at the Memorial Art Gallery.

“The Power of Musick,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16, will feature compositions by William Byrd, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Ascanio Mayone, and George Frederick Handel.

“Music can lead the listener into the labyrinths of lovelorn melancholy, or religious ecstasy, through the realms of the charming, the lively, the extravagant, the bizarre,” said Richards. “From the brilliant and famous Byrd in London and Frescobaldi in Rome, to the less-well-known but hauntingly beautiful Ascanio Mayone in Naples, the program takes the listener on a European exploration, through feeling and intellect, of the power of music.”

Richards is Professor of Music and University Organist at Cornell University and the Executive Director of the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies. A performer, scholar, and teacher specializing in the music and culture of the 18th century, she is the founding editor of Keyboard Perspective, a yearbook dedicated to historical performance and keyboard culture.

With fellow Cornell faculty member David Yearsley, Richards edited the complete organ works of C.P.E. Bach and is working with him on a set of recordings of 18th-century music for multiple keyboards. She is also currently preparing a recording of Italian and English music on Cornell’s 18th-century Neapolitan organ.

Richards has won numerous honors, including prizes at international organ competitions in Dublin and Bruges and fellowships at the Stanford Humanities Center and the Getty Center in Santa Monica, and from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Admission to the concert is included in Gallery admission, which is half-price on Thursday nights and free to UR faculty, students, and staff with ID. This concert is made possible by the Rippey Endowed Trust.

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