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Indy Early Music Festival: Opening Night And Common Ground

We're focusing on the music of Bach, and we're playing some of the music that he listened to.

violinist and harpsichordist

Photo: Photo by Lee Talner

Violinist Ingrid Matthews and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman

Event Information

Opening Night/ Common Ground

early music concerts


Indiana History Center

7:30 pm Friday June 22, Sunday June 24, 2012

Indianapolis Early Music Festival

Opening night at the Indianapolis Early Music Festival focuses on the music of Bach with violinist Ingrid Matthews and Seattle Baroque

This year’s festival begins on Friday June 24 with music of Bach played by violinist Ingrid Matthews with Seattle Baroque. The following Sunday evening’s concert offers Matthews with Seattle Baroque’s co-director and harpsichordist Byron Schenkman in a program titled “Common Ground” with  works of Biber, Muffat and Schmelzer.

Both Matthews and Schenkman studied at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. “Ingrid actually came to study romantic and classical violin with Josef Gingold,” recalls Schenkman. “But she started playing in the Baroque Orchestra with Stanley Ritchie, and really found her musical voice,” said Schenkman.

Schenkman had focused on harpsichord and early music all through his undergraduate education. “And when I came to IU, I was able to work on harpsichord with Elisabeth Wright. She is an amazing teacher. At the same time, I studied piano with Edward Auer. Actually, in my career I play music from the Baroque period on harpsichord and classical, even romantic music, on the piano.”

“Friday night’s concert with Ingrid and Seattle Baroque does focus on music of Bach, but we’re also playing some of the music that Bach listened to music of Johann Schmelzer and Heinrich Biber. They’re both worthy composers and help to put Bach’s accomplishments into perspective. I think people may be surprise to hear how romantic the piece by Biber sounds.”

Sunday night’s “concert is a recital by just Mathews and Schenkman. “We’re calling it Common Ground” said Schenkman. A ‘ground’ is just a repetitive background pattern for a piece. Pachelbel’s “Canon” is a good simple example.  Ingrid I have picked pieces by composers as varied as John Playford and Georg Muffat. Some are lyrical and some are very rhythmic, but all offer a lot of space for some very interesting improvisations.”

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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