Harpsichordist Elaine Funaro and oboist Geoffrey Burgess formed a duo to commission and play new music for their antique instruments.
You might say that Australian composer Stephen Yates was the matchmaker for New York born Elaine Funaro and Australian Geoffrey Burgess. They two met briefly at a Boston Early Music Festival event, “We just sort of clicked at that moment,” says Burgess. And it was Funaro’s mention of Stephen Yates that led to a continued conversation. “His pieces are wonderful, very idiomatic,” added Funaro. They shared their admiration for the composer and she described playing modern music on harpsichord.
The two played together and actually decided to commission a piece, “Cantos” from Yates. “That’s how the duo came together,” says Burgess. The group’s name actually came from a work that they commissioned by another Australian composer, Andrew Ford. “Geoffrey played the larger oboe d’amore on that,” says Funaro. “Yah, that was where the idea for name for the group “Duo d’amore” came from,” says Burgess.
Although their CD Incantations & Inspirations is of all modern pieces, the two do play a lot of Baroque music together and one piece is directly inspired by music of Vivaldi. “I was intrigued by the way composer John Mayrose worked with Corelli and proposed that he look at Vivaldi to see what he would do with it,” says Burgess. The result has been one of their most popular pieces. “People really get it,” says Burgess.