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EMA’s Young Performers Festival, Part One

We’re showcasing a new generation of early music performers in part one of a 3-part series of episodes of music from Early Music America's 2015 YPF!

Members of Different Birds (Peabody Conservatory) performing at the 2015 Young Performers Festival: Patrick Merrill, harpsichord; Niccolo Seligmann, viola da gamba; Alan Choo, baroque violin.

Early Music America held its 5th Young Performers Festival in June, bringing together students and ensembles from institutions throughout North America to perform a series of concerts.

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University of North Texas

Part of the EMA’s mission is to raise public awareness of early music and to encourage and support young scholars and musicians in the field. Well, we at Harmonia LOVE young performers, and we love live performances. So it’s a win-win for all to showcase these up-and-coming artists from some of the best institutions in North America.

Seven groups participated in the 2015 Festival, and this hour we’ll hear from three of them – The University of North Texas Baroque Orchestra and Collegium Singers, the baroque chamber ensembles of Case Western Reserve University, and the baroque ensemble Different Birds from The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.

Let’s start with the University of North Texas Baroque Orchestra and Collegium Singers.

UNT presented works by Brade, Taverner, Purcell, and Handel in a program entitled The Oxford-London Connection. Here’s a suite in G minor and major by William Brade.

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[UNT Baroque Orchestra and UNT Sackbut Ensemble; Paul Leenhouts, conductor; Ashton Fineout, principal]

Let’s hear one more piece from the University of North Texas. Here’s UNT’s Collegium Singers performing Henry Purcell’s motet “Jehova quam multi sunt hostese mei.”

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[UNT Collegium Singers; Soloists: Tucker Bilodeau, tenor; John Irving, bass; Richard Sparks, conductor.]


Different Birds

Another university group that came to Boston for the Festival was the baroque ensemble Different Birds from The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. They performed a program of French cantatas and chamber music “celebrating Love’s exquisite pain.”

We’ll hear their performance of “Cantate à deux voix et simphonie” from Michel Pignolet de Montéclair’s pastoral piece Tircis et Climene, in which a shepherd, Tircis, finds Love sad and exhausting. His lover Climene scolds him and encourages him to laugh and enjoy its pleasures. The ensemble describes the cantata as being [quote] “about the silliest lover’s quarrel ever!”

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[Soprano Abigail Chapman, baritone Corbin Phillips, Alan Choo on baroque violin, Patrick Merrill on harpsichord, Niccolo Seligmann on viola da gamba, and Aik Shin Tan on baroque flute.]


Case Western Reserve University

The Baroque Chamber Ensembles of Case Western Reserve University put together a program of 17th-century music from England and the Netherlands entitled Through Strength and Strife. Let’s hear their performance of Carel Hacquart’s “Nunc loquar.”

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We’ll be hearing more performances from the 2015 Young Performers Festival in the very near future. On part two of this 3-part series, we’ll hear concert highlights from Oberlin Baroque and Indiana University’s Forgotten Clefs.

But now, we have just enough time for another piece from the musicians of Case Western. Let’s hear a dance suite in G minor attributed to Jacob van Eyck.

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Break and theme music

:30, EMA’s 2015 Young Performers Festival, Different Birds, Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, First Church Boston, June 10, 2015, [live performance recording; not commercially available], Francois Couperin, La Francoise: Sonade (excerpt of 6:35)

:60, EMA’s 2015 Young Performers Festival, Case Western Reserve Univeristy Baroque Chamber Ensembles, First Church Boston, June 11, 2015, [live performance recording; not commercially available], Anonymous (arranged by Julie Andrijeski), Malle Symen (excerpt of 3:25)

:30, EMA’s 2015 Young Performers Festival, UNT Baroque Orchestra, Paul Leenhouts / UNT Collegium Singers, Richard Sparks, First Church Boston, June 9, 2015, [live performance recording; not commercially available], Anthony Holborne, Holborne’s Farewell (excerpt of 2:15)

Theme: Danse Royale, Ensemble Alcatraz, Elektra Nonesuch 79240-2 1992 B000005J0B, T.12: La Prime Estampie Royal

The writer for this edition of Harmonia is LuAnn Johnson.

[Special thanks to Brandon Labadie from the EMA and engineer Rachel Boyd from the School of Music Recording Studio at Texas Tech.]

Learn more about recent early music CDs on the Harmonia Early Music Podcast. You can subscribe on iTunes or at harmonia early music dot org.

LuAnn Johnson

Born in Idaho, LuAnn Johnson moved to Bloomington in 2001. She obtained her B.A. in English at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts and her M.A. in Folk Studies at Western Kentucky University. LuAnn joined WFIU in August of 2001, and currently serves as Program Services Manager, overseeing the distribution of all WFIU syndicated programs. Additionally, she produces The Poets Weave and Focus on Flowers and acts as senior producer for Harmonia.

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