Orchestras and Chorales
At Cal Performances, Berkeley and Lincoln Center, New York:
Nicholas McGegan, Music Director
Founded by in 1981 by harpsichordist and early music pioneer Laurette Goldberg, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has been dedicated to historically informed performance of Baroque, Classical and early-Romantic music on original instruments. Using authentic instruments and stylistic performance practices of the baroque to early-romantic periods, the Orchestra engages audiences through performances, tours, education, community outreach, and recordings of the highest standard. Under Music Director Nicholas McGegan, Philharmonia Baroque was named Ensemble of the Year by Musical America in 2004. The Orchestra performs an annual subscription series in the San Francisco Bay Area and is regularly heard on tour in the United States and abroad. The Orchestra has its own professional chorus, the Philharmonia Chorale, directed by Bruce Lamott and welcomes such talented guest artists as mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, countertenor David Daniels, conductor Jordi Savall, forte pianist Emmanuel Ax, conductor Masaaki Suzuki, and violinist Rachel Podger.
The Orchestra has had numerous successful collaborations with celebrated composers and choreographers. Philharmonia premiered its first commissioned work, a one-act opera by Jake Heggie, entitled To Hell and Back, in November 2006. In collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Philharmonia Baroque gave the U.S. premieres of Morris’ highly acclaimed productions of Henry Purcell’s King Arthur and Jean-Philippe Rameau’s ballet-opera Platée.
Among the most recorded period-instrument orchestras in the United States and Europe, Philharmonia Baroque has made 32 highly praised recordings—including its Gramophone award–winning recording of Handel’s Susanna—for harmonia mundi, Reference Recordings, and BMG. In 2011 the Orchestra launched its own label, Philharmonia Baroque Productions, with an acclaimed recording of Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été and Handel arias featuring mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Visit Philharmonia Baroque's website for more information.
At Celebrity Series, Boston:
Harry Christophers, Artistic Director
Handel and Haydn Society is a professional Period Instrument Orchestra and Chorus and an internationally recognized leader in the field of Historically Informed Performance, a revelatory style that uses the instruments and techniques of the composer’s time. Founded in Boston in 1815, H&H is considered the oldest continuously performing arts organization in the United States and has a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation: it gave the American premieres of Handel’s Messiah (1818), Haydn’s The Creation (1819), Verdi’s Requiem (1878), and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (1879). H&H will celebrate its 200th anniversary with the 2014–2015 Season.
Handel and Haydn today, under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, is committed to its mission to enrich life and influence culture by performing Baroque and Classical music at the highest levels of artistic excellence, and by providing engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education and training activities. H&H is widely known through its local subscription series, tours, concert broadcasts on WGBH/99.5 Classical New England and National Public Radio, and recordings. Its recording of Sir John Tavener’s Lamentations and Praises won a 2003 Grammy Award and two of its recordings, All is Bright and Peace, appeared simultaneously in the top ten on Billboard Magazine’s classical music chart. Since the release of its first collaboration with Harry Christophers on the CORO label in September 2010, it has made available three live commercial recordings of works by Mozart – Mass in C Minor (2010), Requiem (2011), and Coronation Mass (2012) as well as Haydn, Vol. 1 (September 2013) and An American Christmas (October 2013). Visit Handel and Haydn's website for more information.
At Urbana-Champaign, Illinois:
Ian Hobson, Music Director
Sinfonia da Camera is a professional chamber orchestra affiliated with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and College of Fine and Applied Arts of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Its membership includes outstanding faculty, student and area musicians, providing them with valuable performance opportunities while benefiting from their contributions. It is dedicated to the excellent presentation of classical chamber orchestra repertoire and other musical works. It presents an annual concert series at the Krannert Center and maintains a national and international presence through touring performances, radio broadcasts and recordings. Sinfonia da Camera cultivates a future audience for classical music through outreach and special performances, and is a major attraction for the campus, community and region.
Dr. Chester L. Alwes, Music Director
The Baroque Artists of Champaign Urbana (BACH) specialize in vibrant, historically-informed performances of music from the 17th and 18th centuries. BACH is the only professional organization in Illinois, outside Chicago, whose programming is dedicated to baroque music.
Founded in 1996 with the purpose of teaching, learning, and performing music of the Baroque era, BACH has grown to become a community organization that thrives on local musicians, our resident chorus and the love of music.