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U.Va. Ensemble's 'Grand Tour' Offers Musical Tour of Old Europe

October 7, 2011 — The University of Virginia's Piedmont Baroque ensemble will present a musical tour of Europe's cultural capitals on Oct. 14, part of the "Grand Tour" event hosted by the McIntire Department of Music in the College of Arts & Sciences

The event – which includes the concert, a colloquium and a master class – was inspired by a common rite of passage for 17th- and 18th-century youth, said David Sariti, a member of the music department's performance faculty.

"Well-to-do British and American students considered the culmination of their education to be a tour through the capitals of Europe," Sariti said. "Along the way, of course, they would hear styles of music quite different than those played where they came from. This performance is a tour of these countries condensed into one evening."

The free performance, scheduled for 8 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall, will feature works by British composer Henry Purcell, French composers Marin Marais and Jean-Marie Leclair, and Italian composer Biagio Marini.

Piedmont Baroque features Sariti on Baroque violin, as well as Loren Ludwig on viola da gamba, Anne Timberlake on recorder, and Jennifer Streeter on harpsichord and organ. The ensemble's members play period instruments similar to those that would have been used when the pieces were written, and the lineup and instrumentation changes from piece to piece, Sariti said.

"It's very much like a small chamber ensemble of the 17th century would have looked," he said.

"Grand Tour" will also feature a lecture and panel discussion by guest scholar Vanessa Agnew, an associate professor of German at the University of Michigan, Oct. 14 at 3:30 p.m. in 107 Old Cabell Hall. Agnew researches 18th-century discourse on music, travel, and natural history, as well as postcolonial theory and historical reenactment. She'll discuss the musical dimensions of the Grand Tour, and its relationship to musical encounters with non-European music that occurred during the same period. The panel discussion will be chaired by U.Va. musicologist Bonnie Gordon and include the the members of Piedmont Baroque.

The performance and colloquium will be preceded by an open master class hosted by Piedmont Baroque on Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in 113 Old Cabell Hall.

"Grand Tour" is sponsored by the U.Va. Council for the Arts. The events are free and open to the public.
 

— By Rob Seal

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