October 8, 2017 – Mozart & Haydn – 3 pm
A perfect fortepiano for Mozart! The 11th Baroque & Beyond concert season opens with the sparkling music of Mozart and Haydn, played on a 1784 Stein replica fortepiano — an instrument rich in clarity and dynamism, one that Mozart loved. John O’Brien is featured, with violinist Leah Peroutka and cellist Stephanie Vial. The program includes Mozart’s Piano Trio (K.496); Mozart’s Violin Sonata (K. 305); Haydn’s A-major Piano Trio; and a sonata for cello by Anton Kraft, Haydn’s cellist.
John O’Brien was born into a musical family, studying piano with his father from the age of five until graduating from high school. While in high school he also studied violin, flute, and later harp. He began his undergraduate studies as a double major in violin and piano performance. In 1989 O’Brien was awarded the DMA in accompanying from the University of Southern California. O’Brien has been on the faculty of East Carolina University since 1985, serving in various roles including as Professor of Accompanying and as Chairperson of the Department. Dr. O’Brien has collaborated with such artists as Metropolitan Opera stars Hilda Harris and Victoria Livengood, violinist Eliot Chapo, tenor Bill Brown, flautist Carol Wincence (The Juilliard School), and clarinetist Deborah Chodacki (University of Michigan). He has performed in New York’s Merkin Recital Hall, and at the Istanbul Festival with cellist Selma Gokcen.
Violinist Leah Peroutka holds degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill (BM 2007) and the Cleveland Institute of Music (MM 2009). She performs regularly on both modern and Baroque violin, playing a wide range of styles from early Baroque to Classical to contemporary repertoire. She is a founding member of the NC Baroque Orchestra, and can also be heard in concert with the Mallarme Chamber Players, Baroque Arts Project, the Vivaldi Project with John Hsu, and UNC Faculty Baroque Ensemble, as well as with faculty members from UNC, Duke University, ECU, and UNC-Greensboro. She is on faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill as a Lecturer in Violin and Chamber Music, and she teaches privately at her home in Chapel Hill.
Stephanie Vial, cellist, performs regularly on both period and modern instruments. As a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed with many of the country’s leading period instrument ensembles. She has recorded for the Dorian Label, Naxos, Hungaroton, and Centaur Records. She is the co-director of the Washington DC based period instrument ensemble The Vivaldi Project and the Modern Early Music Institute, which teaches performance practices to professional string players using modern instruments. A sought after lecturer and teacher, Vial has taught at Duke and Cornell Universities, and is a regular guest teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music. Vial holds a D.M.A. in 18th-century performance practice from Cornell University. Her book, The Art of Musical Phrasing in the Eighteenth Century: Punctuating the Classical “Period,” was published in 2008 by the University of Rochester Press’ Eastman Studies in Music Series. She is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The fortepiano being featured in this concert is a hand-made replica of a 1784 Andreas Stein. This Viennese builder crafted instruments that were favored by Mozart early in his career. Additional details are found at https://baroqueandbeyond.org/instruments/ .
Tickets for Mozart & Haydn are $18, available in advance from Preservation Chapel Hill (http://www.preservationchapelhill.org/baroque-beyond or 919-942-7818). Tickets will also be available at the door. The historic chapel at Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill is the venue. Suggested parking – in the adjacent Planetarium parking lot or the nearby Rosemary parking garage.
January 14, 2018 – Wachet Auf – 3 pm
Baritone Steven Kimbrough is featured in arias from Bach’s famous cantata Wachet Auf and in songs from a 1736 Bach collection. Kimbrough was a leading baritone of the Bonn Opera in Germany, has concertized all over the world and is featured on numerous recordings. He is joined by soprano Florence Peacock and a small baroque instrumental ensemble.
March 11, 2018 – Versailles – 3 pm
Jennifer Streeter, recorder, is featured, along with baroque violinist Gesa Kordes; Gail Ann Schroeder, viola da gamba; and Beverly Biggs, harpsichord. The program highlights works of the French baroque with music by François Couperin and his contemporaries. Couperin, called Le Grand, wrote masterful music evoking the sensibilities of the French court. His music includes bird songs, lullabies, and rousing dance rhythms.