Genuine George

The fifth HIP Festival of early music concerts in the Triangle takes place January 31-February 28, 2020. This festival has grown substantially since its inception in 2013, when it was founded by a collaboration of six musicians with a passion for, and focus on, music of the baroque era. Baroque & Beyond has been involved since the earliest conversations and will present a concert on Feb. 7, 2020, for this year’s festival.

Genuine George revolves around music by composers who share the name Georg or George – in this instance, Georg Ph. Telemann, Georg Muffat, and George F. Handel. There will be three Telemann cantatas, all following his typical format of aria-recitative-aria. Featured in these works is British mezzo-soprano Tamsin Simmill. The cantatas use small instrumental forces (oboe, recorder, violin, cello, harpsichord) in various combinations.

Instrumental selections comprise about half the program and include a stunning violin sonata by Muffat, played by baroque violinist Matvey Lapin; a Handel Sarabande from harpsichordist Beverly Biggs; and a Handel Trio Sonata featuring William Thauer and Matvey Lapin, with Biggs and baroque cellist Christopher Nunnally providing continuo. In mid-January, Thauer participated in a Baroque & Beyond concert (on the Chapel Hill series) and drew these words of praise from the CVNC reviewer: “Thauer was adept at controlling his breathing and a master of his fingering; the combined effect was a sustained passage that sounded as if it were spun out long beyond the performer’s ability to play what a single breath would allow. Even knowing this performer’s masterful technique, he was a man who was extremely busy until this work had concluded. His reward was a sustained and heartfelt ovation.” Indeed, Thauer’s colleagues feel the same affectionate admiration for his abilities.

Genuine George takes place in Durham, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 82 Kimberly Drive, 27707. It begins at 7:30 pm on February 7. Admission is by donation at the door. There is ample parking at the church.

The program is below.


English mezzo-soprano Tamsin Simmill grew up singing the traditional Anglican church repertoire. As a student at Oxford, she toured in Denmark, Germany, Jakarta, and Hong Kong; sang and recorded with Emma Kirkby and the Consorte of Musicke; premiered works by Arvo Pärt in France with the Western Wind and Hilliard Ensembles; and, with the Finzi Singers premiered vocal works by modern British composers, recording on the Chandos label. She has sung with Duke Vespers Ensemble and Bach@Duke, Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham, Raleigh Bach Soloists, and with other groups around North Carolina.

Matvey Lapin, baroque violin, enjoys a multifaceted career as a recitalist, chamber music performer, orchestra leader and teacher. A Russian native, his professional engagements brought him around the world, including most of Europe, Japan, and Korea. As a historically informed performer, Matvey has performed with Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Washington Bach Consort, and NC Baroque Orchestra. Duo Amabile, a chamber music duet formed with his wife, pianist Katya Kramer-Lapin, performs extensively across the US and in Europe.

William Thauer, baroque oboe and recorder. Praised by the Boston Globe for his “elegant oboe playing,” William Thauer performs with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, NCBO Chamber Players, Mallarmé Chamber Players, and Raleigh Bach Soloists. He has been a featured soloist on the Bach Series at Duke Chapel, a longstanding member of the Dallas Bach Society, and a guest performer with the Houston Bach Society, Washington Bach Consort, Magnolia Baroque, Charlotte Bach Akademie, Bach Society of Charleston, Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity (NY), Grand Harmonie (MA), and Denton Bach Players (TX). Prior to moving to North Carolina, he performed frequently with The Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Concert Royal, and l’Orchestre Baroque de  Montréal.

Christopher Nunnally, baroque cello, received his Bachelor of Music degree with honors from East Carolina University and his Juris Doctor degree from the New York Law School. An active chamber musician and teacher, he has performed throughout the continental United States and in Europe. He is a native of Greenville, NC, where he held the A.J. Fletcher Scholarship for musical study at East Carolina University. He was previously a member of the cello faculties at The Saturday Music Academy of The Ross School, East Hampton, NY; The Suzuki Institute of North Carolina, Greenville, NC; and the North Carolina School of the Arts Summer Music Festival, Winston-Salem, NC.

Beverly Biggs is a freelance harpsichordist and Artistic Director of Baroque & Beyond. She also performs as a member of the continuo team for the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Bach Festival, NC Baroque Orchestra, and other groups. As the director of Baroque & Beyond, she produces the Triangle-based series and tours with early music colleagues, playing baroque-period concerts around the region. She is featured as a soloist and collaborative musician on recordings with Bravura Discs, Aliénor Records, and Arabesque.


Den Christen mischt Christus, TWV 1:774 (219b)            Telemann

Violin Sonata in D major                                                       Muffat

Sarabande, for harpsichord                                                  Handel

Ach Seele, hungre, dürste, TWV 1:245 (31a)                      Telemann

Weg mit Sodoms gift’gen Früchten, TWV 1:1534               Telemann

Trio Sonata (all instruments)                                                 Handel