State/Province where ensemble is based:
Name of performers in the ensemble and the instruments they play:
Judith Linsenberg, recorder Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin David Morris, cello/viola da gamba Charles Sherman, harpsichord plus Debra Nagy, oboe Peter Maund, percussion and guest artists
Paragraph about the ensemble:
Combining world-class musicianship with a spirited and communicative performing style, Musica Pacifica achieved recognition as one of North America's premier baroque ensembles soon after the group's founding in 1990. Described by the press as "some of the finest baroque musicians in America" (American Record Guide) and "among the best in the world" (Alte Musik Aktuell), the group performs 17th- and 18th-century music on varying combinations of recorder, oboe, violin, cello/gamba, harpsichord, and percussion. The artists perform with Philharmonia Baroque and American Bach Soloists, and also appear with prominent early music ensembles nationally and abroad. They have performed on such prestigious concert series as The Frick Collection and Music Before 1800 (NY), the Getty Museum (LA), Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), and the Berkely Early Music Festival (3 times), among others. Musica Pacifica's eight CD releases on the Virgin Classics and Dorian labels have won national and international awards, including Chamber Music America/WQXR’s 2003 Record Award, and each one being chosen as "CD of the Month" by the early music journal Alte Musik Aktuell (Regensburg).
Educational/Outreach add-ons available:
Musica Pacifica offers school programs and family programs for all ages, lecture-recitals, ensemble coachings, and masterclasses. We have offered these services at public schools K-12 levels, senior centers, community centers, and hospitals. We often do an "Introduction to Baroque music and period instruments" program, which demonstrates the main forms and concepts in Baroque music (e.g. imitation, counterpoint, ornamentation, ground bass, basso continuo, ritornello, etc.), and the characteristics of each of the instruments and how they differ from their modern counterparts. We've made up a 15-page study guide about Baroque music and instruments that we can distribute to teachers. Other outreach programs include: Music & Society; Popular Music Then & Now; Music & Dance in Colonial Times.
Titles of touring programs for 2012-13:
DANCING IN THE ISLES Rousing Baroque Folk and Dance Music from Scotland, Ireland, and England Something for everyone! This program includes Musica Pacifica’s arrangements of traditional Irish and Scottish folk tunes, dance suites from the English theater, Jacobean masque music, trio sonatas by Scots Oswald and McGibbon, as well as works with a Scottish flavor by Matteis and Veracini, and Purcell’s famous "Three Parts upon a Ground." (rec, 2 vlns, continuo; plus lute/guitar and/or percussion, if logistics permit) ALLA RUSTICA Experience the toe-tapping rhythms and exotic flavors of Baroque folk music from Mexico, Spain, and Scotland side-by-side with so-called "rustic" pieces by such composers as Vivaldi, Marais, Rameau, and Telemann who imitated in a more genteel fashion the popular music of their time and place. Virtuoso percussionist Peter Maund, of Ensemble Alcatraz, Davka, and Alasdair Fraser's Skyedance, joins Musica Pacifica for this rousing program. (rec, vln, (guitar), percussion, continuo; can also include oboe or 2nd violin); THE COAL-SELLER’S CONCERT HALL—MUSIC FROM PURCELL’S LONDON --w/guest violinist Robert Mealy and Peter Maund, percussion Hear music from the world’s first public concert-series—produced by coal-seller Thomas Britton—presented in London in 1678: including spectacular improvised divisions on popular English dance-tunes, favorite hits from the theater, exotic music from Italy, and Purcell’s ingenious “Three Parts Upon a Ground.” Works by Purcell, Locke, Matteis, Uccellini, Merula, and others. CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST A “smorgasbord” of early music! In this very popular program of Baroque gems, we visit the major artistic centers of Europe and sample the musical forms of the 17th and 18th centuries. Colorful suites by Rameau and Marais and brilliant chamber concertos by Vivaldi and Telemann rub shoulders with virtuosic trio and solo sonatas by Handel, Purcell, Castello, Bach, and others. (any instrumentation) A FAMILY AFFAIR, or “the Father, the Son, the Godfather” Trio, duo, solo sonatas, and chamber concertos from one of the greatest musical families ever, including works by J.S. Bach, W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and his godfather, Georg Philipp Telemann. Readings from the personal letters of these composers offer an intimate glimpse into their lives and provide a context for the works themselves. (any instrumentation) A VENETIAN CARNIVAL - (w/guest Michael McCraw, bassoon) This lively program includes music that evokes the festive and magic Carnival season for which Venice was so renowned. Vivaldi’s colorful chamber concertos La Notte and Tempesta di Mare, as well as 17th-century sonatas by Uccellini, Cazzati, and Merula, reflect the extreme affects and topsy-turvy of this whimsical time. A suite from Campra’s Les Festes Vénitiennes represents a foreigner’s “take” on Venice and Carnival, while evoking the popular style and characters of the commedia dell'arte. Chamber music by other Venetian composers, such as Veracini, Albinoni, and Vitali, and amusing readings from the period round out the program. (rec, vln, oboe or 2nd violin, (bassoon), continuo) INVITATION TO A SALON We invite you to partake of the pleasures of a Parisian salon: become a member of the French bourgeoisie for an evening and enjoy the vast range of musical choices they did--opera, ballet, intimate chamber recitals and concerts featuring the hottest visiting Italian virtuosi. Our salon concert offers them all: ballet and opera suites by Lully and Rameau, bravura sonatas by Veracini or Geminiani, and Telemann's enormously popular "Paris Quartets." This program may also include a guest soprano, such as Ellen Hargis, Mary Wilson, or Julianne Baird, singing the passionate and beguiling cantatas of Montéclair and Clérambault. (rec, ob, vln, continuo) “LOVE’S DELIRIUM” or Handel in Italy A program of passionate vocal works written for the great arts patrons of Rome at the turn of the 18th century, as sung by one of our guest sopranos, Ellen Hargis, Mary Wilson, or Julianne Baird. Colorful and extravagant cantatas by Handel, Porsile, Porpora, and Alessandro Scarlatti depict the range of emotions engendered by love, including Handel’s ravishing “Il Delirio Amoroso. Instrumental works by Caldara, Mancini, and Locatelli round out the program. CHIAR’OSCURO with Michael Collver, cornetto and countertenor Renowned vocalist and cornettist Michael Collver joins Musica Pacifica in exploring the astonishing range of passions in the music and poetry of seventeenth-century Italy. Vocal masterworks by Monteverdi and Sigismondo d’India--including Monteverdi's haunting Lamento d'Arianna--complement the pyrotechnic sonatas of Gabrieli, Castello, Frescobaldi, Merula, and Fontana. (5-6 performers; optional lute/guitar) (Programs with singers may involve additional fees.)
Group Photo (JPEG):
Ensemble's touring schedule for the past three years:
Discography of the ensemble: