Behind the Genius of Bach

Cambridge Concentus artistic director Marika Holmqvist

(SHEFFIELD, Mass.) – A lecture and concert presented by Berkshire Bach will explore the mystery of “How Does Bach Do It?” in the Allen Theatre at Berkshire School (245 North Undermountain Rd.) on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 8pm. The concert by the Cambridge Concentus early music ensemble, featuring soprano Clara Rottsolk, will include Bach’s “Wedding” Cantata and Orchestral Suite #3, and the multimedia lecture is by musicologist Jeremy Yudkin.

Boston University professor Jeremy Yudkin will attempt to unravel the intricacies and complexities of Bach’s compositional process and elucidate those strategies and attributes that make the music of Bach unique. Yudkin will examine the two extraordinary masterpieces being performed in detail, with visuals and with musical examples for his explanations, each one demonstrated by the early music ensemble. With this as prelude, the concert performance of the works will follow, bringing a new or enhanced appreciation for the genius of Bach.

Jeremy Yudkin is chair of the Department of Musicology and Ethnomusicology and Professor of Music at Boston University. He also serves as Affiliated Faculty of the Department of Judaic Studies and Associated Faculty of the Department of African American Studies. He has taught as Visiting Professor at Harvard University and Professeur Invité at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, France. He is the recipient of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Fellowship, a Class of 1960 Visiting Scholar at Williams College, a Fellowship at the Boston University Humanities Foundation, and a Research Fellowship from the Camargo Foundation. He served as Visiting Professor of Music at Oxford University from 2006 to 2010. He is the author of eight books and an award-winning instructional video on the orchestra. Professor Yudkin’s principal fields of research include medieval music, early Beethoven, jazz, Bartok, and the Beatles. Every summer in the Berkshires he is the Pre-Concert Lecturer for the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood.

Cambridge Concentus

The Boston-based ensemble Cambridge Concentus performs the vocal and orchestral repertoire of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Its members feel that the performance of this music, despite being such a standard part of our repertoire, warrants a less standard approach. The performers of Cambridge Concentus are drawn from a new generation of early-music musicians committed to infusing recent scholarship with an energetic performance style. It is with this performance ideal that the ensemble performs the classic seventeenth and eighteenth-century works to critical acclaim.

Soprano Clara Rottsolk

Soprano Clara Rottsolk has been lauded by the New York Times for her “clear, appealing voice and expressive conviction” and by the Philadelphia Inquirer for the “opulent tone [with which] every phrase has such a communicative emotional presence.” In a repertoire extending from the Renaissance to the contemporary, her solo appearances with orchestras and chamber ensembles have taken her across the United States and on to Japan and South America. She specializes in historically informed performance practice, and has been engaged by ensembles such as Tempesta di Mare, St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, Philadelphia Bach Collegium, Trinity Wall Street Choir, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Bach Sinfonia, Piffaro-The Renaissance Wind Band, Les Délices, Handel Choir of Baltimore, Clarion Music Socitey, The Masterwork Chorus (Carnegie Hall debut) and Ensemble Florilège under the direction of conductors including Joshua Rifkin, Bruno Weil, Paul Goodwin, John Scott, David Effron, and Andrew Megill.

A native of Seattle,. Rottsolk earned her music degrees at Rice University and Westminster Choir College, and was awarded for musical excellence by the Metropolitan Opera National Council (Northwest Region). Currently she is based in Philadelphia and teaches voice at Swarthmore College and the Lawrenceville School.



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