The Third Thursday concert series with Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ concludes its 2017–18 season with The Golden Age of the Trombone, a concert celebrating the inventive instrumental music of Baroque Europe. The performance takes place Thursday, May 17, at 7:30pm in the Fountain Court of the Memorial Art Gallery.
Inspiration for the program derives from early 17th-century Italy, where instruments like the trombone, violin, and cello were at the center of an explosion of innovative music making. Trombonists of the era occupied prestigious positions across Europe, and established their instrument as one of unlimited virtuosic and expressive potential. New developments in the violin family created instruments of both beauty and brilliance. Composers wrote a dazzling variety of music for performance by trombones, strings, and keyboard.
The program will transport listeners on a tour through this colorful instrumental repertoire, to the towering cathedrals and elegant courts of Baroque Europe. Featured composers include Dario Castello, Heinrich Ignaz Biber, and Johann Joseph Fux. The authentic sounds of early brass and strings will blend with those of Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ. Built around 1770 in central Italy, this magnificent instrument combines early technology with exquisite artwork. Its well-crafted pipes offer a “living recording” of sounds made hundreds of years ago.
The program is curated by Ben David Aronson, who holds a doctorate in trombone performance from the Eastman School of Music. Aronson teaches at SUNY Geneseo, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the Eastman Community Music School, and the Hochstein School of Music and Dance. He performs regularly with Symphoria and the Erie Philharmonic, and has also performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.
He is joined by Liza Malamut on the sackbut, a centuries-old brass instrument and the precursor to our modern trombone. Malamut is a doctoral student at Boston University; she plays regularly in America’s premier early music groups. Aika Ito and Molly Werts McDonald will perform on the baroque violin, and Glenna Curren will play baroque cello. Ito and McDonald are members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Curren holds degrees in performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Eastman School of Music. All have extensive experience in early music performance. Eastman doctoral student Caroline Robinson will join them on Eastman’s Italian Baroque Organ.
Admission to the concert is included with Gallery admission, which is half-price on Thursday evenings and free to University of Rochester ID holders. The concert is made possible by the Rippey Endowed Trust.
The Third Thursday concert series resumes on October 18, 2018, which will launch the 2018–19 season. For more details on upcoming concerts, please visit www.esm.rochester.edu/organ.