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Ars Lyrica Houston & Music at St. Philip

presents

Semper Fantasticus

 featuring:  Ars Lyrica Houston Chamber Players

as part of the 2019 Houston Early Music Festival

Semper Fantasticus

Sunday, November 10 at 5:00 pm

St. Philip Presbyterian Church

Semper Phantasticus explores that most avant-garde mode of music-making among German composers of the 17th and early 18th centuries, with extravagant works for violin, viola da gamba, and harpsichord. All three instruments are featured individually and in combination on this program, in sonatas by Dietrich Buxtehude and Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, two of best-knownexponents of the “fantastical style,” alongside free works by Antonio Bertali, Michelangelo Rossi, August Kerzinger, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, and Johann Sebastian Bach.


FEATURED ARTISTS

 
Matthew dirst harpsichord

Matthew dirst harpsichord

mary springfels viola da gamba

mary springfels viola da gamba

elizabeth blumenstock baroque violin

elizabeth blumenstock baroque violin

 

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Elizabeth Blumenstock is a concertmaster, soloist, and leader with the San Francisco Bay Area’s Philharmonia Baroque and American Bach Soloists, the International Handel Festival in Göttingen, Germany, and is Artistic Director of the Corona del Mar Baroque Music Festival in Southern California. She is a member of several chamber ensembles including Musica Pacifica, Galax Quartet, Live Oak Baroque, and Voices of Music. Blumenstock teaches regularly for the Juilliard Historical Performance program, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the American Bach Soloists’ summer Festival and Academy. She plays a 1660 Andrea Guarneri violin built in Cremona, Italy, on generous loan to her from the Philharmonia Baroque Period Instrument Trust.

Mary Springfels is a veteran of the American early music movement. She began her career at the age of 21 with the New York Pro Musica, and has played with most of the major ensembles in the field, including the Waverly Consort, The Folger Consort, Philharmonia Baroque, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Musica Sacra of New York, and Pomerium Musices, to name a few. In 1983 she became Musician-in-Residence at the Newberry Library, and was the director of the Newberry Consort for 20 years. In 2008, she fulfilled a lifelong dream, and moved to New Mexico. Since then, she has travelled widely, working with Sonoma Bach, the Lobo Baroque Orchestra, the Arizona Bach Society, Ars Lyrica Houston, The Texas Early Music Project of Austin, and continues to work with Drew Minter, and her beloved colleagues at the Folger Consort. She can be heard on dozens of recordings. Springfels is also a very active teacher and coach. She and Elizabeth Blumenstock are Co-Directors of the newly-founded Severall Friends, based in Santa Fe.

Widely admired for his stylish playing and conducting, Matthew Dirst, was recently described in the Washington Post as an “extremely precise conductor who has an ear for detail and up-to-date ideas about performing Bach.” As Artistic Director of Ars Lyrica Houston, Dirst leads a period-instrument ensemble with several acclaimed recordings, one of which—J. A. Hasse’s Marc Antonio e Cleopatra—was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Opera. His academic degrees include a PhD in musicology from Stanford University and the prix de virtuosité in both organ and harpsichord from the Conservatoire National de Reuil-Malmaison, France, where he spent two years as a Fulbright scholar. Equally active as a scholar and as an organist, Dirst is Professor of Music at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, and Organist at St Philip Presbyterian Church in Houston. His publications include Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Bach and the Organ(University of Illinois Press, 2016).