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Stylus Fantasticus: extravagant and experimental baroque sonatas at the Collection April 10

April 1, 2011

Robert Mealy directs the Yale Baroque Ensemble in virtuosic chamber sonatas

The Yale School of Music presents the Yale Baroque Ensemble on Sunday, April 10, 2011 at 3 pm at the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments (15 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven). The ensemble, directed by Robert Mealy, will perform a program of avant-garde music from the seventeenth century entitled Stylus Fantasticus.

The program will celebrate the experimental and virtuosic chamber music of seventeenth-century Italy and Germany, and will feature brilliant and rarely-heard chamber sonatas in the stilo moderno (modern style) by Dario Castello, Giovanni Paolo Cima, Michelangelo Rossi, and Giovanni Battista Fontana, along with spectacular ensemble sonatas by Antonio Bertali, Johann Rosenmüller, Johann Schmelzer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, and others.

Robert Mealy, described by the New Yorker as “a world-class early music violinist,” directs the Yale Baroque Ensemble (YBE). Harpsichordist Avi Stein and the current members of the postgraduate ensemble will be joined by YBE alumnni from previous years. This concert serves as a preview of the ensemble’s Carnegie Hall debut, which will take place on April 25 as part of the Yale in New York concert series.

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments, one of the foremost institutions of its kind, preserves and exhibits musical instruments from antiquity to the present. Many instruments are maintained in playing condition and are featured in performances and demonstrations in the fine acoustic of the upstairs gallery, the venue for this performance.

This concert is free, though tickets are required due to limited space. For more information or to reserve tickets, visit the School of Music’s website, call 203 432-4158, or visit the concert office in Sprague Hall at 470 College Street in New Haven. Tickets ordered by phone or web are subject to a $1 handling fee.

About the Performers

The Yale Baroque Ensemble, directed by Robert Mealy, is a postgraduate trio sonata ensemble of two violins, cello, and keyboard dedicated to the highest level of study and performance of the Baroque repertoire. String players in the Ensemble go through an intensive one-year program of study, immersing themselves in the chamber and solo repertoire from 1600 to 1785. The program is designed for modern players to develop virtuosity and fluency in various historical styles, and to allow the participants to find their own eloquent voice on baroque instruments. Through coachings and individual lessons, the participants learn to read early notation, develop a familiarity with primary source material and treatises, and become fluent with improvisation in various styles.

One of America’s leading historical string players, Robert Mealy has been praised by the Boston Globe for his “imagination, taste, subtlety, and daring.” He has performed on over fifty recordings on most major labels, in works ranging from Hildegard of Bingen with Sequentia and Renaissance consorts with the Boston Camerata to Rameau operas with Les Arts Florissants. In New York he is a frequent leader and soloist with the New York Collegium, ARTEK, Early Music New York, and the Clarion Society. He leads the distinguished Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra and has appeared as guest concertmaster and director with the Phoenix Symphony. A devoted chamber musician, he is a member of the medieval ensemble Fortune’s Wheel, the Renaissance violin band The King’s Noyse, and the seventeenth-century ensemble Spiritus Collective. Since 2002 he has performed frequently at Yale as director of the Yale Collegium Musicum players, and he received Early Music America’s Binkley Award for outstanding teaching at Yale and Harvard in 2004. He joined the School of Music faculty in 2008.

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