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The Pleasure Garden: Concerti from Handel’s London

April 4, 2011

Robert Mealy leads baroque orchestra in music of Handel, Festing, and Boyce

The Yale School of Music presents a program for baroque chamber orchestra called The Pleasure Garden: Concerti from Handel’s London on Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 8 pm in Sprague Hall (470 College Street at the corner of Wall Street, New Haven).

London’s eighteenth-century “pleasure gardens” offered the chance to enjoy music along with food and drink. Students from Robert Mealy’s class in baroque orchestral performance will perform music written for the gardens, including symphonies and concerti grossi by George Frideric Handel and two British composers whose music is rarely heard today. The violin virtuoso Michael Christian Festing was the musical director of the fashionable Ranelagh Gardens for ten years, writing music and leading the ensemble. William Boyce wrote hugely popular instrumental music that was played in the gardens.

Robert Mealy (left), described by the New Yorker as “a world-class early music violinist,” is a professor of violin and early music at Yale, where he leads ensembles such as the Yale Collegium Musicum players and the Yale Baroque Ensemble. Students in his baroque orchestral performance class perform on the Yale School of Music’s replicas of baroque instruments, and string players utilize the School’s collection of baroque bows.
This concert is free and open to the public. For more information, visit music.yale.edu or call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158.

About the Director

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 Fortune’s Wheel, The King’s Noyse, and the 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.

Note: This concert was originally scheduled for April 13. The correct date is April 21.