The Purchase College Camerata, directed by Bradley Brookshire, presents “The Brandenburg Concertos,” in a concert December 20 at 7:30 PM in the Recital Hall of the Music Building. The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call 914-251-6700.
Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.
The Brandenburg Concertos were composed by J.S. Bach between 1718 and 1721. “This project is special because we have adopted an ‘apprenticeship’ model of teaching,” said Professor Bradley Brookshire, “in which students and faculty—Julia Lichten, Calvin Wiersma and myself—work side-by-side in the ensemble. This is instead of the usual approach in which students receive coaching sessions with faculty. The close collaboration between students and faculty on this project is producing unusually fine results.”
The Purchase College Camerata was formed in 1997 in order to bring students into greater contact with baroque repertoire and performance practices, with a primary emphasis on the former. Each fall semester focuses on the presentation of a major baroque opera or oratorio. These have included performances of Handel’s Messiah, selections from Monteverdi’s 1610 Vespers, Carissimi’s Jephthe, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Each spring semester, the Camerata features one or more student soloists in a concerto appearance, selected by audition.
The evening’s program includes Concerto in G Major for Strings and Continuo (“Brandenburg” Concerto No. 3; BWV 1048) featuring Conservatory of Music students David Vasold, Natalie Carducci and Miranda Scoma, violin; Gizem Yücel, Michael Alas and Kiersten Fisher, viola; Rachel Ford and Melissa Brun, cello; and Laura Bunker, double-bass. Performing with the students are Professor Julia Lichten, cello, and Brookshire, harpsichord.
The second piece on the program is Concerto in D Major for Flute, Violin, Harpsichord, Strings and Continuo (“Brandenburg” Concerto No. 5; BWV 1050). The performance will feature Alice Jones, flute and Patricia Cole, violin, with Brookshire on harpsichord. They will be joined by students Kiersten Fisher, violin; Gizem Yücel, viola; Rachel Ford, cello; and Matt Weber, double-bass.
After an intermission, the concert concludes with Concerto in F Major for Violino Piccolo, Three Oboes, Two Horns, Bassoon, Strings and Continuo (“Brandenburg” Concerto No. 1; BWV 1046) featuring Professor Calvin Wiersma, violino piccolo; and students Andrew Parker, oboe solo, and Steven Sherts, horn soli. Student performers include Lee Braun, oboe; Rachael Stachowiak, bassoon; Natalie Carducci, Miranda Scoma, Claire Fisher, Patricia Cole, Kiersten Fisher and David Vasold, violin; Michael Alas and Gizem Yücel, viola; Nora Schuetze and Kaitlyn Raitz, cello; and Joseph Brent, double-bass. They will be joined by Professor Brookshire on the harpsichord.
Bradley Brookshire is Director of Graduate Studies in the Purchase College School of the Arts, Conservatory of Music. A pioneer in the union of early music and current technology, he has initiated a new tradition of live, multimedia presentations of Bach’s works. His CD-ROM of the Art of the Fugue integrates his recorded performance, a color-coded score, an interactive training program in contrapuntal analysis, and a select annotated bibliography.
Brookshire has appeared on many of the world’s most important stages, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Museo del Prado, and the Berlin Philharmonic, as well as music festivals in Aix-en-Provence, Budapest, Paris, Vail and Santa Fe. Among his musical collaborators have been the Shanghai String Quartet, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the English Chamber Orchestra, the Santa Fe Chamber Players, David Daniels, Bejun Mehta and Roger Norrington. In 2001, the New York Times named his recording of Bach’s French Suites a “Critic’s Choice” recording of the year.
Julia Lichten, Chair of the Strings Area in the Conservatory of Music, has toured both in the United States and internationally with Musicians from Marlboro, the American Chamber Players and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She performs frequently with such groups as the New Jersey Chamber Music Society, Bargemusic, Perspective Ensemble, New York Philmusica, De Camera of Houston and La Musica. She is an active recitalist and has recorded for various record labels.
Calvin Wiersma has appeared throughout the world as a soloist and chamber musician. He is Assistant Professor of Music, violin, in the Conservatory of Music. He is currently a violinist with the Manhattan String Quartet and the Purchase Conservatory Quartet. He was a founding member of the Meliora Quartet, and winner of the Naumberg, Fischoff, Coleman and Cleveland Quartet competitions. He was also a founding member of the Figaro Trio. He has performed at the summer Chamber Music Festivals in Vancouver, Rockport, Portland, Crested Butte, An Appalachian Summer, Music Mountain and the Aspen Music Festival.