The Annenberg Center Presents the Philadelphia Debut of the Dunedin ConsortJanuary 20, 2020
(Philadelphia – January 20, 2020) — The Annenberg Center presents the long-anticipated Philadelphia debut of the Dunedin Consort, Scotland’s Gramophone Award-winning baroque ensemble, Wednesday, January 29, at 7:00 PM at St. Mary’s Church, Hamilton Village at 3916 Locust Walk on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Visit AnnenbergCenter.org for ticket information.
Under the direction of the preeminent Bach scholar John Butt, Dunedin Consort is recognized for its inquisitive approach, shining new light into some of the best-known pieces of the Baroque repertoire. The all-Bach program includes the composer’s Orchestral Suite in B Minor, BWV 1067; Cantata Widerstehe doch der Sünde, BWV 54; Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, BWV 1049; Cantata Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170; and Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, BWV 1050. Acclaimed for their joyously vivid music-making, the Dunedin Consort and featured mezzo-soprano soloist Meg Bragle promise an inimitably fresh performance of “Bach at his most ravishing.” (The Independent)
Dunedin Consort is one of the world’s leading baroque ensembles, recognized for its vivid and insightful performances and recordings. Formed in 1995 and named after Din Eidyn, the ancient Celtic name for Edinburgh, its ambition is to make early music relevant to the present day. Under the direction of John Butt, the ensemble has earned two coveted Gramophone Awards — for the 2007 recording of Handel’s Messiah and the 2014 recording of Mozart’s Requiem — and a Grammy® nomination. In 2018, it was shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Society Ensemble award. Dunedin Consort performs regularly at major festivals and venues across the UK and Europe, giving its BBC Proms debut in 2017 with a performance of Bach’s John Passion. It enjoys close associations with the Edinburgh International Festival and Lammermuir Festival, and broadcasts frequently on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Dunedin Consort made its North American debut at the Boston Early Music Festival in June 2019, performing J.S. Bach’s Matthew Passion. The group’s growing discography on Linn Records includes Handel’s Acis and Galatea and Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, both nominated for Gramophone Awards. Other Bach recordings include Mass in B Minor, Violin Concertos, Magnificat, Christmas Oratorio, Matthew Passion and John Passion, which was nominated for a Recording of the Year award in both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine. A new recording of Handel’s Ode for St Cecilia’s Day, with soloists Carolyn Sampson and Ian Bostridge, was released in October 2018. A recording of Handel’s Samson, in its first version of 1743, was released in October 2019.
John Butt (Director and Harpsicord)
John Butt is Gardiner Professor of Music at the University of Glasgow and musical director of Edinburgh’s Dunedin Consort. As an undergraduate at Cambridge University, he held the office of organ scholar at King’s College. Continuing as a graduate student working on the music of Bach, he received his PhD in 1987. He was subsequently a lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and a fellow of Magdalene College Cambridge, joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1989 as University Organist and Professor of Music. In autumn 1997, he returned to Cambridge as a university lecturer and fellow of King’s College, and in October 2001, he took up his current post at Glasgow. His books have been published by Cambridge University Press: Bach Interpretation (1990), a handbook on Bach’s Mass in B Minor (1991), and Music Education and the Art of Performance in the German Baroque (1994). Playing with History (2002) marked a new tack, examining the broad culture of historically informed performance and attempting to explain and justify it as a contemporary phenomenon. He is also editor or joint editor of both the Cambridge and Oxford Companions to Bach and of the Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Music (2005). His book on Bach’s Passions, Bach’s Dialogue with Modernity, was published in 2010 and explores the ways in which Bach’s Passion settings relate to some of the broader concepts of modernity, such as subjectivity and time consciousness.
Meg Bragle (Alto)
Widely praised for her musical intelligence and “expressive virtuosity” (San Francisco Chronicle), Meg Bragle has earned an international reputation as one of today’s most gifted mezzo-sopranos, particularly in the field of early music. A frequent featured soloist with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists, she has made four recordings with the group, including Bach’s Easter and Ascension Oratorios – the vehicle for her BBC Proms debut − and the 2015 release of Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Bragle has sung in North America and Europe with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Netherlands Bach Society, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Arion Baroque and the Dunedin Consort. Highlights of her 2019/20 season include returns to Seattle Symphony (Messiah), Colorado Symphony, Winter Park Bach Festival, Carmel Bach Festival, Tempesta di Mare and the Dunedin Consort. She made her debut with the San Antonio Symphony in the fall performing Mozart’s Requiem. Other performances include those with Voices of Music and Washington Bach Consort as well as a recital of early George Crumb songs at the University of Pennsylvania.
Bragle is an accomplished recording artist. In addition to those with the English Baroque Soloists, she has made several recordings with Apollo’s Fire: Mozart’s Requiem (Koch), Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (Avie), and Monteverdi’s Vespro della Beata Vergine (Avie) and L’Orfeo (Eclectra). Other recordings include Bach’s St. John Passion with Arion Baroque (ATMA Classique). A new recording of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Winter Park Bach Festival is forthcoming. Bragle is based in Philadelphia where she is Artist in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania.
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