Aston Magna festival brings classic music with unique twists

The annual music festival will hold four concerts at Brandeis this summer

Photo/courtesy, Aston Magna Music Festival

The annual Aston Magna Music Festival features four unique concerts to the Brandeis campus this summer.

This year's festival brings together late renaissance baroque and classical music with visual arts, including dance, semi-staging, visual arts and recited poetry by Vivaldi himself, to accompany his "Four Seasons."

The concerts at Brandeis will be performed June 18 and 25, and July 2 and 16, all at Slosberg Auditorium. For the 22nd year, the festival’s artistic director is Professor of the Practice of Music Daniel Stepner.

"We have some of the finest and most seasoned musicians who have specialized in this era," Stepner said. "Each program has a different slant and the range is quite wide.”

The festival explores music hundreds of years old, but there are still new discoveries and development in early music, Stepner said. The final concert, "Eternal Seasons: Vivaldi & Bach," which also features Vivaldi's poetry, includes a reconstructed lost Bach concerto.

“Musicologists have been digging up music only published once in the 17th century," Stepner said. "There’s a great deal of music now available thanks to musicological endeavors and digitization."

Along with performances at Brandeis, the festival includes concerts in Great Barrington, Mass. and at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. The full schedule and ticket information is available on the festival's website.

Below is a schedule for the concerts at Brandeis:

June 18, 7 p.m.: "Monteverdi’s Warring Lovers," featuring soprano Dominique Labelle, tenors Frank Kelley and William Hite, and harpsichordist Peter Sykes.

June 25, 7 p.m.: "Le Monde de Marais: La Musique et La Danse," featuring Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba; Catherine Liddell, theorbo; Daniel Stepner, baroque violin; Carly Fox Horton and Olsi Gjeci, dancers; and narrated by Patricia Forelle.

July 2, 7 p.m.: "Wind Power: Schubert, Boccherini, Mozart," featuring Eric Hoeprich, period clarinet; Stephen Hammer, classical oboe; Andrew Schwartz, bassoon; Todd Williams, natural horn; Daniel Stepner, baroque violin, and ensemble.

July 16, 7 p.m.: "Eternal Seasons: Vivaldi & Bach" featuring mezzo-soprano Deborah Rentz-Moore, baroque violinists Edson Scheid, Danielle Maddon, Julie Leven and Daniel Stepner, and a baroque ensemble.

Categories: Arts

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