Sun, Mar 9, at 3:00 pm | Concert Talk at 2:15 pm
The Irish Baroque Orchestra, under the artistic direction of violinist Monica Huggett, will perform a rich 18th-century program from Ireland’s “Golden Age” at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 9, at Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. The program will feature solos by Huggett, Irish harper Siobhan Armstrong and bassoonist Peter Whelan. Huggett will discuss music from the period at a 2:15 p.m. talk before the concert.
The orchestra performs on baroque instruments or modern replicas to explore playing techniques and styles of the 17th and 18th centuries, bringing home the beauty of baroque to audiences in Ireland and abroad. Since March 2013, the orchestra has been resident at the National Concert Hall Dublin. UConn Dean of the School of Fine Arts, Brid Grant, serves on its board.
The program at Jorgensen includes Pepusch’s Overture from The Beggar’s Opera; Carolan’s Farewell to Music and Concerto; Dubourg’s Eileen Aroon and Violin Concerto. The second half will include the Pasquali Overture to The Triumphs of Hibernia; Vivaldi’s Concerto for Bassoon in C Major; Cornelius Lyons’ Lady of the Desert and Miss Hamilton, and Handel’s Concerto Grosso (Alexander’s Feast).
Known for her Baroque violin expertise, Monica Huggett is also director of the Portland Baroque Orchestra in Oregon and artist-in-residence and artistic adviser at Juilliard School, where she was director of its Historical Performance program since its inception in 2008. Her 2009 CD Music for a Young Prince won a Diapason d’Or and was nominated for a Grammy.
Siobhan Armstrong has a collection of copies of instruments from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Baroque eras, but she is particularly interested in the revival of Ireland’s early harp, strung in brass and sometimes silver or gold and played from at least the year 1000. She plays and records with prestigious early music ensembles and soloists, and has appeared at Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the Opéra Comique in Paris and early music festivals in Boston, Utrecht and Vienna.
Peter Whelan, principal bassoonist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, is in constant demand as a soloist and chamber musician, performing in prestigious venues in Europe. He directs Ensemble Marsyas, whose debut disc of Zelenka Sonatas won a Pizzicato Award and was featured as BBC Music Magazine’s “Chamber Choice, November 2012.” He performs with the group on his new CD, The Proud Bassoon, hailed by the Irish Times as “a musical joyride.”
In the “Golden Age” this program acknowledges, Dublin was second only to London in the British Isles as a magnet for composers and artists, and served as a scene for the legendary Irish harpers. Despite the vibrant arts output of the era, however, it was the dawning of a time of domination by the English and struggle for basic rights by Catholics and dissenting Protestants.
Jorgensen was named Best College/University Performing Arts Center in the Hartford Advocate Best of Hartford Readers’ Poll for 2012 and 2013.
Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts is located at 2132 Hillside Road on the UConn campus in Storrs. Ticket prices are $30 and $26, with some discounts. For tickets and information, call the Box Office at 860.486.4226, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., or order online at jorgensen.uconn.edu. Convenient, free parking is available across the street in the North Garage.