Series Concerts

Handel in Miniature

George Frideric Handel was a consummate showman, able to write music that was both intellectually stimulating and easily accessible, and one of the few composers to remain consistently popular from his era of the early eighteenth century to our own. The respect for his work that is held in the eyes of performers and musicologists is dwarfed only by his appeal to the public at large, entirely through his ability to write music of astonishing beauty. The Newberry Consort will present some of Handel’s greatest hits, in miniature, through the artistry of Dutch recorder virtuosa Marion Verbruggen, Baroque Diva Ellen Hargis, Handel specialist and Newberry audience favorite Drew Minter, harpsichord wizard David Schrader, and Consort Director and gambist David Douglass.

What a Difference a Day Makes: Venetian Music for Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday

Party hearty with the shawms, bagpipes, and carnival songs of Renaissance Venice, and then bask in the exquisite beauty of penitential music for Lent. Join the musicians of the Renaissance wind band Piffarro, along with David Douglass and the Newberry Consort Singers (Ellen Hargis, Julia Bentley, Harold Brock, Jeffrey Strauss, and Wilbur Pauley), in our inaugural concert celebrating the life and work of musicologist and mentor Howard Mayer Brown in some of the most gorgeous and resonant spaces in the Chicago area.

Ecco la Primavera: The Music of Francesco Landini

Francesco Landini, the blind Florentine composer, poet, organist, singer and instrument maker, was one of the musical giants of fourteenth century. His innovative work brought us a giant step toward the music of the Renaissance, but it also painted a picture of the Italian society of his day. His song Ecco la Primavera celebrates the arrival of Spring, and on the first weekend of Spring we travel back to Landini’s Florence with songs and dances of love and lust. This concert features Ellen Hargis, soprano, Judith Malefronte, mezzo-soprano, and Aaron Sheehan, tenor, with instrumentalists David Douglass, Tom Zajac, and violin virtuosa Rachel Barton Pine making her Chicago debut on two of the violin’s quirky ancestors: vielle and rebec.

Arcadia Revisited: A Garden of Earthly Delights

In the wake of fires, famine, war, and the beheading of their king, seventeenth-century Londoners sought solace in the utopian pastoral fantasy they called Arcadia. The beautiful music of Henry and William Lawes, Nicholas Lanier, John Wilson, and Henry Purcell spun stories of mythological drama and frolicking comedy that entertained nobles and commoner alike. Featuring David Douglass, violin, viola, and viol; Ellen Hargis, soprano; Grant Herreid, lute and guitar; Shira Kammen, violin, viola, and viol; and Craig Trompeter, viol and bass violin.

Special Benefit Concert

Fair Oriana – A Party for Queen Elizabeth I Upon the 450th Anniversary of Her Coronation

Support the Consort and enjoy a concert of English viol consort music with wine and light refreshments, concluding with the 1912 silent movie classic Queen Elizabeth, to which the Newberry Consort will provide the music. Starring an aging but peppy Sarah Bernhardt, this film is shot mostly from afar, as she poses and flings her arms about and seemingly overacts. But watch Bernhardt’s face, strain to hear her absent voice, and you can see what a powerhouse she must have been on stage. She herself claimed to be pleased with the result, crying: “I am immortal! I am a film!”

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