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ACADEMY OF ANCIENT MUSIC PERFORMS ALL SIX OF BACH'S BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS

February 19, 2009
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

WELCOMES BACK

ACADEMY OF ANCIENT MUSIC

THE BRANDENBURG CONCERTOS

Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 4 p.m. 

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 17, 2009 “The Academy of Ancient Music has a sound and style that is truly distinctive.” (Independent) As one of the world’s first and foremost period-instrument orchestras, this extraordinary ensemble combines a historically enlightened approach with an exceptionally high standard of performance. Led by Music Director Richard Egarr on harpsichord, Britain’s Academy of Ancient Music presents a rare opportunity to hear all six of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Sunday, March 22 at 4 p.m. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

In 1791, Johann Sebastian Bach presented a manuscript of these six concertos to the Margrave of Brandenburg, from whom they take their unusual name, although there is no evidence that they were ever performed in Brandenburg. The composer had likely written the concertos for various special occasions throughout the decade and later presented them to the Margrave in hopes of receiving a reward or title. Known for remarkable scoring and structure, each concerto was written to be distinct from the others in style and instrumentation and there is more delightful diversity packed into this one set of works than one could possibly imagine.

Since its formation by Christopher Hogwood in 1973, the Academy of Ancient Music has demonstrated its preeminence in the music of the Baroque and Classical periods with concerts across six continents and more than 250 recordings. Richard Egarr succeeded Hogwood (now emeritus director) in 2006, and has won glowing praise from critics and audiences alike. “With Richard Egarr’s brilliance as musical director, this orchestra is playing better than ever.” (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Described by National Public Radio as “one of the most exciting and delightful musicians of our time,” Richard Egarr is an incredibly versatile musician who has worked with all types of keyboards and performed repertoire ranging from  15th-century organ intabulations through Dussek and Chopin on early piano to Berg and Maxwell Davies on modern piano. He is in great demand as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor. As a conductor, Egarr has directed a wide range of repertoire including oratorios and operas by great composers at some of the most prestigious venues in the world, and also tours extensively with violinist Andrew Manze, a collaboration that Gramaphone Magazine referred to as an “unequalled duo for violin and keyboard.” Egarr records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi USA, and his recordings include an impressive list of award winning recordings with Manze, including sonatas by Bach, Biber, Handel, Mozart and Schubert.

 

The Center for the Arts is pleased to recognize the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsor of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason Season.

Tickets for ACADEMY OF ANCIENT MUSIC are $48, $40, $24. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa

GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other.  Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.