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Piffaro, The Renaissance Band's March Concert Celebrates William Shakespeare Tonight

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band's March Concert Celebrates William Shakespeare Tonight

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band celebrates the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth with a concert program woven around the musical moments in his work. All of Piffaro's instruments will be in play, from rowdy shawms to dulcet lute to Grant Herreid's sweet tenor. The result will be a lively, audience-friendly spring program of old English ballads, instrumental fantasies, and country dances. Tickets range from $15 for students to $40 for premium seating and are on sale now. Call 215-235-8469, email, or visit

You can't escape musical references in Shakespeare - Duke Orsino's famous Cri de Coeur "If music be the food of love, play on;" the "recorder lesson" that Hamlet "teaches" Guildenstern; Ophelia's "mad song" Bonny sweet Robin; Desdemona's pensive Willow Song; Twelfth Night's "It was a lover and his lass," (famously set by Thomas Morley, who was from the same parish as Shakespeare); and so on.

Until the early music revival of the past few decades, the actual sounds that inspired the Bard of Avon's pen were lost in the shrouds of time. Opportunities to hear for oneself the music of Shakespeare's world, played on Elizabethan instruments, remain rare - unless you live in Philadelphia, the home of Piffaro.

Thirty minutes before each concert, Priscilla and Grant Herreid will share their recent experiences performing in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre's period productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III on Broadway. Come early to learn what it's like to provide musical accompaniment to actors like Mark Rylance and Stephen Fry, to perform in hose by candlelight, and whether the Belasco theatre really is haunted.

Piffaro's Shakespeare concerts will take place tonight, March 28 at 8PM at Trinity Center for Urban Life in Philadelphia, Saturday, March 29 at 8PM at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, and Sunday, March 30 at 3PM at Christ Church Christiana Hundred in Greenville, DE.

The "Pied Pipers of the Renaissance," Philadelphia-based Piffaro delights audiences with highly polished recreations of the rustic music of the peasantry and the elegant sounds of the official wind bands of the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. Its ever-expanding instrumentarium includes shawms, dulcians, sackbuts, recorders, krumhorns, bagpipes, lutes, guitars, harps, and a variety of percussion - all careful reconstructions of instruments from the period. Under the direction of Artistic Directors Joan Kimball and Bob Wiemken, the world renowned pied-pipers of Early Music present an annual subscription concert series in the Philadelphia region; tour throughout North and South America and Europe; and appear as performers and instructors at major Early Music festivals. Piffaro has released 16 CDs since 1992, including 4 on the Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv Produktion label. Piffaro is the recipient of Early Music America's Laurette Goldberg Lifetime Achievement Award in Early Music Education and Outreach.

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