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Boston Baroque Opens 50th Season With Bach's B Minor Mass

Featuring soloists Amanda Forsythe, Sonja Tengblad, Tamara Mumford, Nicholas Phan, and Kevin Deas.

Boston Baroque Opens 50th Season With Bach's B Minor Mass

Boston Baroque opens its 50th Season with Bach's beloved Mass in B minor this October. The performance on Saturday, October 15 at 8pm will be held at GBH's Calderwood Studio in Brighton, welcoming live studio audiences on site and virtual audiences around the world via livestream on IDAGIO's Global Concert Hall. The performance on Sunday, October 16 at 3pm will be held at NEC's Jordan Hall in Boston.

Boston Baroque will welcome its renowned chorus and orchestra back to the stage with a cadre of all-star soloists. Sopranos Amanda Forsythe and Sonja Tengblad, tenor Nicholas Phan, and bass-baritone Kevin Deas return to the Boston Baroque stage alongside mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford, who makes her Boston Baroque debut. Founding Music Director Martin Pearlman conducts.

Boston Baroque first performed Bach's B Minor Mass in 1981, making the organization one of the first to perform the piece on period instruments in the country. Founding Music Director Martin Pearlman has been lauded for his experimentation, artistry, and groundbreaking role at that time in bringing the early music movement to life in America.

Made up of music composed over a 25-year period, the Mass in B minor was not performed in its entirety until 1859, more than a century after Bach's death. Near the end of Bach's life, in the late 1740's, he began to expand upon earlier composed music to turn into a full Catholic mass. The final musical manuscript was left untitled, only later adopting the Mass in B minor name by later generations. Contrarily, the work does not recreate a liturgical experience from Bach's lifetime, as do his cantatas, but instead represents a hallmark work to be enjoyed for the concert hall.

Audiences near and far will have the opportunity to enjoy the concert as we welcome virtual audiences around the world via livestream on IDAGIO's Global Concert Hall at Saturday's 8pm performance. Livestream director Matthew Principe will take the helm again, in partnership with GBH's Production Group, bringing a sumptuous concert experience online with the carefully crafted camera angles and dynamic lighting. Through our streaming partnership with IDAGIO, Boston Baroque performances have been streamed on 5 continents across 17 countries over the last year.

Safety will remain a top priority for both musicians and audience members. All patrons are required to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated and boosted with a COVID-19 vaccine. A CDC-approved mask must be worn at all times in all areas indoors, and Boston Baroque strongly recommends using an N95, KN95, or double-masking with a disposable surgical mask.

Both in-person and livestream tickets are available for purchase online at baroque.boston or by calling the Box Office at (617) 987-8600. Livestream tickets begin at $9, and in-person tickets range from $25-$125. The virtual performance will become available to stream on-demand 30 days after the live air date, with on-demand rentals beginning at $9.

The six-time GRAMMY-nominated Boston Baroque is the first permanent Baroque orchestra established in North America and, according to Fanfare Magazine, is widely regarded as "one of the world's premier period instrument bands." The ensemble produces lively, emotionally charged, groundbreaking performances of Baroque and Classical works for today's audiences performed on instruments and using performance techniques that reflect the eras in which the music was composed.

Boston Baroque has expanded its reach globally through its partnership with IDAGIO, the world's leading classical music streaming service. Its 2021-2022 Season was the first full season by a Baroque orchestra to stream on the platform, and brought together virtual audiences from across five continents (North America, South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia) and over 17 countries.

Founded in 1973 as "Banchetto Musicale" by Music Director Martin Pearlman, Boston Baroque's orchestra is composed of some of the finest period instrument players in the United States, and is frequently joined by the ensemble's professional chorus and by world-class instrumental and vocal soloists from around the globe. The ensemble has performed at major music centers across the United States and performed recently in Poland for the 2015 Beethoven Festival, with sold-out performances of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 in Warsaw and Handel's Messiah in Katowice.

Boston Baroque reaches an international audience with its twenty-six acclaimed recordings. In 2012, the ensemble became the first American orchestra to record with the highly-regarded UK audiophile label Linn Records, and its release of The Creation received great critical acclaim. In April 2014, the orchestra recorded Monteverdi's rarely performed opera, Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, which was released on Linn Records and received two nominations at the 2016 GRAMMY Awards.

Boston Baroque's recordings have received six GRAMMY Award Nominations: its 1992 release of Handel's Messiah, 1998 release of Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610, 2000 release of Bach's Mass in B Minor, 2015 release of Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in patria, and 2018 release of Biber's The Mystery Sonatas.

Boston Baroque founder, music director, and conductor Martin Pearlman is one of this country's leading interpreters of Baroque and Classical music on period and modern instruments. In addition to Boston Baroque's annual concert season, Mr. Pearlman tours in the United States and Europe and has produced twenty-six major recordings for Telarc and Linn Records. Mr. Pearlman's completion and orchestration of music from Mozart's Lo Sposo Deluso, his performing version of Purcell's Comical History of Don Quixote, and his new orchestration of Cimarosa's Il Maestro di Cappella were all premiered by Boston Baroque.

Highlights of his work include the complete Monteverdi opera cycle, with his own new performing editions of L'incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d'Ulisse; the American premiere of Rameau's Zoroastre; the Boston premiere of Rameau's Pigmalion; the New England premieres of Gluck's Iphigénie en Tauride and Alceste; and the Beethoven symphonies on period instruments. Mr. Pearlman is also known for his internationally acclaimed series of Handel operas including Agrippina, Alcina, Giulio Cesare, and Semele. He made his Kennedy Center debut with The Washington National Opera in Handel's Semele and has guest conducted the National Arts Center Orchestra of Ottawa, Utah Opera, Opera Columbus, Boston Lyric Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony and the New World Symphony. Mr. Pearlman is the only conductor from the early music field to have performed live on the internationally televised GRAMMY Awards show.

Mr. Pearlman grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, where he received training in composition, violin, piano, and theory. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University, where he studied composition with Karel Husa and Robert Palmer. In 1967-1968, he studied harpsichord in Amsterdam with Gustav Leonhardt on a Fulbright Grant, and in 1971 he received his Master of Music in composition from Yale University, studying composition with Yehudi Wyner and harpsichord with Ralph Kirkpatrick. After moving to Boston, he performed widely as a solo harpsichordist in the U. S. and Europe, and in 1973 he founded the first American period-instrument orchestra, Banchetto Musicale, now called Boston Baroque. He also served as Professor of Music in the Historical Performance department at Boston University's School of Music.

Recent compositions by Martin Pearlman include a string quartet, piano works, a comic chamber opera The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, a three-act work on Finnegans Wake, as well as The Creation According to Orpheus, for solo piano, harp, percussion and string orchestra. He has also composed music for three plays of Samuel Beckett, commissioned by and premiered at New York's 92nd Street Y and performed at Harvard University.

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