Hopkinson Smith to Perform Concert of Elizabethan Repertoire, 12/10

John Dowland, though also a sprightly and humorous composer, is most famous for the darker side of his character and the pervading melancholy that nourished his unquiet soul. But he was in no way the inventor of highly charged melodic poignancy in solo lute music. Two important composers of the generation of English lutenists that preceded him clearly show signs of great invention including moments of tormented yearnings which led to music of extraordinary depth. John Johnson (died in 1594) and Anthony Holborne (died in 1602) were the most prominent lutenists to remain in England during the Elizabethan period (Dowland spent many years on the Continent). Their œuvre contains rhapsodic Pavans of lyrical intensity and richness of harmony, spirited Galliards, striking character pieces and elaborate variations. They were both virtuosos if the highest calibre as the daring of their diminution techniques attests.

This program will highlight theirs and Dowland's works in an evening of masterpieces from the 1580s and 90s.

After concentrating in Musicology at Harvard, Hopkinson Smith came to Europe in 1973 to study with Emilio Pujol, a great pedagogue in the highest Catalan artistic tradition, and also Eugen Dombois, whose sense of organic unity between performer, instrument and historical period has had a lasting effect on him.

In the mid 1970s, Hopkinson Smith was involved in the founding of the ensemble Hesperion XX and his ten year collaboration with Jordi Savall led to important experiences in chamber music which were a creative complement to his work as a soloist.

Since the mid 80s, Hopkinson Smith has focused principally on solo music for early plucked instruments. These include the vihuela, Renaissance lute, theorbo, Renaissance and baroque guitars and the baroque lute.

With his recitals and series of over 20 solo recordings, he continues to rediscover and bring to life works that are among the most expressive and intimate in the entire domain of early music.

Internationally recognized as a leading personality in the field of early music and one of the world's great lutenists, Hopkinson Smith gives concerts and master classes throughout Eastern and Western Europe and in North and South America. He currently lives in Basel, Switzerland, where he teaches at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis.

Salon/Sanctuary Concerts

Salon/Sanctuary Concerts was founded in 2009 by Artistic Director Jessica Gould in order to present early music in intimate venues which complement both the acoustic and the historical context of the repertoire and to encourage understanding among people of different faiths through the performance of sacred works in sanctuaries appropriate to the repertoire.

Since its inception, the series has grown to include some of the most prestigious presenting partners throughout Manhattan and Florence, Italy, and a roster which comprises some of the most respected musicians active in historical performance today. Among the artists who have performed concerts and participated in our original interdisciplinary projects are soloists of the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala, award-winning actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company, Broadway and Hollywood, principal dancers from the New York City Ballet, and an organist of the Duomo of Florence.

As an alternative to the conventional concert hall, Salon/Sanctuary Concerts has forged a path apart from other early music presenters through the development of original projects which incorporate the aesthetic of the venue into the performance itself, and which view history through the prism of music. The series' programs have garnered consistent critical praise, and have earned the partnership of such distinguished institutions as the American Philosophical Society, Casa Italiana Zerilli Marimò of New York University, Christ and St. Stephen's Church, the Colonial Dames of America, the Fraunces Tavern Museum, L'Istituto Italiano per Cultura di New York, the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, the Players Club, the Skirball Center of Temple Emanu El, St. Paul's Chapel of Columbia University, Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, and the Church of the Transfiguration.

Italian co-presenters include L'Accademia delle Arti del Disegno founded in 1563, La Fondazione di Casa Martelli, Il Polo Museale Regionale della Toscana, L'ex Polo Museale Fiorentino, Il Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo, the Church of Santa Felicita, the Cappella of San Luca of Santissima Annunziata, the Sala dell'Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, the Venerabile Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Firenze, the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Casa Martelli, and the Church of the Ognissanti.

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