/ The Chicago Traveler
Chicago — By Lisa Davis on March 28, 2010 at 10:52 am
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Chicago’s Early Music Festival Kicks Off This April

Come summer, Chicago becomes the country’s best place for outdoor concerts, from jazz and blues festivals in Grant Park, to weekly nighttime symphony concerts at Millennium Park.

For the first time this year, Chicago will have a six-day festival celebrating music of the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque eras. The festival, which starts April 20, will feature free and ticketed performances, workshops, and master classes by internationally-renowned musicians in venues throughout the city.

Because the festival will have music from before the time of Mozart, including Medieval chants, the late Baroque masterworks of Handel and Bach, and “everything in between” (spanning five centuries from the 14th until the mid-18th century), it will be called the Chicago Early Music Festival. “Early music” is a term commonly used to describe Western classical music before the time of Mozart.

According to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, a resurgence of interest in Early Music came about with the rediscovery of historical instruments and long-lost techniques for playing them.

Some of the concerts during the festival will include:

- Baroque Band performing Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico, Wednesday, April 21 at 7:30 pm, St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron St., map it ($35) - Chicago’s period instrument orchestra, Baroque Band, presents Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico (The Harmonic Inspiration) in the sanctuary of the St. James Cathedral. Violinist Garry Clarke will lead the ensemble in performances of eight concerti from Vivaldi’s popular collection that features solo cello, and at times, up to four solo violins.

- Ensemble Lipzodes performing Shakespeare & the Bassano Family, Thursday, April 22 at 12:15 p.m., enclosed stage of the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Michigan Ave. at Washington St., map it (free) – Ensemble Lipzodes presents a program inspired by the relationship between Shakespeare and the Bassano family and their trip to Venice together at the end of 1593.  Famous as performers and instrument makers for the royal courts and churches of English and Italy, the Bassanos are thought to have invented the dulcian family of instruments featured in this concert. The program includes sonnets about the Emilia Bassano, the “Dark Lady,” and quotations from The Merchant of Venice inspired by the Bassano family.

For performance updates and more information, visit www.ChicagoEarlyMusicFest.org or call the hotline at 312-742-1938.

Photo credit: SXC

Related places:
  1. A
    65 E Huron St
    View Details and Book
  2. B
    Millennium Park
    View Details and Book
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