Personal Summary / Bio
“One ofPittsburgh’s greatest treasures,” says the Pittsburgh Post Gazette of Chatham Baroque (1.07.2008).Founded in 1990, Chatham Baroque has for 18 years excited local, national andinternational audiences with dazzling technique and lively interpretations of17th and 18th century music played on authenticinstruments of the period. Chatham Baroque performs a series of home concertsin Pittsburgh, tours nationally and internationally, has recorded seven CDs onthe Dorian label and has devised and presented successful community outreachprograms. The trio of baroque violin, viola da gamba, various lutes and baroqueguitar was named “Best New Classical Artist of 1999” by National Public Radioas a result of votes by music consumers world-wide.
ChathamBaroque’s Pittsburgh four series concerts—three performances of each at variouslocal venues—offer Pittsburghers the opportunity to hear old music made new andthrillingly vivid. Who knew there was so much great music available from theBaroque! The ensemble explores this old music, giving early resonances thefreshness of improvisational jazz. Much of the music explored and firstpresented in local programming becomes the bedrock of touring and recording.
In 2007-08Chatham Baroque introduced a new kind of concert in lieu of its former Fridaynight concerts. In venues like the Gypsy Cafe, St. Stanislaus Catholic Church,Rodef Shalom Temple and the avant garde Mattress Factory, the ensemble has successfullybrought new audiences to unusual venues and performance formats, continuing itsregular Saturday and Sunday concerts in familiar halls.
ChathamBaroque has toured all over the United States as well as in South America andMexico, the Virgin Islands, and Canada. In addition to sold-out performances inwestern Canada this season, Chatham Baroque will perform at the NationalGallery of Art in Washington, DC and The Newbury Library in Chicago. Heard onmany public radio stations, this year Chatham Baroque has been heard on CBCRadio in Canada, not to mention NPR’s “Performance Today” and “Harmonia.”Recently Pittsburgh’s WQED-FM produced “A Baroque Christmas,” a compilation ofChatham Baroque’s past December concerts, which was broadcast nationally duringthe run-up to the 2007 winter holidays.
ChathamBaroque’s first six CDs have met with critical acclaim. The first, TheScotch Humour, andthe seventh, Henry Purcell: Sonatas and Theatre Music, each received five gold starratings from Europe’s glossy Goldberg Magazine. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s music critic, Andrew Druckenbrod,has called the Purcell disc “not only Chatham Baroque’s best effort to date but[one that] also belongs in the ranks of the best early-music discs.” Espanoleta spent four weeks on Amazon.com’stop-20 list and also was taken by astronaut Bill McArthur on one of theDiscovery voyages to outer space. The ensemble has put together an assemblageof live performances—Chatham Baroque LIVE!—in Pittsburgh and on tour. Chatham Baroque’s seventhCD on the Dorian label will be released in the spring of 2008.
Theensemble presents imaginative programs for young children in its local PeanutButter & Jam Sessions. On tour Chatham Baroque often presents its Catgut& Horsehair: A Tour of Europe program for elementary school children, featuring themusicians and an actor. In another series of outreach programs, Chatham Baroquepresents Music All Over the Place concerts in unusual venues in Allegheny County, rangingfrom libraries to coffee shops to retirement homes.
ChathamBaroque is repeatedly listed among the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s “Top 50 Cultural Forces inPittsburgh” and particular concerts are regularly listed among the “Ten BestClassical Concerts” of one year after another.
ChathamBaroque is Ensemble-in-Residence at WQED-FM and Calvary Episcopal Church.