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img s.gifCapitol Hill Chamber Music Festival
2011: 12th annual period instrument festival
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Dirk_de_Quade_de_Ravesteyn_1600.jpg  Sunday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m.   An Elizabethan Broken Consort will focus on the music of Elizabethan England within the broader context of the Renaissance and the beginnings of the Baroque style. Chamber music from 1500 through 1650 will be performed by Tina Chancey on renaissance violin, viola da gamba and other bowed instruments, Jeffrey Cohan on renaissance transverse flutes of various sizes and Joseph Gascho on harpsichord. The renaissance transverse flutes are hardly ever heard in this context today, although they were pictured frequently and were as common as recorders during their day.
 The 5-part program will include works by (1) composers predating Elizabeth's coronation in 1558 (Josquin de Prés, Alexander Agricola, and her father Henry VIII), (2) composers who came after her death in 1603 and furthered the development of the baroque style (Bartolomeo De Selma e Salaverde, Andrea Cima, Girolamo Frescobaldi), and composers from Elizabeth's time representative of the distinctive musical environments in (3) France (Pierre Clereau, Antonio Gardane, Didier le Blanc), (4) Italy (Andrea di Cannaregio Gabrielli, Girolamo Dalla Casa), and (5) at home in England (Anthony Holborne, Hugh Ashton, Peter Philips, John Baldwyn). A renaissance “consort” of different sizes of like renaissance instruments was considered “broken” when instruments from different families, such as plucked instruments, strings and winds were brought together. Thomas Morely’s “Broken Consort Lessons” for wind, string and plucked instruments are the most well known example. Also, a “broken” melody was an ornamented one. This program will demonstrate a variety of compositional and improvisational tecniques, including instrumental renditions of vocal works in their original form or in transcription, which made up a large part of instrumental practice; the elaborate “breaking” or diminutions of vocal melodies which developed to an extreme degree among Italian virtousos of the late 16th century; the addition of intricate instrumental lines to familiar vocal melodies; and the exquisite counterpoint of purely instrumental works for two, three and four voices from Agricola in 1538 through Gabrielli in 1589, Philips in 1615 and Cima in 1617.

Now in its 12th year, the Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival has since 2000 presented chamber music by familiar as well as little-known composers from the Renaissance through the present on Capitol Hill in period instrument performances which intend to shed new light upon early performance practice as well as contemporary works. Unpublished works from the Library of Congress are given particular attention, and many have received their modern day premieres during these concerts, in addition to premieres of works by Slovenian composers. The Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival is a nonprofit corporation in the District of Columbia.

The program will take place at 7:30 p.m., at St. Mark's Episcopal Church at 3rd & A Streets, SE in Washington, DC, just behind the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.

The suggested donation (a free will offering) will be $20. Students 18 years of age and under are free. Tickets are available at . For further information and advance tickets the public may call (800) 281-8026, email or see

Critical Acclaim for CHCMF
"Jeffrey Cohan has made Slovenian music a focal point of this year's Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival. The Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival got off to an exhilarating start Wednesday night at St. Mark's Church. Marking the festival's sixth year, artistic director and flutist Jeffrey Cohan assembled a trio of concerts that brought to public attention some largely unknown works -- including two world premieres -- by active composers from Slovenia. From piece to piece, Cohan's artistry was evident as he breathed life into his instrument, seeming to find no limit to its sonic possibilities, ways of articulating phrases and modes of expressing composers' personal styles -- as in Brina Jez's beautifully moody "Three Little Pieces." Chappell gave a brilliant account of Kopac's Preludes for solo piano, and Cain's sweetness of timbre and vocal power suited compositions by Brina Jez and Kopac." Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post, August 5, 2005

"A brilliant performance ... eloquently played ... close to the essence of chamber music." Joseph McLellan, The Washington Post, June 26, 2000

"A virtuoso at conveying myriad colors" ... "The audience clearly was entranced ... flutist Jeffrey Cohan captivated young and old.” Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post, July 14, 2001

"Baroque flutist Jeffrey Cohan and harpsichordist George Shangrow give new meaning to the intimacy implicit in the genre of chamber music... They have forged not only an exquisitely subtle collaboration but also a common scholarly interpretation of how Bach would have had the music performed.

"They responded intuitively to each other's rhythmic elasticity and echoed each other's elaborate ornamentations with what sounded like spontaneous inspiration... Almost as impressive was the silent attentiveness that their musicmaking commanded.

"Bach may have been composing for a soft instrument with a very limited dynamic range, but the music he produced was exuberant, joyous and lyrical. It was these qualities that Cohan and Shangrow communicated..." Joan Reinthaler, The Washington Post, July 16, 2002

 About the Performers
TINA CHANCEY is a founding member and director of HESPERUS, the world-traveled early/traditional music ensemble dedicated to bringing the past alive through collaborations between early music and film, theater, dance and world music. She plays bowed strings: Old Time and Irish fiddle; kamenj, lyra, rebec and vielle; viola da gamba; and French baroque pardessus de viole. On these instruments she plays roots music from Sephardic and blues to early music and jazz standards. A frequent guest artist with Ex Umbris and the Terra Nova Consort, she is a former member of the Folger Consort, the early music/rock band Blackmore’s Night, and the multi-media music theater ensemble QUOG. In June 2008, Dr. Chancey was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Early Music America. Most recently, in November and December of 2008 she was an Artist in Residence at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, also presenting school programs in Hong Kong and Macau for the U.S. Embassy.

Artistic Director and flutist JEFFREY COHAN has performed as soloist in 25 countries, most recently Ukraine, Slovenia and Germany, on all transverse flutes from the Renaissance through the present, and has won the Erwin Bodky Award (Boston) and the top prize in the Flanders Festival International Concours Musica Antiqua (Brugge, Belgium), two of the most important prizes for period instrument performance in America and Europe. He has premiered many concerti and other works by Slovenian and American composers. He also directs the Black Hawk Chamber Music Festival in Illinois and Iowa and the Salish Sea Early Music Festival. He can “play many superstar flutists one might name under the table” according to the New York Times, and is “The Flute Master” according to the Boston Globe.

Conductor and harpsichordist JOSEPH GASCHO has won numerous grants and prizes, including first prize in the 2002 Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, and the Pomeroy Prize from the University of Maryland. Recent performing highlights include a world premiere recording of a newly discovered aria by J.S. Bach for National Public Radio, a production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Aix-en-Provence, France, conducting Vivaldi’s Gloria at the Magnolia Baroque Festival, and performing his own transcriptions of works by Bach and Charpentier. He recently conducted Vivaldi’s Eurilla e Alcindo at the University of Maryland, and Handel’s Tamerlano with Opera Vivente. He also coaches chamber music and coordinates accompanying and performs at the Amherst Early Music Festival, and has performed at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute and the International Baroque Institute at Longy. He is pursuing a D.M.A. at the University of Maryland, where he also teaches basso continuo and performance practice. He also teaches at George Washington University.

Praise for CHCMF
WASHINGTON POST Thursday, July 2, 2009 At St. Mark's,Good Things Come in Trios It's probably fanciful imagining a large audience turning up to hear obscure chamber music at the height of summer vacation season. But the mere 29 heads I counted at St. Mark's Episcopal Church for Tuesday's Capitol Hill Chamber Music Festival recital seemed an especially pathetic showing for such a stylishly played evening. St. Mark's, one of Washington's more strikingly beautiful and acoustically friendly churches, added just the right bloom to the gentle buzz of the festival's period instruments. Tuesday's program -- commemorating the 200th anniversary of the deaths of Haydn and his little-known contemporary, Carl Wilhelm Glösch, and the 250th birthday of François Devienne -- was predictable for a festival whose artistic director, Jeffrey Cohan, is a specialist in baroque and classical flute: All five pieces played were 18th-century trios for flute, violin and cello. If such flute, flute and more flute programming produced an inevitable sameness of tone, these lesser trios by the great Haydn, and great trios by the lesser Glösch, Devienne and their contemporary Franz Anton Hoffmeister met in a middle ground of high competence (the dark-hued Devienne D Minor Trio marginally more memorable than the other scores), and all were played with lived-in ease and affection. -- Joe Banno

Funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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