Saturday December 23, 2017 | 7:30PM (Pre-concert talk at 6:45PM)
Chan Shun Concert Hall at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts | Map
Monica Huggett, music director
Celebrate the holidays with a new perspective on some old favourites. The Ospedale della Pietà is the orphanage for girls in Venice where Vivaldi was hired in 1703 as a violin teacher and then later as maestro de’ concerti. Many people do not realize that iconic works like his Gloria and Magnificat, which are now usually sung by mixed voice choirs, were originally written for his own all-female ensemble singing even the lowest parts. Join beloved violinist Monica Huggett as she leads readings of these joyful works as they were originally heard, performed entirely by women.
Supported by Brian & Gail Atkins and Anona Thome & Takao Tanabe
Laetatus Sum RV 607
choir (soprano 1 & 2, alto 1& 2), strings & continuo
Concerto for Oboe and Trumpet in D major RV 563
oboe, trumpet, strings & continuo
Magnificat RV 610 – Version 1
choir (soprano 1 & 2, alto 1 & 2), strings & continuo
Concerto for Oboe and Violin in B flat major RV 548
oboe, violin, strings & continuo
Gloria RV 589
choir (soprano 1 & 2, alto 1 & 2), trumpet, oboe, strings & continuo
Monica Huggett, music director
Monica Huggett was born in London, in 1953, the fifth of seven children. In order to differentiate herself from her piano-playing siblings, she took up the violin at age six. Her talent became apparent quickly and, by the age of twelve, it had been decided by her parents and teachers that she would become a violinist. This saved her from the agony of having to decide what to do with her life. At age sixteen, she entered the Royal Academy of Music as a student of Manoug Parikian.
Although she did well and won several prizes, she was not entirely comfortable with her instrument until she was given a baroque violin to try. She was immediately won over by the mellow quality of the gut strings and became a fervent champion of the baroque violin. From age seventeen, Monica has earned her living solely as a violinist and artistic director – beginning in London as a freelance violinist – and currently as the first artistic director of the Juilliard School’s Historical Performance Program. In the intervening four decades, she co-founded the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra with Ton Koopman (PBO’s first artistic advisor); founded her own London-based ensemble Sonnerie; worked with Christopher Hogwood at the Academy of Ancient Music; with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert; and toured the United States in concert with James Galway. She has served as guest director of the Arion Baroque Orchestra, Montreal; Tafelmusik, Toronto; the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Philharmonia Baroque, San Francisco; the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra; the Seville Baroque Orchestra; and Concerto Copenhagen. She also performs frequently as a solo violinist all over the world.
The 2013-14 season marks Monica’s 18th as artistic director of Portland Baroque Orchestra. Under her leadership the orchestra has achieved an ever-higher level of artistic excellence and expanded its historically informed repertoire through the Classical period to the early Romantic. Her achievements with PBO include a week-long festival of Bach on the 250th Anniversary of his death, the commission and world premiere of a Baroque-inspired violin concerto and two commercial CD releases (Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante and Concertone on the Virgin Veritas label and Giuliani’s Guitar Concerto and Boccherini’s Guitar Sinfonia on Koch International). She has also released two limited-edition live recordings with Portland Baroque Orchestra, one entirely of music by J.S. Bach, and, in 2008, her first new release of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons since 1992, paired with his complete Opus 11 violin concerti.
Monica’s discography numbers in the hundreds, many of which, sadly, are currently out of print. Her award winning CDs of Biber Sonatas with Sonnerie will be re-released by Universal Music later this season. Universal will also soon make many of her out-of-print recordings available to the public again as downloads.
Among her recent prizes is the 1997 Editor’s Choice award, Gramophone magazine, for J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin; the Vantaa Baroque Energy Prize (Finland), 2005; and Gramophone’s Best Instrumental Recording Award, for Heinrich Biber’s Violin Sonatas, 2002. Monica and Ensemble Sonnerie received a 2009 Grammy™ nomination for J.S. Bach: Orchestral Suites for a Young Prince, and was recently praised by the New York Times for her “sizzling rendering” (Allan Kozinn, 2/9/2010) of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 with her Juilliard Baroque ensemble.
Alongside her work at Juilliard and Portland Baroque Orchestra, Monica continues as artistic director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra.