THIS CONCERT IS SOLD OUT
Artist: 2023 Artist-in-Residence Catalina Vicens, organetto, virginal, harpsichord and organ
In this lecture-recital, 2023 EMV Artist-in-Residence, Catalina Vicens, explores how in 16th century Italy, keyboard repertoire and stringed keyboard instruments were particularly associated with female performers as opposed to the male courtier who, in imitation of Orpheus, captivated his audience through eloquent singing self-accompanied by the playing of a lute (often translated in form of a lira da braccio or lute). Young women were expected to cultivate virtuosity on a stringed keyboard instrument, not the lute. This would allow them to interpret popular songs, such a frottole for the keyboard without words – the act of singing in public being considered unsuitable behaviour for ladies at that time.
However, as is often the case, the exception will prove the rule. In Medieval and Renaissance times, only courtesans or women living in exceptional circumstances, like Isabella d’Este, were permitted to sing in public. Isabella d’Este was Marchioness of Mantua and daughter of Francesco I, Duke of Modena, and an important patron of the arts who was directly involved with the development and commissions of new keyboard instruments for her court in Mantua. Not only did she play the lute and sing, she also employed women as professional singers at her court. This lecture-recital will be illustrated with keyboard works drawn from the early and mid 16th century printed sources and played on medieval organetto, virginals, harpsichord and organ.
This concert is generously sponsored in loving memory of Ralph and Therese Spitzer
Catalina will introduce her programme from the stage in place of a programme and programme notes.
Catalina Vicens, keyboards
Born in Chile and currently residing in Italy, Calatina Vicens is recognized by the international press as “one of the most interesting musicians in the field of early music.” Her approach to historically-informed performance and musicological research has led her to become one of the most versatile and sought-after historical keyboard performers and teachers of her generation.
In 2013 she founded ensemble Servir Antico, with whom she aims to shed light on the lesser-known repertoire and intellectual heritage of the Humanistic Period (13th-16th century) while using the concert stage to share with the audience the voices of these visionaries of the past, and to also using it to amplify new voices. In 2021, Ms. Vicens was named curator of the Tagliavini Collection in Italy, one of the largest historical keyboard collections in Europe, and artistic director of Museo San Colombano in Bologna. She is also harpsichord/research lecturer at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (Belgium) and Visiting Professor of Harpsichord at Oberlin Conservatory (USA), amongst many other prestigious appointments.