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Tag: Continuo conference

March
28th

Continuo conference and concerts bring the best in early music to Pacific Lutheran University next week.

Harpsichordist Byron Schenkman. Courtesy image.
Harpsichordist Byron Schenkman. Courtesy image.

Early music lovers, rejoice. Pacific Lutheran University is teaming up with the Westfield Center for Historical Keyboard Studies (based at Cornell University in New York) to hold its annual spring conference right here in Tacoma/Parkland, with workshops, presentations and no less than five concerts featuring the best in regional and national musicians, all open to the public.

The focus of this year’s conference is the art of continuo – the accompaniment line that underscores all baroque solos, constructed often from just a single bass line with “figures” (numbers indicating chords) to tell the musician which harmonies to play, and leaving the rest up to improvisation, collaboration and musical know-how. It’s tricky to learn, even trickier to do in performance, changing each time (rather like jazz, but 200 years older).

Among the presenters and clinicians are Edward Parmentier (University of Michigan), Charlotte Mattax Moersch (University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana), Gregory Crowell (editor, “Clavichord International”) and Seattle’s Stephen Stubbs (artistic director of Pacific Musicworks). Local students and professionals alike will benefit from the masterclasses, lectures and demonstrations offered next Friday and Saturday in PLU’s music buildings (see westfield.org to register).

But it’s the public concerts that are the real treat for the general public, offering a banquet of early music over five days (beginning next Thursday) from Haydn choral masses to recitals to Handel’s opera “Apollo and Daphne.” Here’s the line-up: Read more »